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Contents of IMP Journal issue 2, volume 4

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A Critical Episode Analysis of the Dynamics of the Interaction Atmosphere in a New Product Development Relationship


Patrick Lynch and Thomas O’Toole


This paper deals with collaborative user involvement in the new product development (NPD) process. The
purpose of this paper is to describe the dynamics of the interaction atmosphere that occurred in a long-term
relationship between a packaging technology supplier and its food manufacturer partner in the development of a
plastic film during the NPD process. Utilizing an interpretative case study approach, the empirical evidence is
based upon interviews, reflective practices, observation and documents. The paper will detail seven critical
interaction episodes and provides valuable insight into the dynamics of the interaction atmosphere that occur in
close collaborative relationships. The findings showed that the interaction atmosphere between the two
companies went through alternating cycles of divergence and convergence to maintain and re-negotiate an
already established belief structure of expected and accepted behaviour.
Keywords: Critical episodes, dynamics of interaction atmosphere, user involvement in new product
development, case study

The emergence of a successful business network – What was the role of public policy?


Tommy Shih


To promote industrial development and economic growth is a vital issue for governments all over
the world. The ideals guiding policymakers in their endeavours, strongly influenced by traditional economics and
the innovation system approach, are that innovations based on new and advanced knowledge are central for
industrial and economic development. As is exemplified through the quote below policymakers have no problem
with finding inspiration from regions such as Silicon Valley.
The idea that so much could grow in so short time within such small geographical area sent
planning bodies from Albuquerque to Zimbabwe scrambling to grow the next Silicon Valley on their
own backyard. Sturgeon (2000: p.15)
But although the identified “generic” features have been copied, there are few examples of how
ambitions to “artificially” create policy supported high-tech based business networks and industries have
succeeded. One of the few successful examples of policy created high-tech industries often mentioned is the
Taiwanese semiconductor industry. The story of the Taiwanese semiconductor industry is impressive as the one
of Silicon Valley; in just a few decades a booming industry developed from scratch. One of the most common
explanations to the transformation addresses the governing role of the state in coordinating industrial
development and creating a successful semiconductor business network. Some of the major factors mentioned
were for example the creation of public research institutes, the public provision of R&D, and the subsequent
transfer of technologies to a downstream sector created by Taiwanese policy. This envisioned development
scenario has been strongly supported in Taiwanese policy circles and forms a foundation of contemporary
Taiwanese industrial development policy. However this model of business creation applied to other industrial
areas has been widely criticized for not fulfilling it promises.
To investigate this issue, this paper takes a different and complementary view of the emergence
of a Taiwanese semiconductor business network. Based on a resource interaction perspective the study aims to
increase the understanding of forced network creations. The findings argue that the understanding that a network
was created by policy is clearly an over-simplification which omits several important factors in the emergence of
the semiconductor business network.