Liberati, Michele (2008) Dall'architettura di prodotto all'architettura dell'organizzazione: sviluppo nuovo prodotto e integrazione dei fornitori. Studio empirico nel settore automotive italiano. [Ph.D. thesis]
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In developing complex products several firms in different industries are moving towards a strategy of outsourcing component design and development, through deep collaborations with selected suppliers. Nevertheless involving suppliers in new product development needs to be thoroughly coordinated by the Original Equipment Manufacturers, in order to guarantee the final integration of each component into the final product.
In the light of the academic literature on this topic, this doctoral thesis wants to investigate the integration of suppliers into new product development. In particular, it wants to analyze how two component characteristics - innovativeness and centrality in the product architecture - affect the supplier integration dynamics and the final effect on the development performances.
Through an Embedded Multiple Case-Study research design and adopting the Theoretical Replication e Literal Replication logics, three development project were selected, in the Italian automotive industry: a new powertrain at Ferrari, a new passenger safety system at Maserati and a new mini-excavator at CNH. Data were initially collected and analyzed also through the Design Structure Matrix, Social Network Analysis, Cluster Analysis. A number of 12 component development projects were deepened. These components were characterized by different values of innovativeness and centrality in the product architecture. By comparing the patterns of integration of different components within different development projects, the research showed the effects of these characteristics on the supplier integration activity. In the course of the work a new component typology was developed, based on these contingent factors (component innovativeness and centrality), and a framework for effectively integrating suppliers into the development process was defined. This framework illustrates the guidelines for development outsourcing decisions and for coordinating this activity, in order to reach the effectiveness and the efficacy of the development process.
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