New research by WSU supply chain professor investigates product development

Organizations around the world recently have begun to involve suppliers early on in the development of new products, with the intention of developing better products in a more efficient manner.

New research by Tingting Yan, an assistant professor of global supply chain management in the Wayne State University School of Business, investigates how a variety of factors can impact the success – or lack thereof – in these types of projects.

Yan’s new study, titled “Structuring supplier involvement in new product development: A China-US study,” has been accepted for publication in the Decision Sciences Journal, a premier business research publication in the field of decision sciences.

A full abstract of the article is below.


Structuring supplier involvement in new product development: A China-US study


Buying and supplying organizations rely on each other for developing better products in an efficient manner, which explains the popularity of involving suppliers in new product development (NPD). However, such involvement is not always successful, partially due to the challenges of structuring a buyer-supplier team to manage joint dependence and dependence asymmetry. This study adopts an organizational dependence view to examine how three types of inter-group structures – administrative (formalization and centralization), task (task interdependence) and physical (co-location) - influence project performance and buyer learning in NPD projects. Further, adopting a contingency theory perspective, we study whether the national context moderates the effects of inter-group structures on project outcomes. We adopt a two group structural equation modeling approach to test hypotheses with survey responses from a sample of NPD projects in the United States (US) and China. Results show different ways in which inter-group structures influence project performance and buyer learning in the two culturally, economically and institutionally distinct countries. We discuss the implications of these new findings and present directions for future research.

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