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Uncovering paradoxes in managing globally distributed product development: A multiple case study
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (IPR (Innovation and Product Realisation))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4077-6949
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (IPR (Innovation and Product Realisation))
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Case study method, Research and Application, ISSN 1554-7752, Vol. XXV, no 3, 195-206 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Offshoring of knowledge-intensive work is a relatively new phenomenon wherein organizations choose to distribute segments of their value chain ranging from testing, to product development and innovation across geographical and organizational boundaries. Moving work from one location to another creates new challenges for the organization as the complexity of the processes and number of organizational interfaces increases. This paper uses three case studies to explore the paradoxes and underlying tensions found in the practice of globally distributed development. The study demonstrates how multiple levels of analysis can be applied to resolve the tensions and trade-offs in globally distributed work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. XXV, no 3, 195-206 p.
Keyword [en]
Case study, paradoxes, offshoring, product development
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-22891OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-22891DiVA: diva2:665698
Available from: 2013-11-20 Created: 2013-11-19 Last updated: 2014-02-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Managing offshoring of complex products: Strategy and capabilities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing offshoring of complex products: Strategy and capabilities
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Offshoring is a hot topic in the industrial and academic community over the last few years, evolving from a focus on manufacturing to product development and R&D. Offshoring refers to the process of sourcing and coordinating tasks across national borders and can include both in-house and outsourced activities performed by a supplier. There is a lot of research guiding the decision of what, where and how to offshore, but research on how to implement offshoring strategies is rare. The purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the knowledge on how companies deal with offshoring in practice, relating to strategy, planning and routines. It discusses what type of capabilities that is needed to gain the benefits of offshoring implementations.

The research builds on case studies from two multinational companies offshoring product development from Sweden to captive and offshore development centres in India and China through a series of interviews, review of business documentation and other types of active engagements over time.

This research highlights how the development and implementation of offshoring can be better understood by focusing on the middle management in the organization and how they relate to the top management directives when implementing an offshoring strategy.  The thesis contributes to existing theory by explaining offshoring as a process, situated in a certain context and time. It defines key routines and capabilities needed to facilitate offshoring of complex product systems. Including context, timing and sequence when analysing offshoring help explain why some organizations fail to implement offshoring initiatives.

The companies had an iterative learning process to deal with offshoring, and inclusion of all levels in an organization was highlighted as a key success factor for the implementation of offshoring. The results extend current understanding of offshoring of complex products to Asia and provide useful guidelines for managers on the key issues they need to consider. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2014
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 152
Keyword
Strategy, organizational capabilities, offshoring, product development, India, China
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-24504 (URN)978-91-7485-136-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-04-04, Raspen, Smedjegatan 37, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Effective outsourcing/offshoring of research, development and engineering
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2014-02-18 Created: 2014-02-18 Last updated: 2014-03-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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