انتخاب استراتژیک فن آوری های تولید انعطاف پذیر با استفاده از روش تئوری بازی ها
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|7626||2012||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8170 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, Volume 28, Issue 3, June 2012, Pages 416–424
This paper examines the conditions under which a firm would choose a flexible production technology or a dedicated technology in a duopoly environment. We model this technology choice by having two firms simultaneously select from two production technologies in the first stage and subsequently take in a Cournot production quantity subgame. Conditions under which technology equilibriums exist are given. We find that the premium a firm is willing to pay for flexibility increases as the market size increases and the product substitutability decreases. We also find that Prisoner's Dilemma does not necessarily occur in the production technology game, which is different from previous studies.
The environment faced by manufacturing firms is increasingly uncertain because of fast and dramatic changes in customer expectations, competition, and technology . Many manufacturing firms have faced the decision of whether or not to invest into what is known as flexible manufacturing systems (FMS). Examples of implementations of these new systems abound in the auto-mobile, machine tool, aerospace, heavy machinery, electronics and military equipment industries . FMS brings a firm the ability to accommodate with various internal and external changes, thus promotes the performance and competitiveness of the firm. FMS also provides a firm the ability to produce multiple products simultaneously and enter multiple markets. However, FMS also makes firms compete more fiercely if they produce the same product type and sell them in the same market. In this paper we analyze firms' strategic choices of flexible production technology, and the factors that affect the choices. Our study is motivated by many practical examples on firms' decisions to invest in FMS. We have observed that in some industries, most firms invest for flexible production technology. For example, in the tri-networks (telecommunications network, the cable TV network and the Internet) industry in China, the “big three” (i.e. China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom) have invested heavily for the advanced flexible cable technology. The flexible cable technology enables the firm to enter the three network markets simultaneously. In contrast, in some other industries, most firms invest for dedicated production technology. For example, in the auto industry in China, several main firms almost focus on one auto type. Jiefang trucks, Hongqi cars and Ankai buses are famous brands in China. There are also some industries where both flexible and dedicated technologies coexist in most firms. Upton  studied 61 plants in North America in the paper industry with quite comparable products (e.g., letter-size paper) and finds that, some firms have adopted flexible production technology while others have not. As a result, products manufactured by different companies—and hence using different technologies—compete directly in the market. It is plausible that a firm's decision on technology investment is mainly determined by the cost differential between flexible and dedicated technology. For example, it does not increase much cost to invest for the flexible cable technology than a dedicated cable technology; however, it is much more expensive to build a flexible auto production line, which can produce different auto types than to build a dedicated one. Nevertheless, there may be some other factors that also affect firms' decision in common markets, e.g. correlation between products' demand, competitors' decisions. Then how do the possible factors affect the decisions of firm managers on technology investment? In other words, how to strategically select the technology in a competitive market? This is an important problem facing firm strategic managers. In this paper, we aim to investigate the impact of possible factors on a firm's strategic choice of technology. Specifically, three main factors are considered, i.e. the cost differential between different technologies, the correlation between products' demand, and competitors' decisions. We model the technology choice as a two-stage non-cooperative duopoly game. In the first stage, two firms simultaneously select from two production technologies. If a firm chooses to invest in the flexible technology, it can produce two products and enter both markets. If a firm chooses to invest in a dedicated technology, it can only produce one product and enter only one market. Given a set of technologies chosen by the firms in the first stage, firms take in a subgame—Cournot production quantity game in the second stage. We seek a subgame-perfect equilibrium in such a game. In a similar background, Röller and Tombak  addressed that if both firms select the flexible technology (one equilibrium), then the firms will be trapped in a Prisoner's dilemma-like situation, i.e. both firms investing in flexible technology is detrimental to both firms. However, as will be described in our paper, we find that the “Prisoner's dilemma” does not necessarily occur in this equilibrium. To keep the model simple, we in this paper do not take customer behavior into account, such as customers' brand preference. It is assumed that customers do not have brand preference for the same product type. Considering customer behavior, the demand function can be revised to reflect customers' preference and thus the manufacturing planning results should be different. Some authors have made some attempts to model customers' behavior in manufacturing planning. For example, Makris and Chryssolouris  developed a model to estimate the probability that a customer actually place an order once he has received a potential delivery date for a product. Using a market simulation model, Pasek et al.  investigated customers' behavior in decision under the mass-customization conditions. The paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, we review the related literature in flexible technology choice. In Section 3, we describe the problem investigated in this paper, and provide the specifications of the basic model. In Section 4, we present technology equilibriums in the duopoly game, where conditions for the equilibriums are given. In Section 5, we analyze the conditions for “Prisoner's dilemma” to occur in the technology game. In Section 6, we summarize our findings and give some future research directions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper, we consider the technology–quantity choice of two autonomous duopoly firms in two competitive markets. We model the technology–quantity choice as a two-stage sequential duopoly non-cooperative game of complete information. In the first stage, firms simultaneously choose from a flexible production technology (F) and a dedicated technology (D). The flexible technology enables the firm to simultaneously produce two products and thus enter two markets; whereas the dedicated technology limits the firm to producing only one product and thus entering one market. In the second stage a Cournot game in quantities is played conditioning on the first-stage choice of technologies. Compared with previous studies, this paper takes a look at the strategic choice of flexible production technology from a more general viewpoint. In this paper, the products can be substitutes or complements, and the investment costs of flexible technology are allowed to be firm-specific. These relaxed assumptions make the results different from previous studies. Considering both the cases that the two products are substitutes or complements, we have identified the conditions under which each of the four subgame perfect equilibriums (i.e. (F, F), (D, D), (F, D) and (D, F)) exists. This is different from Röller and Tombak  and Kim et al. , which consider only the case that the two products are substitutes and concluded that the mixed equilibriums (i.e. (F, D) and (D, F)) do not exist. We find that as the market size increases, the premium a firm is willing to pay for flexibility increases. This is because the larger market encourages more active participation in both markets. We also find that as the product substitutability increases, the premium a firm is willing to pay for flexibility decreases. This is because as the product substitutability increases, the demands of substitutes are more negatively correlated. A firm can earn nearly the same if it produces one product or two substitutable products. However, as the product substitutability decreases, the demands of complements are more positively correlated, which benefits a firm more if the two products are simultaneously produced by flexible technology. To make the results more visible, we illustrate the main conclusions by a numerical example. As an example, we set α=1000 and assume that View the MathML sourcef1F=f2F, which means the fixed cost for the investment of flexible technology are the same for both firm 1 and firm 2. We draw the technology equilibriums distribution with different values of View the MathML sourcef1F(f2F) and λ in Fig. 4 and Fig. 5. These two figures show that as the product substitution parameter increases (i.e. the two products become more substitutable), both firms are less likely to invest in flexible technology but more likely to concentrate on their own and separate markets. We also draw the technology equilibriums distribution with different values of View the MathML sourcef1F(View the MathML sourcef2F) and α in Fig. 6 and Fig. 7. These two figures show that as the market size increases, both firms are more likely to invest in flexible technology.If the two products are complements, we also find that the Prisoner's dilemma-like situation as described in Röller and Tombak  does not necessarily occur, i.e. both firms investing in flexible technology may benefit themselves simultaneously. The model proposed in this paper can be extended in many ways. First, in this paper, the cost of a technology is assumed as a fixed cost, which is irrelevant to the capacity of the equipment. In future research, capacity-related cost of different technologies can be considered and capacity constraints can be included in the production game. Second, demand uncertainty is not taken into account since we focus on the strategic value of flexibility as a weapon of competition and entering a new market. Demand uncertainty could be included in the model development in future research. Third, we assume that all the parameters are common knowledge in this paper. Information asymmetry can be considered in the future. Also, customer behavior can be further taken into account into the model as described in the introduction part.