Antti Rantala’s Master’s thesis titled Inter-organizational collaboration in software product development , conducted as a part of the AUTOPORT project at VTT, has been published at University of Vaasa. The thesis is available online:

The objective of the thesis was to investigate different companies’ interests towards deep collaboration models, such as contractual alliances and joint ventures, in software development. Other objective was to examine what benefits and risks these collaboration models include, as well as which are the enablers and barriers for such collaboration.

The research was done by interviewing 13 managers/directors that were related to their companies product development. Majority of the interviewed people were product development managers or technology managers.

Results showed that software co-development in a contractual alliance aroused moderate interest, whereas forming a joint venture for software co-development aroused less interest among the interviewees. However, some of the interviewees thought that joint venture would be a better governance model for joint software development.

Main benefits that interviewees saw in a deep collaboration in software development were the possibility to increase the speed and creativity in processes while sharing the costs and risks of the development work. The main risks in deep collaboration were the uncertainty about collaboration costs, risk of getting too dependent of the partner and risk of getting unfair share of the jointly created value. Trust, open knowledge sharing and sufficient contracting skills were seen as the main enablers for deep collaboration, whereas limited time and complex contracting were the main barriers for such collaboration.

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