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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Joongsan Oh and Seung‐Kyu Rhee

This study aims to investigate relationships among supplier capabilities, collaboration in new car development, and the competitive advantage of carmakers based on the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate relationships among supplier capabilities, collaboration in new car development, and the competitive advantage of carmakers based on the resource‐based view (RBV).

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of first‐tier suppliers in the Korean automotive parts industry was conducted, and pertinent hypotheses were tested by using the ordinary least squares (OLS) method and hierarchical multiple regression analysis (HMRA).

Findings

It was found that suppliers' flexibility, engineering and modularization capabilities positively influence collaboration in new car development, which in turn positively affects the competitive advantage of carmakers. This result empirically verifies the RBV proposition that one motive for interfirm collaboration can be the opportunity to gain access to other firms' resources/capabilities. The theory of the RBV was further extended by demonstrating that suppliers' quality improvement and modularization capabilities directly contribute to the competitive advantage of carmakers and that the influence of quality improvement and modularization capabilities on this competitive advantage are robust against technological uncertainty. However, the positive effect of collaboration in new car development on the competitive advantage of carmakers is decreased by the moderating effect of technological uncertainty.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study were obtained from a limited population of the Korean automotive industry. This study not only empirically verified the proposition of the RBV but also extended the RBV theory by empirically demonstrating direct relationships between suppliers' capabilities and carmakers' competitive advantages.

Practical implications

Suppliers must enhance flexibility, modularization and engineering capabilities in order to vitalize collaboration with carmakers in new car development. As technological uncertainty increases, carmakers should address in‐house the problems caused by technological uncertainty or delegate related jobs only to suppliers with significant capabilities for quality improvement and modularization.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies to identify the moderating effect of technological uncertainty on interfirm collaboration.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 48 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2011

Kyung‐Tae Kim, Seung‐Kyu Rhee and Joongsan Oh

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the strategic role evolution of client‐following local subsidiaries of foreign automotive parts suppliers in China.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the strategic role evolution of client‐following local subsidiaries of foreign automotive parts suppliers in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The units of analysis are five local subsidiaries of foreign automotive parts suppliers dealing with Beijing Hyundai Motor Corporation in China; a case study methodology based on interviews with managers of the subsidiaries was employed.

Findings

First, a modified version of Ferdows's model can be utilized to aptly analyze the strategic role changes of subsidiaries of foreign automotive parts suppliers which have followed their major client into the emerging market. Second, the development of a subsidiary's functional capabilities varies from subsidiary to subsidiary, depending on the headquarters' (HQ) global strategy and the nature of its interactions with external players. Third, the strategic role evolution of a subsidiary is critically influenced by the levels of its functional capabilities. Finally, the mechanism for a subsidiary's strategic role evolution can be explained by the interactions of three critical factors: the task assigned by HQ, the subsidiary's choice, and the local environment.

Research limitations/implications

The external validity of this case study is yet to be verified and the possible gaps in perceptions between the subsidiary and the HQ have not yet been addressed. This is the first case study to address the strategic role evolution of client‐following subsidiaries of automotive parts suppliers.

Practical implications

This study presents the HQ with a framework for role assignments and a checklist for planning the development of a subsidiary's capabilities.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to investigate the strategic role evolution of local subsidiaries of foreign automotive parts suppliers in the emerging market, and it finds critical factors affecting capability development, which in turn shape the subsidiary's process of role evolution.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 May 2008

Joongsan Oh and Seung‐Kyu Rhee

The purpose of this paper is to identify the manufacturer‐supplier collaboration (MSC) types in the automotive industry and factors that affect such collaboration.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the manufacturer‐supplier collaboration (MSC) types in the automotive industry and factors that affect such collaboration.

Design/methodology/approach

The unit of analysis is 1st tier suppliers registered with Hyundai‐KIA Motors Corporation (HKMC); a survey was conducted targeting these 1st tier suppliers. Then, hypotheses were tested using a hierarchical multiple regression analysis.

Findings

First, five distinct MSC types were identified as follows: collaborative communication, collaboration in new car development, collaborative problem solving, strategic purchasing, and supplier development. Second, contrary to previous studies, suppliers' customer proliferation capability is found to affect MSC positively. Of suppliers' capabilities, flexibility, dependability improvement, module, design, and 2nd tier supplier development/coordination capabilities affect MSC positively. Third, while technology uncertainty is found to have a significant moderating effect on the influence supplier capabilities exercise over collaborative problem solving and strategic purchasing, it has no direct impact on any MSC type.

Research limitations/implications

Sampling is limited to a relatively small number of HKMC's 1st tier suppliers. Of note is that this study examined factors affecting MSC, focusing on supplier capabilities. In terms of methodology, surveys, and interviews were conducted concurrently to ensure reliability of results.

Practical implications

First tier suppliers can review their MSC activities and identify which capabilities they need to develop in order to strengthen their MSC with due consideration of technology uncertainty. Auto manufacturers can also benefit from the empirically tested MSC typologies.

Originality/value

This study not only considered technology uncertainty as a moderator of the impact that supplier capabilities have on MSC, but also improved the understanding of MSC through empirical examination.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2020

Martin Krzywdzinski and Hyung Je Jo

Building on neo-institutionalism models of the transfer of human resource management (HRM) practices within multinational companies, this paper aims to analyze the…

Abstract

Purpose

Building on neo-institutionalism models of the transfer of human resource management (HRM) practices within multinational companies, this paper aims to analyze the transfer of skill formation concepts using the cases of two automotive OEMs in Slovakia. The purpose of the paper is twofold. First, it aims to explain the differences between the two multinationals. Second, it builds on the empirical analysis to reconsider the neo-institutionalist theoretical framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on two qualitative case studies of automotive multinationals in Slovakia. The home country locations of both companies represent different approaches to skill formation: systematic vocational education for blue-collar workers is regarded as crucial at the German manufacturer, while the Korean company relies mainly on on-the-job-training and puts much less emphasis on skilled blue-collar work.

Findings

The paper shows that the differences between the companies are related to different understandings of technology/automation. It argues that the increasing automation and the decentralization of responsibilities for the product-launch processes supported the transfer of German skill formation concepts to the plant in Slovakia, while the Korean manufacturer’s specific engineering-led automation concept and centralization of product launch responsibilities in its Korean headquarters reduced the need to invest in skill formation for blue collars abroad. The paper concludes that theories of the transfer of HRM practices within multinationals must include technological factors and must also develop more specific concepts of the centralization of multinationals.

Originality/value

The paper is to the knowledge the first to include technology as a core variable into the neo-institutionalist theory in the field of international business and HRM. While the relationship between technology and organization has gained huge prominence in the recent discussions about digitalization, it has been so far neglected by scholars of international business.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

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