Organizational interfaces and innovation: The challenge of integrating supplier knowledge in LEGO systems.
Journal article, 2019

Suppliers have become increasingly important as partners in firms┬┤innovation efforts. Reaping potential collaboration benefits is complex due to challenges in combining internal and external knowledge. The paper explores how how various types of organizational interfaces buyer and supplier create both opportunities and problems for their joint actions. The paper is based on a longitudinal case study of attempts to develop an innovative packaging solution for the toy manufacturer LEGO systems. The study shows that buying firms need to carefully analyse what form of organizational interface access to prioritize since each type offers its specific possibilities and drawbacks.

Organizational learning


Supplier input

Collaborative innovation

Organizational interfaces


Poul Houman Andersen

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Aalborg University

Lars-Erik Gadde

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management

1478-4092 (ISSN)

Vol. 25 1 18-29

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Economics and Business



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