New product development and early supplier involvement (ESI): the drivers of ESI adoption
by Francis Bidault, Charles Despres, Christina Butler
International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 15, No. 1/2, 1998

Abstract: This paper reports the results of an empirical study that probed the adoption of early supplier involvement (ESI) in the product development process. ESI is defined as a form of vertical co-operation in which manufacturers involve suppliers at an early stage in the product development/innovation process, generally at the level of concept and design. Previous research has shown that Western automobile manufacturers obtained significant benefits by emulating the ESI practices of their Japanese competitors; the bulk of research knowledge is, in fact, located in this domain. This study focused on a group of assembly-based industries outside the automotive setting to determine if the adoption and benefits of ESI are found in other domains as well. Twenty-five companies in three non-automotive industries participated in the research. A model of ESI adoption was developed and tested, and an ESI index created to determine the degree to which this practice was applied. The results reveal, among other things, that the level of ESI practice is strongly related to a higher number of supplier base initiatives, lower product integration, broader supplier scope and a higher proportion of parts purchased. Significant results were also obtained in comparisons between industry sectors and geographic regions (USA, Western Europe and Japan). We suggest that promising directions for future research include broad-based samples across industrial sectors and industry-focused empirical study.

Online publication date: Tue, 29-Jul-2003

The full text of this article is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.

Existing subscribers:
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.

Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.

Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:

    Username:        Password:         

Forgotten your password?

Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.

If you still need assistance, please email