Title: Supplier selection under technological uncertainty in new product development projects
Author: Lisa Melander
Address: Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Abstract: Increasingly, firms involve external companies in the innovation process to integrate new technology. However, under technological uncertainty, it may not be obvious which technology will be the most suitable to incorporate. Few studies have investigated how technological uncertainty affects firms' supplier selection for new product development (NPD). Hence, this paper aims to investigate how firms select suppliers for collaborative NPD under varied levels of technological uncertainty. This research is based on seven case studies in which 53 interviews were conducted. Two strategies for supplier selection under technological uncertainty are discussed. These are based on an evaluation of: i) the supplier's present situation; ii) previous experience. The findings show that technological capabilities were an important criterion in the assessment of suppliers in projects with both low and high technological uncertainty. Moreover, in projects with high technological uncertainty, relational capabilities were important.
Keywords: new product development; NPD projects; supplier involvement; supplier selection; technological uncertainty; information asymmetry; case studies; collaborative NPD; relational capabilities.
Int. J. of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 2014 Vol.10, No.2, pp.108 - 128
Available online: 10 Mar 2015