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Communication, goals and collaboration in buyer-supplier joint product design

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Original equipment manufacturers (buyers) are increasingly involving suppliers in new product development as a means to increase efficiency and expand capabilities. To realize such benefits, however, the two firms need to have appropriate communication and goal structures to minimize friction

Original equipment manufacturers (buyers) are increasingly involving suppliers in new product development as a means to increase efficiency and expand capabilities. To realize such benefits, however, the two firms need to have appropriate communication and goal structures to minimize friction while maximizing design quality. In addition, the effectiveness of the inter-firm interaction process, i.e. their collaboration quality, is also a key success factor. This study draws from Information Process Theory to propose that higher technical and relational uncertainty requires more inter-firm communication. The misalignment between communication intensity and uncertainty reduces both design quality and design efficiency. Goal incongruence, which always lowers project performance, is less harmful for projects with high technical uncertainty due to the potential of the conflict resolving process in improving decision quality and efficiency. Finally I use Hackman's theory of work group effectiveness to propose that collaboration quality fully mediates the effects of communication intensity and goal congruence on project outcomes. The study used an empirical survey of manufacturers as the primary method of data collection. Manufacturers that integrate and assemble complex and discrete products are the target population. Design engineers and project managers from manufacturers were my target respondents. Both SEM and hierarchical regression were used to test the conceptual model. The dissertation made five theoretical contributions. First, I introduced the concept that there is an optimal level of inter-firm communication intensity, exceeding which lowers design efficiency without improving design quality. Second, I theoretically defined and empirically operationalized two types of uncertainty, one on the project level and one on the inter-firm level, which were shown to moderate the effects of inter-firm communication and goal structures on collaboration outcomes. Third, this study examined the conditions when goal congruence is more effective in improving collaboration outcomes. Fourth, this study nominally and operationally defined collaboration quality, a theoretical construct which measure the effectiveness of inter-partner interactions rather than mere existence or amount of certain activities pursued by partners. Finally, I proposed several enhancements to existing construct measures.

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Date Created
2011

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The status of green purchasing in the five most populous U.S. states

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I present a new framework for qualitative assessment of the current green purchasing practices of U.S. state governments. Increasing demand from citizens for green public purchasing has prompted state governments to adopt new, and improve existing, practices. Yet there has

I present a new framework for qualitative assessment of the current green purchasing practices of U.S. state governments. Increasing demand from citizens for green public purchasing has prompted state governments to adopt new, and improve existing, practices. Yet there has been little assessment of public green purchasing in academic research; what has been done has not provided the conceptual support necessary to assess green purchasing practices as a single component of the procurement process. My research aims to fill that gap by developing a conceptual framework with which to assess the status of green purchasing practices and by applying this framework to determine and describe the status of green purchasing in the five most populous U.S. states. The framework looks at state purchasing practices through the lenses of policy, policy implementation, and transparency.

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Date Created
2012

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The interpersonal determinants of green purchasing: an assessment of the empirical record

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This study investigates how well prominent behavioral theories from social psychology explain green purchasing behavior (GPB). I assess three prominent theories in terms of their suitability for GPB research, their attractiveness to GPB empiricists, and the strength of their empirical

This study investigates how well prominent behavioral theories from social psychology explain green purchasing behavior (GPB). I assess three prominent theories in terms of their suitability for GPB research, their attractiveness to GPB empiricists, and the strength of their empirical evidence when applied to GPB. First, a qualitative assessment of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), Norm Activation Theory (NAT), and Value-Belief-Norm Theory (VBN) is conducted to evaluate a) how well the phenomenon and concepts in each theory match the characteristics of pro-environmental behavior and b) how well the assumptions made in each theory match common assumptions made in purchasing theory. Second, a quantitative assessment of these three theories is conducted in which r2 values and methodological parameters (e.g., sample size) are collected from a sample of 21 empirical studies on GPB to evaluate the accuracy and generalize-ability of empirical evidence. In the qualitative assessment, the results show each theory has its advantages and disadvantages. The results also provide a theoretically-grounded roadmap for modifying each theory to be more suitable for GPB research. In the quantitative assessment, the TPB outperforms the other two theories in every aspect taken into consideration. It proves to 1) create the most accurate models 2) be supported by the most generalize-able empirical evidence and 3) be the most attractive theory to empiricists. Although the TPB establishes itself as the best foundational theory for an empiricist to start from, it's clear that a more comprehensive model is needed to achieve consistent results and improve our understanding of GPB. NAT and the Theory of Interpersonal Behavior (TIB) offer pathways to extend the TPB. The TIB seems particularly apt for this endeavor, while VBN does not appear to have much to offer. Overall, the TPB has already proven to hold a relatively high predictive value. But with the state of ecosystem services continuing to decline on a global scale, it's important for models of GPB to become more accurate and reliable. Better models have the capacity to help marketing professionals, product developers, and policy makers develop strategies for encouraging consumers to buy green products.

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Agent

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Date Created
2012