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Exploration of distributed design researchChapter 1 Introduction11 Introduction of the study13 The researchers background14 Thesis overview Chapter 2 Defining context and background21 Globalization and product development Under the influence of the globalization and the rapid development of information technology organizations are facing unprecedented challenges in this constantly changing and complicated environment Rezgui 2007 where new relationships and structures of the economic system are emerging AcsPreston 1997 With the boundaries of the world breaking down people are connected long-distance communication and collaboration is accessible by virtue of the prosperous of the information technology which creates innumerable opportunities and possibilities to the free market and meanwhile intensifies the worldwide competition Jung 2005 As a result of the great pressure of this competition enterprises were forced to shift to a new paradigm of doing business by innovating unceasingly and internationally AcsPreston 1997 Globalization has brought significant reforms in traditional production systems that empower companies to manage accelerated changes while exploiting greater mobility and access to information Larsson 2003 The effects of globalization on product development can be drawn from two aspects manufacturing strategy and RD activities With the ever-efficient modern transportation channels and cheap labor cost in the developing countries outsourcing of manufacturing to foreign countries becomes increasingly enticing for America and European countries Favreau 2007 Today outsourcing manufacturing is a widespread strategy to cut down labor cost and enhance production flexibility in the developed countries As a result of it companies are able to refocus limited human and financial resources on core competitiveness Favreau 2007 such as new product innovation In this model companies can invest more funds and resource on product refinement and innovation Design as the core of innovation is still centralized in the company while production is decentralized around the world Brdek 2005 For example the Mercedes E-class was designed in its German headquarter but assembled in 7 different countries and sold all over the world On the other hand
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