Buyer-supplier collaboration during emerging technology development

Moradlou, Hamid, Roscoe, Samuel and Ghadge, Abhijeet (2020) Buyer-supplier collaboration during emerging technology development. Production Planning and Control. ISSN 0953-7287 (Accepted)

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The purpose of this paper is to understand how buyers and suppliers collaborate during the development of emerging technologies. Using the relational view, the paper examines a high technology aerospace firm as it develops additive manufacturing technology with two suppliers. Data collected from 46 interviews with senior managers, middle managers and operational employees are triangulated using 8 focus groups and secondary company documentation. It is found that the radical novelty and high degree of technological uncertainty associated with emerging technologies leads to a small pool of capable suppliers, limited machine capacity and constrained raw material supply. Companies therefore turn to University Technology Centres (UTCs) to incubate new ideas and test prototypes before involving suppliers in development efforts. Companies also seek out government funded catapult centres where buyers, suppliers and customers are co-located in a single facility, allowing them to interact and share knowledge on a regular basis. The study contributes to the relational view by identifying that regular interaction within collaborative relationships does not necessarily lead to knowledge spill-overs between buyers and suppliers during the development of emerging technologies. Instead, the study finds that knowledge exchange is facilitated when suppliers have the freedom to use intellectual property in non-competing industries and have guarantees of future business that allow them to invest in machine capacity and raw material supply. Managers are provided with an empirically informed framework for buyer-supplier collaboration during emerging technology development.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing, Buyer-Supplier Collaboration, Supplier Involvement in New Product Development, Relational view
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD0028 Management. Industrial Management
Depositing User: Samuel Roscoe
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2020 10:20
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2020 10:30

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