Proximity strategies in outsourcing relations: The role of geographical, cultural and relational proximity in the European automotive industry
AbstractSeveral trends that affect the manufacturing of sophisticated goods – increasing international fragmentation of production, and lean and modular process technologies – have increased the importance of proximity in the supply chain. We use the case of the European automotive industry to simultaneously evaluate the relative importance of three dimensions: geographical, cultural, and relational proximity. Using a rich and novel data set, we find that carmakers value some aspects of each dimension independently in their sourcing strategy. The estimates indicate which proximity measures provide the largest (independent) benefits, but also that the positive effects the literature has attributed to some measures tend to reflect past relationships rather than predict new ones. In particular, co-location and a low cultural distance should be interpreted as outcomes of a sourcing strategy, not as predictors for sourcing success. Finally, we investigate to what extent firms from different countries follow different strategies, and which choices suppliers can make to boost their attractiveness as outsourcing partners.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Journal of International Business Studies.
Volume (Year): 44 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 (June)
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Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK
Other versions of this item:
- Alexander SCHMITT & Johannes VAN BIESEBROECK, 2013. "Proximity strategies in outsourcing relations: the role of geographical, cultural and relational proximity in the European automotive industry," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces13.02, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
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