Competition and collaboration issues in technology development and deployment

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2007

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Abstract

In today's marketplace firms have to become specialized in specific technological aspects in product development due to intensifying competition. Further, the increasing complexity of offerings make firms become more dependent on other value-chain contributors such as providers of complementary and component technologies. Therefore, in addition to the inherent market of appeal of product, a successful introduction may depend on the firm's interactions with suppliers and even "competitors". These interactions with other firms in the marketplace present a unique set of challenges to firms. In this dissertation, we explore how a firm's approach to interacting with supply chain partners and/or competitors may depend upon how its product provides value to customers. In the first essay, we look into how a firm should design the interdependence between a durable good and a consumable such as a printer and a cartridge and utilize the benefits of an industry of generic consumable suppliers. In the second essay, we analyze the different approaches that firms adopt while commercializing their technologies to competitors in a networked environment (such as telecommunications). We identify the impact of the competitor's development capabilities on the trade-off between the increased competition and network benefits. In the third essay, we explore situations in which firms collaborate to develop a component innovation that they later market individually; they codevelop and jointly market; and they choose to individually develop and market. We consider how competitive strategies between development partners should consider the influence of supplier formation on the investment incentives of an OEM. In summary, this dissertation examines how the management of interactions with supply chain partners and competitors can play an important role in technology development and deployment. Our results highlight key trade-offs and provide insights for managers who are involved in developing and deploying new products.

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