آموزش از تامین کنندگان در صنعت هوافضا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21224||2011||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8612 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 129, Issue 2, February 2011, Pages 328–337
Using a knowledge-based perspective, we identify and test the conditions enabling inter-firm learning in the aerospace supply chain. We focus on buyers accessing knowledge from their suppliers. Hypotheses are tested via a cross-sectional survey of supplier relationships of prime contractors in Canada's aerospace industry. The variables identified as having a significant impact on inter-firm learning are as follows: the quality of the buyer–supplier relationship in terms of trust, collaboration, socialization and information sharing; the proprietary links between both firms; and the use of ITC collaboration tools.
As firms struggle to cope with an increasingly turbulent economic environment, there is widespread recognition that knowledge has become the most strategic component of a firm's resources (Grant, 1996). The complexity of modern technologies goes beyond the capabilities of most individual companies and makes it essential to manage knowledge beyond a firm's boundaries. Suppliers can be major providers of knowledge for the production of goods and services. Firms in technological intensive sectors need to rely greatly on their partners in the supply chain to access the knowledge they need and do not generate internally. The aerospace supply chain is no exception and inter-firm learning is a critical issue for all firms in the industry. Inter-firm learning corresponds to all the knowledge outcomes (i.e. knowledge creation, retention, transfer and application) occurring in a firm as a result of the interaction with a business partner. Traditionally, inter-firm learning in the aerospace supply chain occurs and is mostly perceived as unidirectional, i.e. from prime contractors to suppliers. However, changes in the industry suggest prime contractors also need to learn from their suppliers. While in the past, most suppliers in the aerospace industry were simply considered subcontractors, they are now asked to become active participants in the knowledge creation process in the supply chain. The increasing participation of suppliers in design and improvement efforts also contributes to the development of their capabilities. In this context, suppliers are clearly becoming a potential source of knowledge for prime contractors. However, valuable inter-firm learning is a complex process better achieved under specific conditions rather than haphazardly. The objective of this study is to identify those key conditions favoring inter-firm learning generated by the interaction of major buyers with their suppliers in the aerospace industry. Strategic alliances and joint ventures have been the primary setting for the empirical research on inter-firm learning (Inkpen, 1996, Inkpen, 2000, Kale et al., 2000, Simonin, 1999 and Simonin, 2004). Although the learning component of buyer–supplier relationships has received increasing attention, the studies have primarily focused at the network level (Dyer and Hatch, 2006, Dyer and Nobeoka, 2000, Hult et al., 2004, Lincoln et al., 1998, Spekman et al., 2002 and Wagner and Buko, 2005) and generally privileged the supplier as the receptor of knowledge (Håkansson et al., 1999, Kotabe et al., 2003 and Modi and Mabert, 2007). However, the limited empirical research on the topic does not offer detailed insights about how buyers can integrate more of the knowledge generated by suppliers. To our knowledge, no other study has focused on the aerospace industry to explore the conditions influencing inter-firm learning. Yet, this industry represents a very pertinent setting for the postulates of the knowledge based view of the firm (Amesse et al., 2001, Bessant et al., 2003 and Mayer and Teece, 2008). Using the knowledge-based view of the firm (KBV), we develop and test a framework of the conditions facilitating inter-firm learning in the aerospace supply chain, from the buyer's point of view. We intend to contribute to the literature on supply chain management in three different ways. First, we propose a framework integrating inter-firm learning research that has been performed previously in diverse settings (strategic alliances, joint-ventures, vertical partnerships, networks and supply chains) to the specific context of buyer–supplier relationships. Second, we test our framework in the aerospace industry, a neglected but appropriate and interesting setting for research in knowledge management. We also take an unusual perspective: the prime contractors learning from their suppliers. Finally, we make suggestions that could help managers increase the learning occurring in the interaction with their suppliers. Although these suggestions are based on a research performed in the aerospace industry, they could eventually be relevant to managers in other industries who are interested in improving the learning component of their supplier relationships. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows: the theoretical background and hypotheses are presented first, followed by a description of the research methodology and the setting (the aerospace industry); then, the results and the main implications for practitioners are discussed, followed by the limitations and the directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This research explores a very important but often neglected outcome of buyer–supplier relationships: inter-firm learning. In industries where knowledge and innovation are important to the survival of firms, relationships with suppliers should be encouraged not only to reduce coordination costs, but also to favor knowledge exchange. This study presents a different approach to the interaction between customers and suppliers, based on a knowledge perspective of buyer–supplier relationships. Supplier relationships are appraised here as a means for creating new knowledge through collaboration. This study focuses particularly on enablers of learning from and with suppliers; it has shed light on the relative impact of several variables that, previously, had not been looked at simultaneously at the relationship level. We chose to focus on a single theoretical framework that guided the development of our conceptual model, the research design and the interpretation of results. We could have introduced other theories, or perspectives of business relationships or knowledge transfer conditions, but we preferred not to, in order to present a coherent set of hypotheses that could be tested with a limited sample. The variables selected provide a significant explanation of inter-firm learning. However, considering the R2 results, we will have to keep on looking for other variables. Future research could indeed look at other variables explaining inter-firm learning. For instance, the shadow of the future ( Kamann et al., 2006), which refers to the likelihood that a buyer and a supplier continue to do business in the future, could have an impact on the inter-firm learning. As in any empirical investigation, the findings are subject to some caveats. First, the data collected were cross-sectional in nature; consequently, one is unable to establish causation. A descriptive study such as the one undertaken can only assess the level of association between variables. Secondly, taking a sample from a sole sector of activity limits the generalization of the results to other industrial sectors. Therefore, a natural extension of this research is its replication in different industrial contexts. While similar results could be expected from industrial sectors like the automotive industry, it is difficult to anticipate results in sectors with different competitive and technological characteristics. This research focuses exclusively on the buyer's point of view. Considering the current reshaping of the aerospace industry, one can assume that learning is also important for suppliers engaged in long-term relationships with their customers. It would be interesting to test if the same variables fostering knowledge transfer from suppliers to customers and also foster knowledge transfer from customers to suppliers. The asymmetric nature of relationships in the aerospace industry suggests that the customers' standpoint could be different. It is also appealing, although very challenging, to gather information from both sides of the dyad simultaneously. Considering suppliers' and customers' perspectives in the same study would allow exploring the impact of relevant variables such as power and opportunism that are better understood when looking at both sides of the dyad. It would also allow studying the buyer–supplier relationship as a separate institution, and the impact of learning on the relationship performance. Our study does not address the distinction between explicit and tacit knowledge. Our measure of inter-firm learning included both types of knowledge components, but we did not ask respondents to asses them specifically. Future research could focus on distinguishing the different antecedents and consequences of the transfer of these two knowledge components. Firms in technologically intensive industries need to benefit from every learning opportunity. Since organizational knowledge is both a crucial element for long-term survival and innovation in those industries and usually requires the interaction of several firms, extensive inter-firm learning can bring a huge competitive advantage. Our study shows that suppliers can indeed be a source of knowledge for their customers, as long as the appropriate efforts are deployed to support inter-firm learning: why not benefit the “easy” way, knowing which enablers of inter-firm learning can make a real difference? This is what we have attempted to contribute with this research: more learning…about inter-firm learning…!