Title: Understanding stages of supply network emergence in technology commercialisation

Authors: Tomás Seosamh Harrington; Jagjit Singh Srai

Addresses: Centre for International Manufacturing, Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), Engineering Department, School of Technology, University of Cambridge, UK ' Centre for International Manufacturing, Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), Engineering Department, School of Technology, University of Cambridge, UK

Abstract: This research explores different 'modes' of supply network emergence that may exist in the process of technology commercialisation, and examines how key actors and enterprises design and re-configure their emerging and existing networks. A generic 'stages' model to better understand supply network evolution - in the context of emerging technologies - is developed, based on existing commercialisation case studies, and underpinned by industrial emergence and network theory. The aims of the model are two-fold, namely, to extend theoretical understanding of 'stages' and 'emergence' from a traditional technology and product perspective towards that of supply networks, and to inform existing network analysis approaches (applicable for 'mature' industries) so as to better 'fit' nascent and emerging contexts. Indeed, it is argued that supply networks never quite reach a stage of 'maturity', as organisations continuously look to 're-configure' elements of their legacy networks, leveraging existing capabilities where possible, in response to changes in strategic priorities and the emergence of new market opportunities and threats. At the practice level, the 'stages' model informs how best to manage critical network resources - supporting the design of alternative business models, and associated supply network strategies, for transforming new technologies into marketable products.

Keywords: supply networks; supply network emergence; supply network evolution; technology commercialisation; stages; nascent industries; emerging industries; network theory; industrial emergence theory; network reconfiguration; new technologies; supply chain management; SCM.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMTM.2017.082015

International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2017 Vol.31 No.1/2/3, pp.4 - 36

Available online: 31 Jan 2017 *

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