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Knowledge integration is one of the most sought-after concepts in the present volatile market.

In every function of an organisation, knowledge integration plays crucial role. Considering all
its contribution to a modern organisation, we can understand the important role it plays in the
New Product Development processes of an organisation. Apart from new product
development, the importance of knowledge integration is also emphasized in the field of
Supply Chain Management. The incapability of the market to coordinate knowledge transfer
across the individual firms has created the motivation for the giant firms to undergo various
processes to build upstream and downstream knowledge architecture. This paper proposes
that knowledge integration can be separated into two different kinds of mechanisms, that of
knowledge sharing and knowledge enrichment. The model developed in this paper has
defined dependent variables based on knowledge based view of the firm and knowledge
integration literature. The independent variables are defined based on the capabilities and
NPD literature. The proposed Hypothesis are:
H1a: Knowledge sharing with suppliers is positively associated with the design effectiveness
of a focal firm with respect to the new product development
H1b: Knowledge sharing with suppliers is positively associated with the manufacturing
capability of a focal firm with respect to the new product development
After the study has been made based on the above hypothesis and few other hypothesis, the
following results are seen. The discussion bellow includes the process as well as the outcome
of the study.
The study offers several contributions to the knowledge management, new product
development and collaborative network literatures. First, our results demonstrate that
knowledge stock bundles are important predictors of fit to firms design and manufacturing
capability in new product development projects. As this constellation of firms constitute a
collaborative network all marching towards a common focus of a successful product launch,
the implication is on the selection of knowledge stock that are different on the supply side
from the knowledge stock on the customer side. The fact that this result is a testimony of
what happens in a variety of NPD projects across a wide set of products and across a wider
variety of firms is a distinct contribution of this research to a multitude of disciplines.
Second, our results corroborate and extend previous findings that suggest that firm
capabilities in terms of product concept effectiveness and process performance matter in NPD
projects. Accordingly, the differential effects of knowledge stock on both sides of the

collaborative network are revealing. It is also examined the concomitant effects of knowledge
side of both sides of the collaborative network and conclude the dominant and pervasive
effect of supply side knowledge stock even after accounting for the effects of the customer
side of knowledge stock. Finally, our results offer actionable guidelines for managers in
selecting and deploying appropriate knowledge stock practices depending on the type of
performance or capability measure, that they are interested in enhancing and the type of
product, size of project and the product maturity. A holistic view of developing an enterprise
wide knowledge integration schema that captures knowledge stock from all aspects of the
collaborative network can be a key resource in a firms arsenal of knowledge management
repository. Such a repository will ensure that knowledge capital that emerges from prior
experience, from benchmarking and from current projects would further enrich the utility of
this valuable resource. In this manner, knowledge stock becomes persistent within the
company even after some of the key original developers would have left. In conclusion, we
offer some limitations of this work and offer suggestions for future research. First, we have
not considered the structure of the underlying networks, both on the upstream side and
downstream side. Should managers use different strategies if the networks configured
differently? It is conceivable to think that if a focal firm has a decentralised upstream supply
network and a densely connected downstream network, it may need to tweak its knowledge
sharing and enrichment mechanisms from the ones suggested in this paper. It is already
shown that network structures may have significant ramifications on how firms manage
information flow in networks. Second, extending knowledge enrichment and sharing in
media and social networks (from the customer side) would be a rich area for research.
Automotive companies like Ford have already started to use blogs for knowledge enrichment
on the customer side. Lastly, future studies should investigate the four dimensions of
knowledge creation within the context of the extended collaborative network. In this paper,
we have taken the first step towards establishing the basic mechanism of developing
enterprise wide knowledge sharing and enrichment for improving core capabilities and
improving NPD performance.
Article Taken from:
A holistic view of knowledge integration in collaborative supply chains
Jayanth Jayarama and Surya Pathak