This paper explores how firms create and sustain competitive advantage in the inter-firm business relationships from a supplier’s perspective. Ultimately, this paper draws its attention to keiretsu partnerships and how it is perceived by Japanese automotive suppliers. Four main theoretical perspectives (resource based view, industrial organisation, transaction cost economics, and relational network) were considered when developing a conceptual framework based on competitive capability, market diversification, and level of engagement. The framework was examined against two best-practice automotive component suppliers. Later, primary data was also gathered through an interview with a CEO and a survey questionnaire with 11 Japanese companies. As a result, this paper classified these 11 companies into four supplier groups based on tier level (1 and 2) and affiliation condition. Findings propose that there may be little benefit in being an affiliated tier 1 supplier, and that independent tier 2 suppliers may be more competitive than affiliated ones.
|Title of host publication||Advances in manufacturing technology XXVI : tenth international conference on manufacturing research|
|Subtitle of host publication||incorporating the 27th national conference on manufacturing research : manufacturing technology and operations to sustain business success|
|Editors||T.S. Baines, B.T. Clegg, D.K. Harrison|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||10th International Conference on Manufacturing Research - Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom|
Duration: 10 Sep 2012 → 13 Sep 2012
|Conference||10th International Conference on Manufacturing Research|
|Abbreviated title||ICMR 2012|
|Period||10/09/12 → 13/09/12|
|Other||Incorporating the 27 th National Conference on Manufacturing Research|
Bibliographical note© Aston Business School
Kato, T., & Nunes, B. (2012). Supplier competitive advantage in inter-firm business relationships: is Keiretsu really a source of competitive advantage for Japanese automotive suppliers? In T. S. Baines, B. T. Clegg, & D. K. Harrison (Eds.), Advances in manufacturing technology XXVI : tenth international conference on manufacturing research: incorporating the 27th national conference on manufacturing research : manufacturing technology and operations to sustain business success (Vol. 2). Aston University.