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LTM – A Story of Balancing Innovation and Control in the Latter Phase of a Product Development Project

Författare och institution:
Torbjörn Stjernberg (Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Lärande och förändring); Xianghong Hao (Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Lärande och förändring)
Publicerad i:
Paper for IRNORP VIII conference, at CENTRIM, Brighton Univsersity, 19-21 september, 2007, s. 28
Konferensbidrag, refereegranskat
Sammanfattning (abstract):
Today’s automotive industry is characterised by fierce competition, demanding customers, and shrinking margins. These characteristics have forced car makers to focus on innovative features and design offers, while at the same time increasing time and cost efficiency. All automotive companies including Volvo Cars have to face the challenge to organise and manage highly specialized and complex processes of innovation. In product development literature, much focus has been on the fussy front end (FFE). How people cope with the late change and innovation in the latter phase of the project is somewhat neglected. As many theorists claim, the uncertainty and complexity remain throughout the whole project. We believe that the latter stage of the product development, deserves, as much, if not more, academic attention. This paper describes a “first-chicken-race-then-fire-fighting” story in the latter stage of a “facelift” project at Volvo Car Corporation (VCC), focusing on the untidy and muddled exploration process of introducing a brand-new material in the product. It is shown that the formal project processes (the gate system) designed to control the cost and time efficiency has provided a context which was not rigid because the “point-of-no-return” was extended to the last moment. By drawing on the major idea of viewing product development as Complex Adaptive System (CAS) of decisions, we highlight a). the importance of managerial decisions in operative level in formulating and directing innovation process within the cost and time constraints; b). the role of “internal energy” consisting of passion, enthusiasm, curiosity and risk taking in promoting innovative action; c). the importance of balancing self-organization and emergence of innovative behavior and controlling and monitoring formal project processes.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Ekonomi och näringsliv ->
complex product development, innovation, control, complex adaptive systems of decisions, automotive industry
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2007-09-24 09:04
Posten ändrad:
2007-10-04 11:24

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