This paper investigates how an organization can become customer oriented in terms of subculture formation originating from customer contact. Although existing market orientation research has assumed cultural homogeneity, this paper views organizational culture as a varying degree of shared cognition among its organizational members and focuses on individual employee's customer orientation. Drawing from the literature on subculture formation, the study proposes that customer contact is a significant source of subculture formation with respect to customer orientation and tests a model that assumes customer contact exerts a positive influence on customer orientation, which subsequently leads to organizational citizenship behavior. The results support the hypotheses and provide implications for developing a customer oriented organizational culture through leveraging customer contact.
Many studies have shown that Japanese automakers and their respective suppliers cooperate closely even in product development processes. However, most of these studies merely analyzed individual product development projects and discussed factors affecting it, such as development lead times, development man-hours, and product quality, thereby failing to cover cooperation between them in the advanced research and development processes. This paper is designed to analyze the latter aspect as quantitatively as possible. This paper concludes that cooperation between Japanese automakers and their respective suppliers has been expanding into the development of advanced technologies, and suppliers that have the capability to participate in such advanced research and development activities have had closer relations with automakers than others.
The study attempts to elucidate how novel technologies are introduced into products through interfirm collaboration under vertical disintegration drawing on the cases of the Japanese, Taiwanese, and Chinese mobile handset industries. The global surge of vertical disintegration enhances the interfirm modularity of development processes. Nevertheless, the adoption of a novel technology platform requires collaborative development processes between a technology platform vendor and a product developer. The level of collaborative processes is relevant to system integration of nested modules, which is driven by the necessity of system knowledge, rather than technology integration. These findings show that effective system knowledge management through intefirm collaboration plays a critical role in the assimilation of novel technology platforms into products even in modularized interfirm development processes. The collaborative process could even secure the systemic evolution of technologies and products under vertical disintegration.