University of Oulu

Kropsu‐Vehkaperä, H., Haapasalo, H., Härkönen, J. and Silvola, R. (2009), "Product data management practices in high‐tech companies", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 109 No. 6, pp. 758-774.

Product data management practices in high‐tech companies

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Author: Kropsu‐Vehkaperä, Hanna1; Haapasalo, Harri1; Härkönen, Janne1;
Organizations: 1Department of Industrial Engineering and Management,University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Elisa Corporation, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2009
Publish Date: 2020-02-11


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide tangible examples of product data management (PDM) practices in large high‐tech companies, and to highlight current challenges.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper is a qualitative interview study. First, a PDM system frame was defined to aid analyses. Second, an interview study was carried out in four companies to clarify the practical realisation of PDM, and the current challenges. The interviewees are experts in the field of PDM, currently holding significant related posts in their companies.

Findings: Overall, PDM activities are similar in all companies, however, there is some diversity in the realisation of these practices. PDM related challenges identified in this study are various, strongly influenced by company background and current organisational state.

Research limitations/implications: This paper includes interviews in four companies with different backgrounds, and a workshop, providing a good view on topical issues in the field of PDM. The obtained results could vary to some degree, should the sample size be larger, or especially should the products of the studied companies be less complex.

Practical implications: This paper provides managers and PDM system developers’ with a better understanding over the issues that are affecting PDM solution development and on major system requirements, together with relevant insight on current challenges.

Originality/value: The existing literature is relatively scarce in describing the practicalities of PDM. The obtained results highlight the significance of company background influencing the selection of PDM solutions.

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Series: Industrial management & Data systems
ISSN: 0263-5577
ISSN-E: 1758-5783
ISSN-L: 0263-5577
Volume: 109
Issue: 6
Pages: 758 - 774
DOI: 10.1108/02635570910968027
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Copyright information: © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited. The final authenticated version is available online at