The importance of collaborative frontloading in automotive supply networks

Binder, Mario, Gust, Peter and Clegg, Ben (2008). The importance of collaborative frontloading in automotive supply networks. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 19 (3), pp. 315-331.


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate how research and development (R&D) collaboration takes place for complex new products in the automotive sector. The research aims to give guidelines to increase the effectiveness of such collaborations. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology used to investigate this issue was grounded theory. The empirical data were collected through a mixture of interviews and questionnaires. The resulting inducted conceptual models were subsequently validated in industrial workshops. Findings – The findings show that frontloading of the collaborative members was a major issue in managing successful R&D collaborations. Research limitations/implications – The limitation of this research is that it is only based in the German automotive industry. Practical implications – Practical implications have come out of this research. Models and guidelines are given to help make a success of collaborative projects and their potential impacts on time, cost and quality metrics. Originality/value – Frontloading is not often studied in a collaborative manner; it is normally studied within just one organisation. This study has novel value because it has involved a number of different members throughout the supplier network.

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Divisions: Aston Business School > Operations & information management
Aston Business School > Operations & information management research group
Uncontrolled Keywords: automotive industry,new products,research and development,supplier relations,Management of Technology and Innovation,Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
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Published Date: 2008
Authors: Binder, Mario
Gust, Peter
Clegg, Ben


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