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Flexibility versus robust networks: the case of the Brazilian automotive sector

Flexibility versus robust networks: the case of the Brazilian automotive sector The “robust networks” concept of Ferdows is examined and related to other key theories from the manufacturing strategy literature, resource‐based and other conceptualisations of the organisation of innovation in international networks, and the international business debates on “operational flexibility”. The cases of seven international automotive assemblers with operations in Brazil are then considered in the light of Ferdows’ framework and the external factors bearing on the country and the sector within it. It is evident that, among the global assemblers, the “world” car strategy is dominant, leading to a concentration on the “source” and “lead” roles for individual plants, often combined with radical logistical arrangements. This seems in turn to support the argument for “robustness” rather than “operational flexibility”. Suggestions are made for further work to study the luxury car assemblers and other sectors where economies of scale are less important and where there is a greater degree of global dispersion of production facilities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Integrated Manufacturing Systems Emerald Publishing

Flexibility versus robust networks: the case of the Brazilian automotive sector

Integrated Manufacturing Systems , Volume 14 (1): 10 – Feb 1, 2003

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0957-6061
DOI
10.1108/09576060310453326
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The “robust networks” concept of Ferdows is examined and related to other key theories from the manufacturing strategy literature, resource‐based and other conceptualisations of the organisation of innovation in international networks, and the international business debates on “operational flexibility”. The cases of seven international automotive assemblers with operations in Brazil are then considered in the light of Ferdows’ framework and the external factors bearing on the country and the sector within it. It is evident that, among the global assemblers, the “world” car strategy is dominant, leading to a concentration on the “source” and “lead” roles for individual plants, often combined with radical logistical arrangements. This seems in turn to support the argument for “robustness” rather than “operational flexibility”. Suggestions are made for further work to study the luxury car assemblers and other sectors where economies of scale are less important and where there is a greater degree of global dispersion of production facilities.

Journal

Integrated Manufacturing SystemsEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 2003

Keywords: Brazil; Automotive industry; Manufacturing strategy

References