ASSESSING THE CONDITIONS FOR DISSEMINATION OF END-USER AND PURCHASER KNOWLEDGE IN A MEDTECH CONTEXT
DS 68-6: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 6: Design Information and Knowledge, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Chen, W.
Author: Wadell, Carl; Norell Bergendahl, Margareta
Section: Design Information and Knowledge Management
A challenge for many medical technology companies is to satisfy the often differing needs and requirements of the purchaser of new medical technology and the end-user. This implies that medical technology companies have to consider knowledge from both stakeholders when developing new products in order to maintain an innovative edge. In this article we apply social network analysis to investigate, describe and compare the different patterns of social interaction that facilitate dissemination of end-user and purchaser knowledge in a business unit within a large medical technology company. The results indicate significant differences, both in structure and content, between the social interaction that facilitates the dissemination of end-user knowledge and that which facilitates dissemination of purchaser knowledge, respectively. Based on these findings, we argue that many medical technology companies may, by adapting their approach to the way they handle different types of customer knowledge, have untapped potential in increasing both their innovation performance and their competitive advantage. We conclude with suggested directions for future research on this topic.