|Budget Amount *help
¥2,800,000 (Direct Cost: ¥2,800,000)
Fiscal Year 2003: ¥900,000 (Direct Cost: ¥900,000)
Fiscal Year 2002: ¥900,000 (Direct Cost: ¥900,000)
Fiscal Year 2001: ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,000,000)
This research project has resulted in three major findings regarding strategic deployment of information technology for product development network.
First, we have found that introduction of information technology alone is not enough for manufacturing firms to improve product development performance. The most critical point is building up "front-loading" organizational capabilities for effective joint problem solving among partner firms in product development network. Appropriate organizational capabilities and system are needed to jointly solve problems through collaborative efforts among partners. However, it is difficult to change existing organizational structure and processes especially when the processes extend beyond single firm. As a result, we have found that quite a few firms cannot enjoy the benefits of three-dimensional CAD that is supposed to enhance front-loading problem solving activities.
Second, we have found that inter-firm learning and inter-firm trust are necessary fo
r firms to effectively collaborate to each other in product development network. Inter-firm learning enhances collaborative capabilities of firms. In addition, in order to improve inter-firm learning capabilities, inter-firm or network trust is needed. Network trust is established when member firms share the same network identity, values and knowledge.
Third, top-management leadership is found to be critical for manufacturing firms to introduce new information technology effectively and rapidly, because the introduction requires radical changes in corporate strategy and organizational structure. However, at the same time, we have found that top management must implement radical changes so that they do not destroy core competences of Japanese firms that feature excellent manufacturing processes and skills.
In the future, we need to conduct research on integration mechanism between Japanese manufacturing capabilities and state-of-the-art information technologies that are mostly developed by the Western firms. Less