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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Omega, Volume 41, Issue 2, April 2013, Pages 473–484
This study considers an internal production option for a contractor and analyzes its effect on the supply chain decisions when the contractor has innovated and the subcontractor has an incentive for opportunistic behavior. In contrast to the single disclosure threshold in the benchmark scenario where the contractor lacks in-house capability, we find two thresholds in the referred scenario. When information misappropriation is possible and the contractor has in-house capability, the contractor will organize a coordinated supply chain only when innovations fall between the two thresholds. Compared to the benchmark scenario, in-house capability has a positive effect on the contractor's incentive to innovate and an ambiguous effect on the subcontractor's incentive to invest in the production process. When the contractor needs to incur an extra cost to build in-house capability, the contractor keeps the same levels of investment compared to the case of no additional in-house capability cost, whereas the subcontractor increases the levels of investment. Furthermore, we find that in the presence of potential misappropriation on the part of the subcontractor, the higher the level of in-house capability, the less likely the contractor will be to outsource innovative products that generate higher profitability. This study can explain why firms strategically outsource low-end products and produce high-end products themselves. This study provides new results on the effects of in-house capability on the strategic interactions of parties in supply chains and, hence, on supply chain efficiency.
Studies in the field of outsourcing have primarily focused on the decision to outsource and have examined the determinants, motivations, and benefits of the make-or-buy decision. There are increasing numbers of outsourcing firms in a supply chain adopting the make-and-buy strategy. For example, the Intel Corporation produced internally its new 855 chipset for Centrino mobile technology and asserted that no third-party chipset manufacturers would be granted the licensing agreement to manufacture compatible devices in the near future . In the mobile handset industry, Apple relies on contract manufacturers for all of its high-end smart phones due to a lack of in-house manufacturing capability. Nokia and Motorola (with in-house capabilities) engage in substantial outsourcing but to different degrees . In general, these firms strategically outsource low-end products and manufacture high-end products in-house. Although many studies on supply chain management indicate the importance of coordination among supply chain partners to improve performance (e.g., ), few studies have adopted models using the cooperative game theory, which appears to be a natural framework for analyses of this sort 4. This study uses a simple, yet strategically significant, bargaining model (Nash bargaining model) to explain this commonly observed phenomenon. Specifically, this study uses an outsourcing context to explore the role of a contractor's in-house capability in directing the behavior of the contracting parties and coordinating supply chains. We also develop an empirical analysis to validate our analytical model with the goal of providing insights into the effect of in-house capability on supply chain efficiency. To improve production efficiency and lower costs, firms have begun to look beyond their own boundaries and to consider the overall design of their supply chains . Specifically, firms appear to focus on functions that are central to gaining a competitive advantage, and they outsource low-value-added activities to members in their supply chains . However, some surveys report that most firms have brought previously outsourced activities back in-house (see ). Hughes and Weiss  note that failed relationships in a supply chain may result from a lack of trust between contracting parties. Although researchers (e.g., , ,  and ) have explored alternative outsourcing contexts, relatively few studies have examined how subcontractor opportunism affects make-or-buy decisions of the contractor, and even fewer have explored how this in-house capability affects supply chain decisions. The objective of this study is to explore how contractors' in-house capabilities interact with subcontractors' potential misappropriation and affect the contractors' make-or-buy decisions. Specifically, this study considers an internal production option for the contractor and analyzes its effects on supply chain decisions when the contractor has innovations that could serve as incentive for opportunistic behavior on the part of the subcontractor. Two scenarios are used to facilitate the analysis. The benchmark scenario (hereafter, B-scenario) represents a situation in which subcontractor misappropriation exists and the contractor lacks in-house capability. The referred scenario (hereafter, R-scenario) denotes a situation in which the contractor has the ability to produce in-house and subcontractor misappropriation exists. From the model analysis, we obtain the following results. In contrast to the single threshold obtained in the B-scenario, the contractor encounters two thresholds in the R-scenario (even in the situation that the contractor must incur extra costs to build up in-house capability). The contractor would outsource and organize a coordinated supply chain only when innovations fall between the two thresholds. Compared to the B-scenario, in-house capability has a positive effect on the contractor's incentive to innovate and an ambiguous effect on the subcontractor's incentive to invest in the production process. Even when the contractor must incur an extra cost to build in-house capability, he maintains the same levels of investment as they are when no extra cost for in-house capability is required, whereas the subcontractor increases the levels of process-related investment. From the empirical analysis, we find if potential misappropriation on the part of a subcontractor exists, the greater the benefits that a subcontractor would realize through misappropriation, the less likely a contractor would be to outsource innovative products. In addition, the higher the level of in-house capability, the less likely the contractor is to outsource innovative products that generate higher profitability. Hence, we emphasize that in-house capability not only provides an alternative manufacturing source for a contractor but also helps to mitigate risks stemming from outsourcing activities and enhance supply chain efficiency. Our work is related to Baiman and Rajan , Parmigiani , and Kaya . Baiman and Rajan  disregard the contractor's in-house capability and explore which innovations the contractor will choose to establish an arm's-length relationship with the subcontractor. Our work differs from that of Baiman and Rajan  in that we consider the option of internal production for the contractor and explore how the in-house capabilities affect the supply chain decisions. We conduct a comparison between the B-Scenario (the contractor lacks in-house capability) and the R-scenario. Parmigiani  directly examines the determinants of make-or-buy decisions. Our work differs from that study in that we focus on identifying the determinants of the contractor's innovation information-sharing strategies. We examine how these determinants affect the contractor's information-sharing strategies and the make-or-buy decisions. Kaya  compares contracts and identifies which contracts can help coordinate the supply chain in outsourcing and in-house production models, respectively. However, our work differs from that of Kaya  in that we abstract away from the optimal contracting issues and place emphasis on comparing outsourcing and in-house production scenarios. We focus on exploring the effects of in-house capabilities on supply chain efficiency. The remainder of the study is organized as follows. Section 2 describes and formulates the analytical model. Section 3 characterizes the bargaining game. Section 4 implements an empirical analysis. Section 5 provides the conclusion and future research suggestions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In the current outsourcing and supply chain literature, relatively few studies explore the effects of the contractor's in-house capability on make-or-buy strategies and supply chain coordination. In the presence of the subcontractor's potential misappropriation, we found that the greater the benefits that the subcontractor can realize through misappropriation, the less likely the contractor will be to outsource innovative products. In addition, the higher the level of in-house capability, the less likely the contractor will be to outsource innovative products that generate higher profitability. As a result, the entire supply chain will perform better. Our findings imply that the contractor will have greater bargaining power when he own in-house capability. We hence suggest that in-house capability not only provides an alternative manufacturing source for contractors, it also mitigates risks stemming from outsourcing activities and enhances the flexibility of corporate strategy. Relatively few studies analyze the effect of in-house capability on the parties' up-front investment incentives and the contractor's information-sharing strategies. Compared to the B-scenario, we found that the in-house capability has a positive effect on the contractor's incentive to innovate and an ambiguous effect on the subcontractor's incentive to invest in the production process. In addition, when the contractor must incur an extra cost to obtain in-house capability, the contractor keeps the same levels of investment compared to the case of no extra cost for in-house capability, whereas the subcontractor increases her levels of investment. In contrast to the single threshold obtained in the B-scenario, the contractor encounters two thresholds in the R-scenario (even the contractor must incur an extra cost to obtain in-house capability). The contractor will outsource and organize a coordinated supply chain only when innovations fall between the two thresholds when the subcontractor's misappropriation is possible and the contractor has in-house capability. In fact, the information-sharing strategy of a company is like a black box in that every company's disclosure decisions involve a complicated process of strategic consideration and deliberation. Our findings, consistent with the transaction cost economic theory, suggest that the existence of disclosure-related costs can explain why firms choose to be cautious with their innovation information disclosure strategies. To prevent potential information misappropriation by subcontractors, in practice, contractors may patent their proprietary information. They may require that subcontractors do not manufacture products that compete with their products (that is, establish a so-called firewall), or they may require subcontractors to sign nondisclosure agreements. However, a myriad of patent infringement lawsuits demonstrate the difficulty in effectively deterring potential information misappropriation, highlighting the important strategic role of in-house capability in coordinating supply chains. This study provides relevant evidence to enrich the outsourcing and supply chain literature, and its findings can serve as a meaningful reference for businesses in practice. In the current practice of industrial supply chains, the prevailing organizational structure is based on decentralized decision making. In practice, all partner firms in a supply chain are individual companies that make decisions independently and pursue corporate profit as the ultimate goal. Obviously, negotiation is one of the major means for different parties to reach a cooperation agreement in a supply chain. The Nash bargaining model is a cooperative game that is defined by a simple formula. The model contains strong strategic foundations and is applicable to a large class of bargaining situations, a feature that contributes to its attractiveness in application. In contrast to previous studies adopting a centralized mechanism design to analyze various issues in supply chains (e.g.,  and ), we introduce a simple, yet strategically significant, bargaining game model for future researches. Growing specialization creates more and more complex supply chains between firms as well as within firms. Our model, formalized according to the concept of the Nash bargaining game, clearly does not capture many of the complexities involved in real-world supply chains. For example, one-stage production has become a rare phenomenon; long supply chains are more and more prevalent. Future researchers could extend our setting by allowing a multi-period supply chain with multiple subcontractors and contractors and study the outsourcing issues. On the other hand, sourcing decision is complicated because it is affected by, and in turn influences, many aspects of the firms' operations and environment. An interesting future line of study is on how the content of management (accounting) might change with adoptions of new arrangements and initiatives (e.g., adoption of total cost of ownership and vendor managed inventory), and in turn, influences supply chain performance.