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The nature of buyer‐supplier relationships in co‐design activities: The Italian auto industry case

Francesco Zirpoli (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica, Università degli Studi di Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)
Mauro Caputo (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica, Università degli Studi di Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 December 2002

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Abstract

The nature of buyer‐supplier relationships has been closely linked to nation specific explanations and concern has been expressed in literature regarding the transferability of co‐design best practices to different firms and countries. On the other hand, many attempts to isolate best practices and to apply them on a global scale have been proposed in the literature. Contributes to the issue by analysing a controversial case study based on the Italian automotive industry. Results show that few aspects of the Japanese contextual features and American ones existed when the major Italian car maker decided to outsource component design and dramatically change its supply chain management approach. Moreover, despite the massive involvement of suppliers at a very early stage of the car maker new product development process, not all the best practices deemed to be necessary when implementing a co‐operative buyer‐supplier relationship have been applied. Argues that these results lead us to question the very nature of effective buyer‐supplier relationships as described by the dominant literature and suggests implications for practitioners and for future research.

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Citation

Zirpoli, F. and Caputo, M. (2002), "The nature of buyer‐supplier relationships in co‐design activities: The Italian auto industry case", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 22 No. 12, pp. 1389-1410. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570210452066

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited