Managing External Knowledge in the Fuzzy-Front of NPD from Open Innovation

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Managing External Knowledge in the Fuzzy-Front of NPD from Open Innovation
Authors: Shurrab, Hafez
Abstract: At the commencement of any new concept introduction pertaining to a product or a service, a lot of ambiguity accompanies the paths of development. Consequently, companies allocate uncertain figures in their budgets during the concept phases of new product development (NPD) projects, which could require delays for years before taking the shape of a typical controllable project supported by a promising business case. At project delivery, the final project cost calculations may exclude the activities of the front-end due to its loose definitions and lack of recognition as one fundamental part of the NPD project. Nevertheless, the top management is aware of how certain products could absorb dramatically much time and resources due to lack of structure and definition of this fuzzy phase. In other words, a company – for instance – may invest heavily in integrating new technology into their product ranges. However, the ongoing investigations may for example reflect the infeasibility of this effort too late, or they could explore a valuable source of knowledge or potential partnership too late leading to incurring unnecessary costs from a knowledge availability perspective. Therefore, the productive involvement of the right source and integration methods of internal and external knowledge becomes indispensable to optimize the innovation process. Nonetheless, organizational bureaucracy and the heritage of core competence and competitive advantage protection policies stand against forming a freestyle open innovation cooperation among knowledge leaders. That challenges the development of a structured logic for the fuzzy front-end (FFE) of NPD from an open innovation perspective. As part of the efforts dedicated to bring structure into the FFE of NPD, this thesis aims at developing guidance for both innovators and their line management in light of the confusion concerning this phase. The focus is on two main areas including how triggering successful concepts usually occurs from the earliest possible starting point, and who should be the potential key contributor(s) at each stage of the FFE along with when this should happen. The findings reflect a generic guidance to the timing of the involvement of the specific key contributors and their roles at each stage during the FFE of NPD. This recommends streamlining resources in a more specific way along the FFE. The thesis report ends with a summary and potential topics suggested for future research for whom the continuation on this topic may concern.
Keywords: Samhällsbyggnadsteknik;Övrig industriell teknik och ekonomi;Innovation och entreprenörskap (nyttiggörande);Produktion;Civil Engineering;Other industrial engineering and economics;Innovation & Entrepreneurship;Production
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Technology Management and Economics
Series/Report no.: Examensarbete - Institutionen för bygg- och miljöteknik, Chalmers tekniska högskola : BOMX02-16-9
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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