Managing Electronic Product Development and Supplier Integration Activities in Taiwan: The Moderating Role of Knowledge Sharing

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Primary Supervisor
Stewart, Rodney
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Doh, Jeung-Hwan
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Date
2010
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Abstract

The advent of rapidly advancing information technologies and fierce global competition has forced manufacturing companies to rethink traditional business models and practices. Information systems are widely used for supporting real-time decision making throughout the entire geographically diverse operations of the modern manufacturing company. Additionally, the importance of employee empowerment has been recognised and supported by organisational learning and sharing programs. Undoubtedly, past literature supports the view that the integration of supply chains and innovative product development practices not only involve the more visible flow of tangible resources and assets, but also the integration and reproduction of intangible assets such as expertise and knowledge. Given that integrated supplier management (ISM) and new product development (NPD) are two of the most essential business activities in manufacturing companies and intangible assets have come to the forefront in the knowledge economy, an important issue that has been raised within this context is how the knowledge sharing (KS) process can leverage ISM and NPD activities to gain sustained competitive advantage. Asia has become the manufacturing centre of the modern world and Taiwanese electronic manufacturing companies have gained a dominant market share in the international information technology (IT) hardware market within a relatively short period of 15 years. It has long been understood how innovative ISM and NPD practices have helped position the Taiwanese electronic manufacturing sector to be a prominent global player, however there is still limited understanding as to how effective KS practices have directly or indirectly contributed to their success. Thus, the primary aims of this study was to provide evidence which supports the concept that KS is an essential enabler for leveraging heightened outcomes from ISM and NPD processes, ultimately generating higher levels of business performance (BP). More importantly, the study also seeks to reveal some of the actual higher order KS practices implemented, which have been pivotal to its leveraging power to these processes, within Taiwanese electronic manufacturing companies. Such deeper insights could serve as invaluable references for their counterparts in the other economies, which are also striving to upgrade the technical and managerial competence of their manufacturing practices. To a large extent, previous research studies have provided a great deal of knowledge about the essential roles of NPD and ISM in improving the BP of manufacturing companies. However, there is still a demand for shifting research focus toward empirical studies that investigate the actual implementation of KS in manufacturing companies; especially to uncover how KS actions interact with other key manufacturing business activities.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Degree Program
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Griffith School of Engineering
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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
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Subject
Global competition
Electronic products
Knowledge sharing
Product development
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