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Performance measurement for evaluatingpractices and tools in product development: An exploratory study in theSwedish manufacturing industry
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Management.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis addresses the lack of studies regarding performance measurement for practices and

tools in product development. The aim of this thesis is to empirically study product

development units in large Swedish manufacturing companies in order to build understanding

of how organizations know the performance of their practices and tools. A secondary

objective is to add on to the empirical base within the field and to provide insights on how to

develop performance measurements for practices and tools to meet industry needs as well as

to provide managers with insights to improve their activities. The empirical setting in this

thesis is represented by 17 product development units at large manufacturing companies with

product development activities in Sweden. The data was gathered through semi-structured

telephone interviews with two respondents – one method/process responsible manager and

one product development manager at senior middle level - from each company.

The results indicate that it is common that organizations do not measure the performance of

used practices and tools. Four reasons for this could be distinguished from the interviews: 1)

organizations are struggling with setting up performance measurement systems for practices

and tools; 2) different practices and tools have distinct suitability and need to be measured; 3)

measuring practices and tools’ performance is by many respondents not considered a gamechanging

or fundamental activity worth the required resources; 4) many respondents consider

it to be sufficient to only measure practices and tools’ performance under their

implementation. Another contribution the thesis makes is a set of similarities regarding the

respondents’ ways of measuring. This thesis also to some extent systemizes the contributions

in literature for this field of study, which is something that scholars can use to build future

research on, and as a final result the study arrives at two recommended future research paths

that could benefit managers. In all, the results in this paper represent important empirical

evidence of how product development is managed and controlled in product development

units at large Swedish manufacturing companies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 80 p.
Keyword [en]
product development, practices, tools, performance measurement, performance
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-141763OAI: diva2:698283
Available from: 2014-02-24 Created: 2014-02-21 Last updated: 2014-02-24Bibliographically approved

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