Social technologies for cross-functional product development: SWOT analysis and implications

By Christian, January 10, 2012

Reading Time: < 1 minute


Innovation is triggered by the cross-pollination of fields and disciplines. In product development, this means bringing together people with different expertise to develop breakthrough product and service offers. In spite of their great potential, cross-functional efforts are not yet adequately supported from a knowledge perspective, asking for a more open and bottom-up open approach to knowledge management. The paper aims to investigate how social technologies can enhance collaboration and knowledge sharing in complex, cross-functional and cross-organizational product development projects. It initially highlights the role of weak ties as enablers for more innovative design processes, especially when manufacturing companies move towards developing integrated offers mixing hardware, software and services. Emerging from data collected in two case studies conducted within the European aeronautical industry, it applies the Strength-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) framework to highlight how tools such as wikis, blogs, forum and microblogs can shorten and increase the quality of early design decisions. Furthermore it elaborates on how the design team can enhance its perception of the needs to be addressed and leverage its capability to develop solutions for the task at hand.


Social technologies, product development, SWOT


Bertoni, M., Chirumalla, K., & Johansson, C. (2012). Social technologies for cross-functional product development: SWOT analysis and implications. i 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Science (HICSS). (s. 3918-3927). Los Alamos, Calif.: IEEE. (Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences ). doi: 10.1109/HICSS.2012.538

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