International Journal of Technology Management (26 papers in press)
Growth intention and sales revenue growth in small Business: The mediating effect of firm size growth
by Beate Cesinger, Katherine Gundolf, Mickael Géraudel
Abstract: While the direct influence of growth intention on small business growth has been examined in entrepreneurship literature, little research distinguishes the different forms of growth and how they are interrelated. This article draws upon growth intention to examine whether firm size growth is the channel through which growth intention influences sales revenue growth. Results from the analysis of a dataset of 20,472 French new ventures reveal that: (1) growth intention has a positive impact on sales revenue growth; (2) firm size growth has a positive impact on sales revenue growth; and (3) firm size growth mediates the effect of growth intention on sales revenue growth. These findings show that firm size growth is a means to achieve sales revenue growth and not only a finality per se.
Keywords: growth intention; growth; small business.
Are Technology Improvement Rates of Knowledge Industries Following Moores Law? -An Empirical Study of Microprocessor, Mobile Cellular, and Genome Sequencing Technologies-
by Yu Sang Chang, Jinsoo Lee, Yun Seok Jung
Abstract: Critical technologies in knowledge economy may advance at an exponential rate of improvement. The best known example of such exponential trend of improvement has been provided by Moores Law. First, this paper shows that Moores Law is still valid by examining the development of microprocessor technology for the period from 1971 to 2010. Second, this paper finds that such exponential rate of improvement can be found in other technologies such as mobile cellular and genome sequencing technologies. However, their exponential improvement rates vary from technology to technology. Lastly, this paper examines whether the improvement rate has been slowed down in recent years. This paper finds that the improvement rate has been slowed down in the clock speed of microprocessors. However, there is no such downward trend in transistor density, million instructions per second, and mobile cellular technology. On the other hand, the improvement rate became higher over the last 10 years in genome sequencing technology which is in the early stages of development.
Keywords: Knowledge Industry; Exponential Trends of Improvement; Moore’s Law; Microprocessor; Mobile Cellular; Genome Sequencing.
The Linkage between TMT Knowledge Diversity and Firm-level Innovation: the Role of Organizational Search Scope and Managerial Discretion
by Doohee Chung, Theresa Cho, Jina Kang
Abstract: In this study, we develop a new perspective on the linkage between the knowledge base of the top management team (TMT) and innovation performance. Using longitudinal data on the patent activities of 120 firms in U.S. manufacturing industries, we find that the knowledge diversity based on a TMTs prior experiences affects organizational innovation. Specifically, firms can achieve greater innovativeness if their top teams have a higher degree of knowledge diversity, i.e., a more generalized knowledge base. In addition, the degree of organizational search scope positively moderates this linkage between TMT knowledge diversity and firm innovation. In addition, we also found that the degree of managerial discretion at the industry level enhances the linkage between TMT knowledge diversity and firm innovation.
Keywords: top management team; knowledge diversity; search behavior; managerial discretion; innovativeness.
The impact of knowledge attributes on technological learning routine within industrial clusters
by Jingjing Guo, Bin Guo, Xiaoling Chen, Jian Du
Abstract: From a knowledge processing perspective, this paper defines the concept of technological learning routine based on four distinct processes in technological learning: knowledge acquisition, knowledge maintenance, knowledge reactivation and knowledge transformation. We propose that knowledge attributes (i.e., knowledge tacitness and knowledge heterogeneity) have significant impacts on the intensity and the variety of the technological learning routine within industrial clusters. Survey data from 231 industrial cluster firms reveals that knowledge tacitness has a positive and significant influence on both the intensity and the variety of the technological learning routine, while knowledge heterogeneity is negatively related to the variety of the technological learning routine within industrial clusters. This study contributes to the literature through clarifying the operationalization of the technological learning routine construct, and providing a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the knowledge attributes and technological learning routine within industrial clusters.
Keywords: knowledge tacitness; knowledge heterogeneity; technological learning routine; industrial cluster.
The Strategy of Repeated Open and Narrow Approaches for Standardized Media
by Haruo Awano, Koji Tanabe
Abstract: International standardization contributes to market expansion. The standardization also leads to the rapid spread of the technology and allows easy entry for many competitors into the market. This often leads to severe price erosion, with the result that a company which develops business opportunities from innovation fails to profit therefrom. This paper examines the way in which Sony was able to succeed in profiting from the business of 130 mm MO media in spite of the fact that the media was ISO standardized which allowed many competitors to enter the market. A key factor for the success is a strategy of repeated open and narrow approaches. One approach is to build an entry barrier by creating a market in demand for highly reliable media. The other approach is periodic introduction of a new generation of the media with double capacity and its periodic standardization upon customers' demands. The market, which is once open to competitors through standardization, is narrowed again by the aforementioned strategy. The paper also studies the business of standardized 8 mm data tape media, accordingly, the research results can be applied to the business of tape media.
Keywords: international standardization; MO media; strategy; tape media; Sony; alliance; open approach; narrow approach; standardized media; repeated approaches; Magneto-Optic; entry barrier; periodic standardization; technology management.
Technology-driven Mergers and Acquisitions of Chinese Acquirers: Development of a Multi-Dimensional Framework for post-innovation performance
by Xiao Zhou, Liliana Mitkova, Lu Huang, Scott Cunningham, Lining Shang
Abstract: While some studies have observed the beneficial impact of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) on a firms innovation performance in developed countries, others have found the consequences to be neutral or even negative. This article develops an integrated framework to elucidate how the combination of technological relatedness and product relatedness between acquiring and target firms affects post-innovation performance of technology-driven M&As. This performance is investigated by using a set of parameters, namely R&D input, patent and product activity, and the financial results from commercialization. We conducted case studies on Chinas high-tech firms derived from three diverse industry sectors, and the empirical results indicate that both types of relatedness between the partners of technology-driven M&As are conducive to the intensification of R&D expenditures. The acquisition of similar technologies and products has more significant effects on R&D input and output, and M&As without technology relatedness have better financial performance, since they lead acquirers to new technology sectors or sub-sectors. In comparison, M&As with technological complementarity and product complementarity have negative effects on related innovation processes in the short term.
Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Technology-driven Mergers and Acquisitions; Technology relatedness; Product relatedness; Innovation performance.
The Knowledge Protection Paradox: Imitation and Innovation through Knowledge Sharing
by Kim Van Oorschot, Hans Solli-Sæther, Jan Terje Karlsen
Abstract: Western multinational corporations (MNCs) that want to get market access in China have to share knowledge with Chinese partners. Because this may invoke imitation, MNCs prefer to protect knowledge. This is a strategic paradox: MNCs have to share and protect knowledge. To analyze this paradox we develop a theoretical conceptual model capturing tensions and feedback cycles of this paradox. Next, based on data from the shipbuilding industry, a system dynamics model is developed to simulate long-term effects of sharing and protecting strategies. The results indicate that protection is detrimental to long-term success, because it undercuts the trust of the Chinese supplier and irreparably reduces innovation rates. Knowledge protection thus reduces instead of increases the ability to share (new) knowledge in the future. A sharing strategy increases imitation but also trust and knowledge sharing by the Chinese partner, such that it enhances the MNCs innovation rate and long-term performance.
Keywords: knowledge protection; knowledge sharing; strategic paradox; innovation; imitation; system dynamics.
Absorptive capacity, technological innovation capability and innovation performance: an empirical study in Hong Kong
by Antonio K.W. Lau, William Lo
Abstract: This study examines how different learning processes of absorptive capacity (AC) influence technological innovation capability (TIC), leading to better innovation performance and product competitiveness under a new industrial context. Data from a self-administrative industrial survey conducted in 200 firms in Hong Kong was used. The results show that the combination of four individual learning processes (i.e. acquisition, assimilation,rntransformation and exploitation) of AC provides the better fit of the study than a single construct of AC. All the learning processes affect innovation performance through TIC. The assimilation and exploitation have direct effects on product competitiveness. The finding of this study increases our understanding of how the learning processes of AC relates to TIC andrnfirm performance. This study also addresses the current weaknesses of AC in empirical studies by using direct measures of AC, breaking down AC into four components separately, and also studying the intangible outcomes of AC.
Keywords: Absorptive capacity; technological innovation capability; empirical study; Hong Kong.
Describing different integrated solutions
by Siri Jagstedt, Magnus Persson
Abstract: Integrating products and services seamlessly into a solution enables a more valuable offering to be created, described as an integrated solution. This paper investigates how various dimensions can be used to describe different integrated solutions, expanding the knowledge on how such solutions co-exist within different companies and how they can be described. A case study involving two companies shows that different integrated solutions correspond to different ways of relating to three dimensions: addressing the customer, integration and customization.
Keywords: Integrated solutions; servitization; product-service offerings.
Are Innovation Resources and Capabilities Enough to Make Businesses Sustainable? An Empirical Study of Leading Sustainable Innovative Firms
by Sarah Behnam, Raffaella Cagliano
Abstract: Increasingly, innovations aimed at sustainable development have occupied a top position in businesses planning. Thus, this paper is aimed at contributing to the ongoing and current debate on sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI) development. Despite SOIs ability to bring forward new opportunities for companies, it is accompanied by increased complexity, which, in turn, may require adjustments to innovation resources and capabilities to address the challenges that arise. Starting from a conceptual framework of requisite resources and capabilities for innovations, we test these resources and capabilities empirically in five leading SOI firms. The results show that innovative SOI firms need to strengthen their exploration and exploitation capabilities, including unifying the incorporation of internal and external resources with a clear orientation. In that sense, these adjustments are hypothesized to be more important than R&D expenditures, symbolic capital growth and knowledge formalization.
Keywords: Sustainability; Sustainable development; Innovation management; Sustainability oriented innovation; Intangible Resources; Organizational Capabilities; Exploration and Exploitation; Knowledge Retention; Internal collaboration; External Collaboration; Open innovation; Research and development.
Citation Impact of Public and Private Funding on Nanotechnology-Related Publications
by Leila Tahmooresnejad, Catherine Beaudry
Abstract: Government agencies, which have a long history of funding academic research, are one of the primary forces fostering new technologies in recent decades. Nanotechnology seems to have a huge potential to bring benefits for economic growth and has shown its ability to attract interest from the private sector. This paper analyzes the effects of public and private funding on the subsequent scientific output of academic research in this emerging technology. We investigate whether public grants increase the citation of publications, as well as whether private funding is complementary in enhancing citation impact. Using a panel dataset in Quebec, we examine autoregression models, the binary case and continuous treatment analysis of funding to find evidence that funding can positively affect the citation of research publications. The results show that the influence of public grants on the number of citations follows almost an inverted U shape curve, which has a positive impact proportional to the amount of public funding received. In contrast, industry funding does not exhibit robust effectiveness on citations. The estimates suggest that private research funding from industry can be detrimental to publication impact.
Keywords: Research funding; Private funding; Scientific papers; Citations; Nanotechnology.
Worldwide IP coverage of patented inventions in large pharma firms: to what extent do the internationalisation of R&D and firm strategy matter?
by Patricia Laurens, Christian Le Bas, Antione Schoen
Abstract: The paper deals with the determinants of worldwide IP coverage of patented inventions in large pharmaceutical firms. We support the core idea that the internationalisation of firm R&D is a positive key factor which explains global IP coverage. For the global pharmaceutical industry we estimate logit models on the probability that a patent will be expanded worldwide. We retain two categories of worldwide patent: the well-known triadic patent and the new triadic one (triadic+ China + Korea). The data set encompasses the 17487 priority patents applied by 69 enterprises from several countries over the period 2003-2005. One important finding is that patenting in Japan sets up an important barrier, giving Japanese firms an advantage when triadic patenting is considered. For European and US firms our estimation results confirm the idea that the level of firm R&D internationalisation is a significant explanatory factor in international IP coverage, together with control variables. We highlight an inverted U-shaped relationship between these two variables.
Keywords: global patent coverage; pharma firms; internationalisation of R&D; strategy; globalisation of technology.
Classifying different types of modularity for technical system
by Hao Li, Miying Yang, Steve Evans
Abstract: Modular design is regarded as an effective approach to reduce production cost and increase mass customization and personalization in industries. The implementation of modularization requires the support of the entire technical system, including product, service and supply chains. However, most modularity studies only focus on product modularity. There is a need for comprehensive understanding of modularity in product, service and supply chains. This paper addresses this need by defining the modularity of the technical system, including product, service and supply chains; and providing classifications for modularity across product modularity, service modularity and supply chain modularity separately. The contributions of this paper are: (a) a review on the classification of technical system modularity; (b) the analysis of internal relationship among different types of product modularity, (c) a proposal for different types of service modularity and supply chain modularity. This study can assist manufacturing companies to improve modular design and management of technical system.
Keywords: technical system; product modularity; service modularity; supply chain modularity.
Investigating technological strategy and relevance of knowledge domains in R&D collaborations
by Antonello Cammarano, Francesca Michelino, Emilia Lamberti, Mauro Caputo
Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to provide a patent-based framework exhibiting how companies manage their R&D collaborations at the knowledge domain level. Two characteristics of the knowledge fields involved in alliances are examined - technological strategy and technological relevance - proposing an original mapping of R&D collaborations. Focal companies are selected from automotive, bio-pharmaceutical and technology hardware & equipment industries. By focusing on dyadic collaborations, the analysis is performed for both focal companies and their partners, and the significance of the mapping is tested with patent quality.
Results show that the largest share of dyadic collaborations is focused on technological fields that are non-core for both partners. Also, from the standpoint of the focal firm, a prevalence of exploitation on exploration is uncovered. Different best practices emerge for each industry.
Keywords: R&D collaborations; Joint development; Knowledge domains; Technological strategy; Exploitation vs. exploration; Technological relevance; Core technologies; Innovation quality; Forward citations; Patent data; Automotive; Bio-pharmaceutical; Technology hardware & equipment.
Corporate returns to subsidized R&D projects: Direct grants vs tax credit financing
by Jarle Møen
Abstract: According to theory, direct R&D grants should be used for projects with low private returns, high social returns and high risk. R&D tax credits, on the other hand, allow firms to choose projects freely according to their private returns. Building on the standard R&D capital model, I develop a framework for estimating private returns to R&D projects with different types of funding. I apply the framework to estimate the corporate returns to subsidized R&D projects in Norway. Consistent with theory and a high quality grant allocation process, I find that projects funded through direct grants have private returns that are not significantly different from zero and with high variance, while the return to R&D projects financed by tax credits is just slightly below the return to R&D projects financed by own funds. The latter two return estimates are 16 % and 19 % respectively. I find that SMEs and small R&D performers have somewhat higher returns to R&D than larger firms. The overall return estimate across all types of finance is 15 %. This is in line with recent meta-regression results in the international literature.
Keywords: Returns to R&D; R&D capital model; Knowledge capital model; R&D subsidies; R&D grants; R&D tax credit; Innovation policy; Technology policy; Norway.
The Dynamics of Relational Quality in Co-Development Alliances
by Francis Bidault
Abstract: Co-development alliances are a specific form of cooperative arrangements which firms engage in with the intention of creating new products, services or technologies through coordinated efforts and commitment with other organisations. These cooperative agreements have been increasing in numbers over the past few decades. In this article, we discuss the role of relational quality, a construct that has been recognised as affecting the survival and ultimate success of alliances. We argue that relational quality is especially critical in co-development alliances, and propose a model for analysing it, and its drivers, based on a set of retrospective and longitudinal case studies that we conducted. We formulate several research propositions that can be derived from the model presented.
Keywords: Co-development; R&D partnerships; Cooperative R&D; Joint R&D; Technology alliances; Joint innovation; Co-innovation; Relational quality; Confidence in partners; Trust & control.
Technological Capabilities, Political Connections and Entry Mode Choices of EMNEs Overseas R & D Investments
by Yanyu Wang, Zhenzhen Xie, Wei Xie, Jizhen Li
Abstract: Through the combination of resource based view and institutional perspective, this study investigated how different types of ownership advantages interact to influence the entry mode decisions of emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs) investing in R & D overseas. Data from a survey of 82 Chinese manufacturing firms were analyzed to determine that the technological capabilities (i.e. traditional ownership advantages) and political connections (i.e. non-traditional ownership advantages) jointly influence decisions by firms to choose greenfield investments (i.e. resource-exploitation entry mode) over some sort of acquisition or joint venture (i.e. resource augmentation entry mode). Specifically, the study showed that strong political connections at home encourage greenfield investments. Strong technological capabilities have relatively little direct impact, but interact with political connections to encourage greenfield investments.
Keywords: Research and development; Resource-based view; Entry mode choices; Technological capabilities; Political connections; Emerging economies; China.
How do firms meet the challenge of technological change by redesigning innovation ecosystem? A case study of IBM
by Yuchen Gao, Xielin Liu
Abstract: An innovation ecosystem can add competitive advantages to focal firms and help them win the market with their partners. However, the ecosystem needs to evolve as the environment changes. There are few studies focusing on how the architecture of innovation ecosystem evolves and how firms accomplish this evolution through appropriate strategies of leveraging complementors. The main purpose of this study is to explore the evolutionary process of ecosystem under both radical and incremental technological changes based on a single case study and a patent analysis of IBM. From the innovation ecosystem perspective, we find that the ecosystem architecture is becoming more complicated when transforming from a single-hub to a multi-hub form via sharing patents of IBM. We also find that IBM has advanced its ecosystem as well as leveraged complementary technologies mainly by technological collaboration, mergers and acquisition (M&A), but the emphases of leverage strategies are varying along with distinct technological changes. Moreover, IBM would help the complementors co-evolve with the developing ecosystem. This study is expected to contribute to the literature of strategy and innovation ecosystem and provide firms with implicating guidance to survive and grow in a time of technology turbulence.
Keywords: innovation ecosystem; technological change; evolution; IBM; patent analysis.
Intellectual Property Strategy for the Ecosystem of the Internet of Things
by Yi-juen Chen, Ta-jung Lu
Abstract: In this paper we explored the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem and the intellectual property (IP) strategies of Taiwanese firms. A questionnaire survey and interviews with high-ranking managers of IoT firms offered insight in this study. Our contribution is adding the multi-supply context to the multi-invention context, introducing the ecosystem to the formulation of the IoT IP strategy, and the argument that the profitability of IoT firms is shifting from the individual firm basis to the entire ecosystem basis. We argue that IoT IP strategies must support this trend and consider aligning IP strategy with the IoT ecosystem, utilizing multi-IP protection, integrating IP strategy with industry solutions and monitoring the litigation trigger point. These resultant strategies will prove helpful to IoT firms in formulating a practical IP strategy.
Keywords: Internet of Things; IP strategy; open source; ecosystem.
The Strategy of Collaborative Monopoly with use of the scheme of Standardization for Storage Product
by Haruo Awano, Koji Tanabe
Abstract: It is important to standardize a new product in order to expand a market. However, it is not easy to profit from a standardized product because its specification is open to competitors. This paper examines the way in which IBM, HP and Quantum (former Seagate) were able to succeed in profiting from the business of LTO (Linear Tape Open) and in jointly monopolizing the market in spite of the fact that LTO was standardized. A key factor for their success is a strategy of collaborative monopoly with use of the scheme of standardization. This strategy consists of two strategic activities. First activity is to carry out the open type razor and blade business model by utilizing the scheme of standardization in order to profit from the consumables such as storage media. Second activity is to realize antecedent development of both technology and business for the next generation of the media.
Keywords: standardization; monopoly; collaboration; razor and blade; business model; strategy; consumables; IBM; HP; Quantum; LTO; antecedent development; DVD.
Identifying R&D Partners using SAO Analysis: A Case Study of Dye-sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs)
by Xuefeng Wang, Yun Fu, Ying Huang, Yuqin Liu, Donghua Zhu
Abstract: This paper proposes a systematic process to identify potential research and development (R&D) partners from a technological perspective based on subject-action-object (SAO) semantic analysis. Improvements to traditional methods are made by combining the SAO structure map and the collaboration network analysis. The SAO structure map reveals the technological development trends, organizations research contributions, and their research experiences in the field, which are the factors that indicate an organizations R&D capabilities. Furthermore, we explore the organizations collaboration statuses through collaborative network analysis and their collaborative publications, which make it easier to identify the organizations sense of cooperation. Potential R&D partners are identified by examining the organizations R&D capabilities and sense of cooperation. An exploratory study is conducted on dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The proposed method provides useful information for organizations (firms, institutions, universities, etc.) to identify potential R&D partners or make cooperation related policies.
Keywords: Partner identification; subject-action-object (SAO); mapping science; semantic analysis; collaborative network analysis; dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs).
Special Issue on: International Technology Strategy, Industry and Trade Policies, Innovation Processes, and Technology Sourcing and Transfer the Search for Synthesis in a Global Economy
What drives success in product innovation? Empirical evidence in high-tech and low-tech manufacturers in China
by Kris M.Y. Law, Antonio K.W. Lau, W.H. Ip
Abstract: The study aims to determine what are the major factors affecting the performance of innovation systems in both high- and low- tech industries in China. Multiple regression and PLS analyses were used to analyze a survey data from 152 manufacturers in China.
This study showed that internal R&D and competitors are the major drivers of innovation that improves the sales of new-to-market products. Major barriers of innovation include law regulations, standards and tax issues and the potential market being owned by other firms. The motivating factors include new market entry, improvement of product quality, and increase in market share. Low-tech and high-tech firms may follow different innovation paths and are promoted by differential sources of innovation, barriers and motivating factors. Some innovation activities such as acquisition of external knowledge and preparations are found to have significant mediating effects on the above relationships.
The research project brings about specific guidelines for local legislative bodies to enact effective innovation policies that align closely with the innovation characteristics of local industries.
Keywords: Innovation; motivating factors; barriers; China manufacturers; empirical study.
Special Issue on: Memoriam of Michael Radnor
Advanced Analytics Group and Intraorganizational Power
by Martin L. Bariff
Abstract: Organisations are challenged by increased environmental complexity
and uncertainty. Advanced analytics and the processing of big data offer a
potential solution to reducing this challenge. Advanced analytic groups
have been established in organisations to provide services and support for
these new tools and their related data. The degree of intraorganisational power
accumulated by these groups could help promote adoption of these services and
improve organisational performance. A research framework and propositions
are developed to promote the evaluation of intraorganisational power as a
mediating variable toward understanding the contribution of advanced analytics
groups contributions to organisation performance.
Keywords: intraorganisational power; IPW; advanced analytics; big data;
organisation effectiveness; organisational performance.
The impact of design architecture choices on competitiveness: Comparison of Korean and Japanese Shipbuilding Firms
by Yuichiro Mukai, YoungWon Park, Paul Hong, Geon-Cheol Shin
Abstract: This study examines why shipbuilding firms use both standardised
and customised designs and analyses the impact of design architecture choices
on competitiveness. Case study findings suggest that Korean and Japanese
firms have different strategies. Hyundai Heavy Industry Corporation (HHIC)s
development processes utilise package unit design for its suppliers. It has
contributed reducing its production processes by half. Samsung Heavy Industry
Corporation (SHIC) emphasises dual strategic options that integrate both
standardisation and customisation orientations. Meanwhile, some Japanese
companies are still successful. They adopt standardised ship strategies making
a bulk carrier which is not so complex or sophisticated. However, overall
design is still customised for each requirement. Some successful companies
adopt modularisation or closed-standardisation at the subsystem level for
the design and manufacturing productivity. These cases show the probability
of the ability of architectural dynamics contributing to the productivity and
competitiveness in the matured technological category
Keywords: .design architecture choices; Japanese shipbuilding firms; product
architecture; product development; Korean shipbuilding firms.
Dynamics of ex post uncertainty and negative behavioral direction in alliances
by Inwon Kang, Jiwon Lee
Abstract: Adopting ex post dynamism, we introduce a novel approach to the
negative behaviour in strategic alliance where firms evaluation of accumulated
risk during alliance operation leads to risk-aversive behaviour. To examine this
process, a total of 395 employees from China and Korea completed a survey on
risk-aversive behaviour in strategic alliance. Based on the collected data, the
study measures firms re-evaluation of alliance and their antecedents and
outcomes. Key results show that among the ex post uncertainties, task
uncertainty had the largest influence on risk-aversive behaviour. Moreover, the
study finds that when EA firms perceive high level of uncertainty during an
alliance operation, they show intentions to undertake contractual renegotiation
whereas non-EA firms were likely to protect their core assets. Based on the
findings, theoretical and practical implications on the management of riskaversive
behaviour in strategic alliance are discussed.
Keywords: .technology uncertainty; task uncertainty; partnership uncertainty;
equity alliance; non-equity alliance; core asset protection; contractual
What Determines the Range of Supply Chain Integration? Comparison of Korean and Japanese Steel Firms
by SungWoo Byun, YoungWon Park, Geon-Cheol Shin
Abstract: Supply chain strategies depend on competitive environments as well
as the nature of the particular business. Consequently, supply chain integration
(SCI) strategies should also be evaluated under the conditions a firm is facing.
This paper examines the determinants of range of supply chain integration. By
comparing the SCI strategies of Korean and Japanese steel firms, the paper
shows that SCI should be evaluated in light of supply chain flexibility and
uncertainty. Additionally, it is argued that although SCI with customers helps
diminish demand uncertainty, it can also bring inflexibility, which is a
customer lock-in phenomenon.
Keywords: supply chain integration; SCI; flexibility; uncertainty; Korean steel
firms; Japanese steel firms.