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The strategic role of the plant in international networks: a longitudinal study


  • Vereecke, A.
  • De Meyer, A.
  • Van Dierdonck, R.

    (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)


The strategic role of plants is an important decision variable in the design of international plant networks. The framework introduced by Ferdows in the 1990s offers an interesting typology, classifying plants according to their strategic role. Empirical research testing the framework showed its value as a tool for the analysis and assessment of the role of plants in such networks. This paper reports on a follow-up of this empirical study, ten years later. It shows that the typology has predictive value for the future perspectives of the plant. While most of the lead plants have survived, several off-shore and source plants, and some of the server and contributor plants have disappeared from the network. As such, the framework can be useful for plant managers whose objective is to safeguard the future of their plant, as well as for executives in headquarters, who design and redesign plant networks for future competitiveness.

Suggested Citation

  • Vereecke, A. & De Meyer, A. & Van Dierdonck, R., 2008. "The strategic role of the plant in international networks: a longitudinal study," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2008-07, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  • Handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2008-07

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    international manufacturing; strategic role; survival;

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