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Managing internal technology transfer in complex product development

Thomas Magnusson (Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)
Glenn Johansson (Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 1 August 2008




The purpose of this article is to illustrate how the characteristics of complex product systems pose specific managerial challenges onto the transfer of new technology from technology development to product development.


The research relies on comparative case studies involving three cases of internal technology transfer processes in the development of electrical equipment and telecommunication systems.


The research findings suggest that managerial decisions on internal technology transfer should be guided by a contingency framework rather than general procedures and tools.

Research limitations/implications

Since the research is restricted to a limited number of case studies, additional studies are required to validate the findings.

Practical implications

The study results indicate that in cases of complex product development, there is a need for a more integrated view on technology and product development, than what is commonly described in the literature.


This article complements previous studies of the management of internal technology transfer processes, which primarily have addressed mass producing industries.



Magnusson, T. and Johansson, G. (2008), "Managing internal technology transfer in complex product development", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 349-365.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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