The Organisation of External Resources Through Guest Engineers

Nigel Slack, David Twigg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper describes exploratory research which investigates the scope, nature, role and activities of guest engineers. Guest engineers are an inter-firm organisational mechanism which is usually deployed as a compromise between the total outsourcing of design on the one hand, and the total in-house development of products on the other. A classification of guest engineers is presented based on their permanent (or semi-permanent) location and the main focus of their engineering expertise. Four types of guest engineer are identified — the pure form of which is termed the guest design engineer (GDE). Suppliers of GDEs, together with their hosts, are examined to identify their most significant activities and tasks. These are divided into clusters of similar activities which are assessed according to their relative importance and relative performance. Differences are found between suppliers' and customers' perceptions of both the importance and performance of each of these cluster activities. In addition, three sets of significant role design decisions are identified: the scheduling of GDEs; the nature of the required skills; and the direct activities of GDEs during the development process itself. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of International Journal of Innovation Management is the property of World Scientific Publishing Company and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-62
    Number of pages36
    JournalInternational Journal of Innovation Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999


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