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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Ratna B. Chinnam

Abstract

In a time when the consumer electronics industry is getting new products to market at a rapid rate, automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) must identify ways of getting new products and features to customers faster and with high quality to maintain or increase market share. This accelerated product development process requires a positive relationship between conceptual design and quality in order for a firm to have high performance in strategic areas innovation and quality. The purpose of this dissertation is to research the impact that quality practices have on the advanced product development process. Specifically, this research is focused on the innovations that are an expected outcome of the advanced product development, or conceptual design, process in the traditional automotive industry. The conceptual model for this study was designed to understand how team factors including culture, shared meaning, information exchange along with the organizational complexity of interdepartmental interactions impacts firm quality and advanced product design performance. To investigate the relationship between quality and conceptual design or advanced product design teams, the study draws upon literature in the following domains: innovation, quality, and their intersection, organizational culture, organizational structure and networks, information exchange, and interdepartmental interactions. This research uses a Convergent Parallel Mixed Methods approach where both qualitative data and quantitative data were collected then analyzed separately. The results of the study show that the quality and advanced product design teams perceive their culture type to be the same. Additionally, there are some differences in shared meaning of innovation and quality between the teams. Lastly, the relationship between interdepartmental interactions and firm performance requires additional research.

For theory, the research is expected to contribute to the literature in the area of innovation and quality with reference to the behaviors and practices that facilitate or obstruct the development of fast-to-market innovations that will simultaneously improve quality performance. In practice, the research will raise awareness by educating management about ways to deal with the challenges of introducing fast-to-market technologies and innovations during the advanced product design process, while ensuring a positive impact on product quality.

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