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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Special issue on managing the manufacturing: RD interface
Article Type: Call for papers From: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Volume 23, Issue 3
Introduction and background
"Dragons at the door" and the competitive power of firms in the BRIC economies have partly disrupted Porter's old generic strategies (1980), inasmuch as firms will not only have to deliver differentiated products, but also to do so at low cost. The remedy suggested by Williamson for this situation is called cost innovation (2011). In the perspective of value creation and capture, firms must thus in the future not only be excellent at developing innovative functional products but also be able to manufacture them in a competitive cost structure within the framework of a proper business model. In firms' future strategy development and business model innovation, not only must the importance of the innovation of manufacturing systems receive proper recognition (Skinner, 1978; 1992), but also product and process innovation strategies must be tightly integrated and continuously adapted to ongoing changes in the business environment. This highlights this call and the key topical areas of:
Repositioning along the value chain: how are product, process and business model innovations interlinked?
Integration of new product/portfolio strategies with manufacturing technology strategies: how to do it?
Complementarity of product and manufacturing technology innovations: what is the value at stake and how to capture it?
Although firms' value and supply chains have never been static, the pace of rethinking of the boundaries in supply/value chains is so high nowadays that in many instances one could characterise them as disruptive. Forward integration or backward integration are possible routes to follow, not forgetting the optional shortening of the firm's part of the total supply chain or even staying put. Since traditional industrial borders are obliterated, traditional organisations and work processes for product innovation and innovation of manufacturing technology must be reviewed and possibly reconsidered (see, for example, Soosay et al. (2008)). However, even firms that do not move in any direction at all must consider to a greater extent in the future where in the supply/value chain product and process innovation can be implemented most efficiently? Where along the chain, from raw materials to finished products delivered to the consumer, can innovation create best value?
Development of new products often craves a corresponding development of the firm's manufacturing system, and because of that there is a need for interactive innovation work processes from product design through manufacturing to delivery (Krishnan and Loch, 2005; Riis et al., 2007). The importance of cross-functional development of new products has long been well recognised, but the organisational aspects of the development of new production technology and systems have not received similar attention in management research to date. Development of improved manufacturing technology may, on the other hand, not only result in more efficient and cost-competitive production systems, but also give new ideas and incentives for the development of improved products (Hayes et al., 1996). In some rare cases both improved products and production systems have been achieved, which is something that innovators must target better in the future.
In a similar vein, the development of new products not only craves adapted manufacturing technology (Boothroyd et al., 1994), but also may offer new and interesting opportunities for improvement of the production system. As a result, there is a need not only for an "open innovation approach" and future external collaborations (Gassmanet al., 2010), but also for an intra-firm production/RD collaborative approach. Firms' manufacturing strategies could in the future be characterised more as "open operation", for which improved organisational solutions must be sought also in extended networks (Karlsson and SkÎld, 2007). A collaborative approach in the development of new production systems and equipment in asset-intensive industry is also of an importance second to none.
From an equipment supplier's perspective this is normally regarded as a product development activity but from a user perspective it could better be characterised as process innovation (Lager and Frishammar, 2010). Managing such supplier-customer collaboration (see, for example, Handfield et al., 1999; Walter et al., 2001) is thus an activity that interfaces not only with manufacturing and RD but also with traditional corporate boundaries.
The purpose of this special issue on "Managing the manufacturing: RD interface" is to bridge the gap between the research domains of operations and innovation management. These research streams are naturally closely inter-related, but too often they are treated separately by different groups of researchers. Contributions are invited from practitioners and scholars, irrespective of their theoretical or methodological orientation and background. The possible sub-topics listed below are more suggestive than exhaustive.
The firm's production system - a constraint for product innovation or a "window of opportunity"?
An organisational and innovation work-process perspective on the Manufacturing-RD interface; how to develop a more interactive approach between product innovation and the innovation of the firm's production system?
Exploring and interfacing Operations Management and Innovation Management as two concepts embracing all the firm's activities -- two useful holistic ideals for future good management or just two illusive overlapping perspectives?
Reworking product and process innovation strategies in the light of business model alterations - setting the agenda or "going with the flow"?
Advancing complementary manufacturing aspects in business modelling -- a missing link in corporate strategy development and "business model innovation"?
Developing strategies for product innovation and innovation of manufacturing technology - addressing the issue of the "chicken and the egg".
Matching "market and machine" in asset-intensive manufacturing industry -- in search of an improved balance between market pull and technology push?
Simultaneous reverse engineering of products and production systems - in search of radical improvements in product portfolios and production systems.
Cost innovation -- the new imperative for the development not only of commodities but also of high-tech products?
Innovation of product and production technology in the supply/value chain perspective - where to find the most advantageous positions for effective innovation?
Product and process innovation in disruptive supply/value chains - how to manage new customer-supplier relations in innovation and necessary organisational and strategy transformations?
Manufacturing firm and equipment supplier collaborations -- from the innovation of new equipment to product and process development over the equipment's full operating life cycle.
From the perspective of outsourcing manufacturing to low-cost areas - does excellence in product innovation require manufacturing in-house, or can such geographical/organisational interfaces be overbridged by other means?
"Open operation" and the setting of new organisational boundaries - which manufacturing and related innovation activities should be conducted in-house, and which should be left to external actors to perform?
Open or closed innovation from a manufacturing perspective - counterbalancing the preservation of proprietary production technology with new ideas and capabilities from external collaborations.
You are invited to send in an extended abstract before the end of April 2012 for comments and feedback by the Guest Editors. The deadline for full paper submissions is 1 September 2012. Please send in abstracts and submit full papers to the coordinator:
Marie-Pierre KrausGrenoble Ecole de ManagementBP 127, 38003 Grenoble Cedex 01; France
Journal details can be found at the Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management web site: www.emeraldinsight.com/jmtm.htm The review process and layout guidelines are described in "Notes for contributors" at: www.emeraldinsight.com/info/journals/jmtm/notes.htm
For further information, do not hesitate to contact one of the Guest Editors for this special issue:Thomas LagerGrenoble Ecole de ManagementE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgJean-Philippe RennardGrenoble Ecole de ManagementE-mail: email@example.com
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