During the last two decades, the Western automobile industry has undergone significant changes. These changes have affected not only the internal organization of firms, but also their vertical limits and relationships with suppliers. This paper proposes an analytical model based on the concept of relational intensity, which allows us to characterize and analyze the current relationships maintained between automakers and direct suppliers, using the Japanese model as a frame of reference. The proposed model is applied to the case of the Spanish automobile industry. The automobile assemblers located in Spain maintain relationships of varying intensity with different groups of suppliers. There are four variables that explain this relational intensity: the technical complexity of the part/component, the human capital and locational specificity, and the market power of the supplier.
Barneto, M. and Franco, J. (2004), "Determining Factors of the Intensity of Assembler‐Supplier Relationships in the Automobile Industry", Management Research, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 65-79. https://doi.org/10.1108/15365430480000730Download as .RIS
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