Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


This is a report on a two year project funded by the European Commission which focussed on the issues involved in building collaborative networks for new product development. The project was carried out by university-based partners located in three European countries, Denmark, Germany and the UK. The main premise for the project was that new product development is increasingly reliant on the development of strong networks, both internal and external to the innovating firm. The aim of the project was to investigate the role of social processes through which active network builders form, develop and sustain such collaborative networking.
Although the selected case studies differed in all three countries, both the methodology and the thematic case analyses remained constant. The focus was on three levels of analysis, micro or internal organisational level of research, meso, or inter-organisational level, and macro or national and international level of network building. In total the findings are based on six detailed cases, representing one major and one minor case from each country. The cases cover a range of different technologies in a number of sectors, also focussing on different sections of the product development process. In all cases, however, the object of analysis has been the role of network building management and maintenance related to the product development under study. A major issue has been the role of the particular technology in the networks under study, in terms of changes in networking behaviour which takes place as the technology is developed.

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