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The Influence of Customer Scope on Supplier Learning and Performance in the Japanese Automobile Industry

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  • Kentaro Nobeoka

    (Kobe University)

  • Jeffrey H Dyer

    (Brigham Young University)

  • Anoop Madhok

    (Brigham Young University)

Abstract

Most studies of Japanese supplier-automaker relationships have focused on the nature of the dyadic interfirm relationship and the performance of the assembler. We examine the relationship from the point of view of the supplier and argue that a broad “customer scope strategy” (i.e., number of customers) leads to superior performance, primarily because of learning opportunities. In addressing these learning opportunities, we draw attention to the important distinction between relation-specific and re-deployable knowledge and the complementary relationship between them. Our analysis of 125 Japanese suppliers supports the key argument that less exclusive ties may be a superior strategy. The argument has important implications for vertical integration and the structure of buyer-supplier relations.© 2002 JIBS. Journal of International Business Studies (2002) 33, 717–736

Suggested Citation

  • Kentaro Nobeoka & Jeffrey H Dyer & Anoop Madhok, 2002. "The Influence of Customer Scope on Supplier Learning and Performance in the Japanese Automobile Industry," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 33(4), pages 717-736, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:33:y:2002:i:4:p:717-736
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    Cited by:

    1. Tomohiro MACHIKITA & Yasushi UEKI, 2011. "Impacts of Incoming Knowledge on Product Innovation: Technology Transfer in Auto-related Industries in Developing Economies," Working Papers DP-2011-08, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    2. Matsushima, Noriaki & Shinohara, Ryusuke, 2014. "What factors determine the number of trading partners?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 428-441.
    3. Fynes, Brian & de Burca, Sean & Mangan, John, 2008. "The effect of relationship characteristics on relationship quality and performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 56-69, January.
    4. Siqueira, Ana Cristina O. & Priem, Richard L. & Parente, Ronaldo C., 2015. "Demand-side Perspectives in International Business: Themes and Future Directions," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 261-266.
    5. Duanmu, Jing-Lin & Fai, Felicia M., 2007. "A processual analysis of knowledge transfer: From foreign MNEs to Chinese suppliers," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 449-473, August.
    6. Kang, Min-Ping & Mahoney, Joseph T. & Tan, Danchi, 2007. "Why Firms Make Unilateral Investments Specific to Other Firms: The Case of OEM Suppliers," Working Papers 07-0110, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    7. Yuan Li & Zelong Wei & Yi Liu, 2010. "Strategic Orientations, Knowledge Acquisition, and Firm Performance: The Perspective of the Vendor in Cross-Border Outsourcing," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(s2), pages 1457-1482, December.
    8. repec:spr:manint:v:46:y:2006:i:1:d:10.1007_s11575-007-0047-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Fabio Caputo & Barbara Livieri & Andrea Venturelli, 2014. "Intangibles and Value Creation in Network Agreements: analysis of Italian firms," MANAGEMENT CONTROL, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(2), pages 45-70.
    10. Tadanori Yosano & Takayoshi Nakaoka, 2011. "The Roles of Relationship Lending and Utilization of Soft Information on Bank Performance in Competitive Local Markets," Discussion Papers 2011-41, Kobe University, Graduate School of Business Administration.

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