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ASSESSING THE CONDITIONS FOR DISSEMINATION OF END-USER AND PURCHASER KNOWLEDGE IN A MEDTECH CONTEXT
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Integrated Product Development.
2011 (English)In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE 18TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN (ICED 11): IMPACTING SOCIETY THROUGH ENGINEERING DESIGN, VOL 6: DESIGN INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE, The Design Society, 2011, 200-209 p.Conference paper (Refereed)Text
Abstract [en]

A challenge for many medical technology companies acting in a business-to-business (B2B) context is to develop innovative products that satisfy the sometimes differing needs and requirements of their end-users and purchasers. These companies have to exploit knowledge about both stakeholders in order to maintain an innovative edge. Research to date has largely focused on the acquisition of customer knowledge, in particular on formal methods to acquire customer knowledge in the search for new opportunities. Much less research has considered how companies acting in a B2B context handle and make use of end-user and purchaser knowledge internally. One fundamental prerequisite to disseminate and exploit knowledge about end-users and purchasers in a company is that employees carry out a continuous social interaction concerning these stakeholders. But what are the structures for these dual social networks concerning end-users and purchasers within a company acting in a B2B context? In this article we apply social network analysis to investigate, describe and compare the different patterns of social interaction of end-user and purchaser knowledge in a business unit within a large medical technology company acting in a B2B context. A survey questionnaire was designed and sent out to 115 employees within the business unit, resulting in 86 valid responses (response rate 75%). The aim of the survey was to map how conversations about end-users and purchasers had occurred within the organization over the last three years. The results indicate large differences, both in structure and content, between the social interaction concerning end-users and purchasers. Based on these findings, we argue that medical technology companies acting in a B2B context can, by adapting their approach to the way they communicate end-user and purchaser knowledge, release untapped potential to increase both their innovation performance and their competitive advantage. We conclude with suggested directions for future research on this topic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Design Society, 2011. 200-209 p.
Series
, International Conference on Engineering Design, ISSN 2220-4334 ; 6
Keyword [en]
Customer knowledge, internal communication, medical technology, social network analysis, product innovation engineering
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179114ISI: 000318571100020ISBN: 978-1-904670-26-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-179114DiVA: diva2:881278
Conference
18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), AUG 15-18, 2011, Tech Univ Denmark (DTU), Copenhagen, DENMARK
Note

QC 20151210

Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2015-12-10Bibliographically approved

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Norell Bergendahl, Margareta
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ReferencesLink to record
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