In Pursuit of Supplier Knowledge: Leveraging capabilities and dividing responsibilities in product and service contexts
In this dissertation, I study the integration of supplier knowledge through the lenses of dynamic capabilities and the division of responsibilities in the contexts of products and services. In Chapter 2, I provide a meta-analysis of the effects of supplier involvement on New Product Development performance, in order to resolve prior inconclusive and mixed findings. I therefore reconceptualize supplier involvement as two distinct practices to leverage absorptive and connective capacities for external knowledge integration and provide detailed results. I conduct further research on supplier knowledge integration in the context of business-to-business services. In Chapter 3, I develop a taxonomy of quality in outsourced business services based on a qualitative comparative analysis of outsourced facility services, such as cleaning. I show that different organizations reach high levels of service performance in distinct ways, depending on varying combinations of relational, structural, and service-specific conditions. In Chapter 4, I explore services in triadic buyer-supplier-customer outsourcing arrangements using a multiple-case study of services at Dutch universities, such as print services. I show that the design and operation of services and service systems revolves around the complex interplay of members’ roles and responsibilities and a set of distinctive service capabilities. In combination, this research provides important theoretical advances on the capabilities and responsibilities to manage the integration of supplier knowledge with the buyer’s product and service development or sourcing processes. In an era of increasingly networked organizations, the findings provide distinct practical recommendations for buying organizations that pursue supplier knowledge.