A review of research and practice for industrial networks of the future

Dekkers, R. and Bennett, D. (2010) A review of research and practice for industrial networks of the future. In: Wang, L. and Koh, S.C.L. (eds.) Enterprise Networks and Logistics for Agile Manufacturing. Springer: London, pp. 11-38. ISBN 9781849962438 (doi:10.1007/978-1-84996-244-5_2)

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Academic researchers have followed closely the interest of companies in establishing industrial networks by studying aspects such as social interaction and contractual relationships. But what patterns underlie the emergence of industrial networks and what support should research provide for practitioners? First, it appears that manufacturing is becoming a commodity rather than a unique capability, which accounts especially for low-technology approaches in downstream parts of the network, for example, in assembly operations. Second, the increased tendency towards specialisation has forced other, upstream, parts of industrial networks to introduce advanced manufacturing technologies for niche markets. Third, the capital market for investments in capacity, and the trade in manufacturing as a commodity, dominates resource allocation to a larger extent than was previously the case. Fourth, there is becoming a continuous move towards more loosely connected entities that comprise manufacturing networks. Finally, in these networks, concepts for supply chain management should address collaboration and information technology that supports decentralised decision-making, in particular to address sustainable and green supply chains. More traditional concepts, such as the keiretsu and chaibol networks of some Asian economies, do not sufficiently support the demands now being placed on networks. Research should address these five fundamental challenges to prepare for the industrial networks of 2020 and beyond.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dekkers, Dr Rob
Authors: Dekkers, R., and Bennett, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management

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