Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2013


Ilknur H. Tekin

Course Title

Communication and Team Building

Course Number

ETM 522


The Not-Invented-Here (NIH)syndrome is the way people in organizations refuse external knowledge or technologies that may shorten development times and lower costs.NIH is a “negative attitude to knowledge that originates from a source outside the one’s own institution”. This attitude can be observed on the individual level but can also be found in groups. A study by Katz and Allen found that groups can peak over time before falling into NIH. A literature review in 2006shows the antecedents and consequences of NIH. A real case of overcoming NIH syndrome is examined in this research. Based on the literature review and the case study an interrelationship diagram (ID) is created by team brain storm. ID allowsteams to systematically identify, analyzes, and classify causes and effects existing among critical issues, so key drivers or outcomes can become an effective solution.An ID is used to identify the causes and outcomes of the NIH syndrome and hence provided the count measurements. The countermeasuresinclude limiting the tenure period of team members to 2 to 4 years,regular communication with external knowledge sources, rewarding system taking the external R&D process into consideration and giving the employees the job security when external solution is adopted. At last, the research points out that the NIH is not a negative decision in several circumstances, such as, when the core competency of a company lies in the knowledge being developed internally, the revelation of trade secrets during cooperation with other partners is concerned, and the process or time control of external development could be lost. So the decision of internal or external development should be made not only to avoid NIH but also to avoid over emphasis of external development.


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