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A knowledge sharing framework for black, grey and white box supplier configurations in new product development

Valéry Merminod 1 Marie-Anne Le Dain 2
1 Management, entrepreneuriat, innovation
CERAG - Centre d'études et de recherches appliquées à la gestion
G-SCOP - Laboratoire des sciences pour la conception, l'optimisation et la production
Abstract : Keywords: New Product Development (NPD) Inter-organisational Boundaries Knowledge transfer Knowledge Translation Knowledge transformation Black Grey and white box a b s t r a c t Managing supplier collaboration is increasingly cited as a key success factor in new product development (NPD) performance. Knowledge sharing between customer and supplier is a critical issue to manage collaboration but one which has only been partially investigated in the inter-organisational NPD context. This means that the specific characteristics of knowledge sharing according to the three classical supplier involvement configurations (black box: design is supplier driver, grey box: joint design and white box: design is customer driven) are still largely unknown. This research proposes to fill this gap by presenting a conceptual framework for knowledge sharing according to the supplier involvement configuration. Knowledge sharing integrates knowledge transfer, translation and transformation. A qualitative methodology based on cross-case comparisons of six projects in two companies is used. This research shows that the dynamics of knowledge sharing depend on each configuration. Thus, for black box projects, knowledge translation is a prerequisite for knowledge transfer. For grey box projects, knowledge transfer and translation are initiated simultaneously in a continuous loop. For white box projects, knowledge transfer is the key activity and potentially generates knowledge translation. The results suggest that managers should pay attention to translation activities which are critical for the success of co-development projects. &
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Valéry Merminod, Marie-Anne Le Dain. A knowledge sharing framework for black, grey and white box supplier configurations in new product development. Technovation, Elsevier, 2014, 34 (11), pp.688 - 701. ⟨10.1016/j.technovation.2014.09.005⟩. ⟨hal-01123643⟩



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