Paper info: Collaborative relationships within a subsidiary network context: a case study in the automotive industry
Collaborative relationships within a subsidiary network context: a case study in the automotive industry
Douglas Macbeth, Maria de Lurdes Veludo andSharon Purchase
University of Western Australia
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 18th IMP-conference in Perth, Australia in 2002.
This paper explores buyer-supplier relationships (BSR) in the automotive andcomponent industries. More specifically, it investigates the collaborative businessrelationships between a Portuguese based subsidiary of a major American automotivemanufacturer and its Portuguese based direct suppliers (PBDS). This paper attempts tocapture the extent of collaboration in the dyadic business relationships (DBR) involved,and to identify the factors that influence the establishment and development ofcollaboration in these DBR. In particular, the network of external relationships asubsidiary company has with its direct suppliers is investigated and conclusions drawn.A qualitative approach is favoured and a single case study is used. The researchapproach is cross-sectional in design and is descriptive and exploratory. This paperdemonstrates a number of results: (1) the dyadic level of analysis is a necessary, but notsufficient unit of analysis to understand buyer-supplier relationships; (2) collaborationcannot be assumed to take place 'naturally', but it becomes another managerial choice;(3) collaboration is contingent on the position, role and influence level at differentpoints in the network; (4) if the collaboration effort is not well targeted, performancelevels will be impacted, and (5) at the dyadic level, performance improvement may bemore dependent on the MNC network interactions than on the locally permitted activity.