تغییر شکل روابط تامین کننده بین محلی و جهانی: تاریخچه موضوعات
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21190||2009||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7091 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 38, Issue 6, August–September 2009, Pages 671–678
Small and medium-sized companies are increasingly facing international markets as part of their processes of growth and development. A great deal of literature deals with different patterns of growth and international development that are specific to SMEs with respect to large companies. Fewer studies have been conducted on the reconfiguration of company supplier relationships involved in these processes. This paper focuses on the role played by the consolidated set of company supplier relationships when the firm faces some critical stages in its process of development, i.e., growth from small to mid-sized and the implementation of new ventures abroad accessing new business relationships with international suppliers. A multiple and longitudinal case study shows how the local set of supplier relationships of four mid-sized Italian mechanical companies acting in industrial districts has played an important role in shaping the emerging set of supplier relationships and addressing companies' actions in their growth and internationalization processes.
This article deals with the purchasing behaviour and the structure and dynamics of the upstream supply networks of small and medium-sized industrial firms in Italy. In particular, it discusses the changes occurring in a company's supply side as the company implements strategies of growth and international development. Small and mid-sized companies are increasingly facing international markets, implementing new commercial strategies and experiencing new production strategies, de-localizing production processes and developing international supplier's chain relationships that can contribute to the reduction of production costs and to the improvement of product differentiation and innovation (Zahra, 2003, Bradley et al., 2006, Camuffo et al., 2006, Knudsen and Servais, 2007, Susman, 2007 and Jansson and Sandberg, 2008). Small and mid-sized companies are of course not new to coping with numerous and varied supplier relationships. This is particularly evident in the case of Italian small and mid sized companies. For these companies, consolidated sets of supplier relationships have always played a very important role in their competitiveness (Lorenzoni & Baden-Fuller, 1995). SMEs have always relied on numerous business exchange relationships with different market actors — suppliers in particular, and especially those located close by (Lorenzoni & Lipparini, 1999). As many studies have illustrated, spatial proximity between the company and its suppliers has produced great advantages for many companies, especially those operating in industrial districts, by enhancing their growth and innovation (Furlan, Grandinetti, & Camuffo, 2007). Both scholars and companies question how long the division of labour among SMEs and their physical closeness can continue to be advantageous for companies acting in industrial districts (Humphrey and Schmitz, 2002 and Steinle and Schiele, 2008). These were certainly advantages in the past, when low costs and product quality were the main sources of differential advantage for many Italian companies because of their flexible specialization. Studies showed that these traditional advantages are dwindling nowadays because of increasing competition from the emerging countries. This competition is characterized by lower costs of labour and increasing rates of product imitation. In this situation, many Italian small and mid-sized companies are growing internationally adopting new business models open to a set of varies business relationships and characterized by a continuous mismatching between local and global supplier relationships. Our research questions therefore concern the following points: − What are the main constraints and opportunities generated by the local set of supplier relationships in relation to a company's development and internationalization processes? − Which are the main variables that can influence a company's decisions regarding the internationalization of its supplier relationships? − Can we define a sort of linear development of supplier relationships in connection to company growth and international development? Our analysis shows that a company's long-term set of relationships with local suppliers acts both as a resource and as a burden (constraint) when the company develops new ventures abroad and new business relationships with international suppliers are formed. The paper develops a longitudinal analysis, from the 1990's to today, of four mid-sized Italian companies operating in industrial districts in the mechanical industry and debates some possible future scenarios for these companies. The paper is organized as follows: the theoretical background supporting the empirical analysis is explained in Section 2 followed by an explanation of research methodology (Section 3). The empirical analysis is divided into two parts. In the first part, the processes of growth and development that have characterized the four companies are explained and interpreted according to a unitary key of reading. The second part focuses on the different combination of the firms' local and global sourcing strategies in relation to the ways each company has made use of and has been influenced by local relationships – either as opportunities or constraints – in the implementation of its own strategy (Section 4). Section 5 summarizes an interpretative analysis of the dynamics affecting a company supply network. Final reflections and future research directions are reported in the conclusions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Small and medium sized companies are pressed to occupy a position in the global market. They have to decide quickly how to invest in foreign markets under the pressure of three main elements. Firstly, small and medium sized companies that want to preserve a position in the market have to overcome national borders in order to enlarge market shares that are crucial to sustain higher and higher costs of investments in product quality and innovation and in marketing and communication activities. Secondly, small and medium sized companies need to grow internationally as they are pressed by the increasing competition engaged in the domestic market by large international competitors. Thirdly, small and medium sized companies are threatened by the rapid international growth of competitors in emerging markets. A lot of studies have been carried out on the differences between SMEs and large companies in the process of growth and internationalization. Fewer studies have been focused on the role played by the network of relationships SMEs are involved in and, in particular, by the role of the set of supplier relationships with companies' co-localized actors that have cooperated with them since long time. This paper aims at contributing in this direction by studying the interplay between SMEs' growth and international development and changes in the structure and processes affecting companies' supply side. In this respect the study shows that the local network of supplier relationships plays a very important role both as a resource and a constraint in some critical stages of development of the companies. Moreover, the paper sheds light on the differences in the patterns of development of the companies in international markets, in relation to the reconfiguration of their sets of supplier relationships. The companies have balanced local and global supplier relationships, considering differently, and being influenced differently, by their History Network of supplier relationships. The results are very different configurations in the emerging network of supplier relationships. This is a very important insight with respect to the studies of companies acting in industrial districts. It is our opinion that this variety of patterns deserves greater consideration by researchers, with a stronger focus on the increasing differentiation of the behaviours of similar companies acting in the same district. It is difficult to find a common behaviour and similar organizational issues, as the characteristics of each company and especially its “History Network” plays differently in different companies encouraging and influencing differently their strategic behaviour and organization in the international market. The findings of the research presented here could be considered useful also by managers and entrepreneurs of many Italian companies that are following processes of growth and development. Too often they are pressed to catch opportunities in emerging markets and act according to an emergent strategy and move according to a brief-term perspective. That leads to forget the advantages that can be gained by the set of consolidated interactions that have been cultivated in time and also to forget that the latter can play as a burden. It is important to take into account the interdependence between the processes of international development of the company, leading to new relational opportunities, and the existing market relationships the company is involved in. More, it is important to reason on the interplay between historical and new relationships. The strategy of international development should thus consider the role of supplier relationships (between local and global) as one of the most important influencing variables when a company starts a development process.