Based on empirical research, presents an interpretative model of the dynamics occurring in the subcontracting relationships between large purchasers and small subcontractors. Shows that the small units often supply a product that is not sufficiently differentiated and technologically advanced; are for the most part dependent on a few large purchasers; find it increasingly difficult to follow the contractor’s quality and reliability requirements; have an adequate amount of machinery but neglect other forms of investment (i.e. in data processing equipment, education and training); and have problems with the introduction of innovations especially due to the lack of a skilled workforce. Illustrates the subcontracting behaviour of small businesses by means of a model which considers two aspects: the “strategic positioning”, evaluated in terms of kind and object of subcontracting; and the “operational positioning”, regarding the introduction of innovations into the operations. The different areas of strategic and operational positioning are discussed in terms of competitive and earning success. Indicates a possible strategic‐operational development pathway leading towards more qualified subcontractors/large purchaser relationships.
De Toni, A. and Nassimbeni, G. (1996), "Strategic and operational choices for small subcontracting firms: Empirical results and an interpretative model", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 16 No. 6, pp. 41-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443579610119081Download as .RIS
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