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Cross-functional co-operation and networking in industrial settings
KTH, Superseded Departments, Machine Design.
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The main process of this dissertation involves thedevelopment and refinement of a conceptual framework fordescribing and discussing cross-functional co-operation andnetworking within product realisation processes. The conceptualframework, the analysis of the case study and a discussion ofthe implications and challenges for research and industrialsector are the main results of the dissertation.

Industrial firms face different demands, which create anumber of potential sources of conflicts(‘faster–better–cheaper’), for examplebetween market, product development and manufacturingfunctions. The transformation of industrial firms from beingtraditionally hierarchically organised to becoming team-,project- and process-based has delegated a number ofresponsibilities to employees–for example, to interactwith others in planning and decision-making, and to act onissues or problems that may arise during daily work. Thissituation requires that new workand co-operation patterns aredeveloped between employees and between work units. Theestablishment of new co-operative behaviour seldom developswithout active support. Several studies confirm that there is aneed for organisational/managerial support for cross-functionalco-operation to develop, but that this type of support is oftenneglected (Blackler et al, 1997; Gabrielsson, 1998; Majchrzakand Wang, 1996).

The case study, reported in this dissertation, waslongitudinal and context-oriented. The study pointed out thatan integrative view of management on the entire ProductRealisation Process (PRP) was lacking during the first vitalphases of the organisational restructuring. However, itdeveloped continuously over time, which indicates a change inorganisational paradigm. Support for cross-functionalco-operation was considered and implemented only after thatco-operation had collapsed in a pilot group. The support was,for example, based on‘Work Reflection Seminars’,which served as forums for discussing the new ways of working.In addition, two different parallel networks, originating fromthe previous organisational structure, had considerable impacton the development of cross-functional co-operation, whichdemonstrates the importance and power of practised rather thanformally ordered activities.

Keywords:Cross-functional Co-operation, Networking,Product Realisation Process, Concurrent Engineering, Productdevelopment, Production, Organisational Change, OrganisationalRestructuring.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Maskinkonstruktion , 2002. , 173 p.
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2002:4
Keyword [en]
cross-functional co-operation, networking, prokuct realisation process, concurrent engineering, product development.
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3325ISBN: OAI: diva2:9113
Public defence
NR 20140805Available from: 2002-04-19 Created: 2002-04-19Bibliographically approved

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