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Supplier Intergration in the Chinese Automotive Industry

2011 , Lockstroem, Martin , Harrison, Norma , Moser, Roger , Malhotra, Manoj , Schadel, Joachim , Flynn, Barbara , Morita, Michiya , Machuca, Jose

Grounded theory is used to develop a list of factors that facilitate and inhibit supplier relationships in China, in "Supplier Integration in the Chinese Automotive Industry." Although this is an industry which has been characterized by its rapid growth and many success stories, it is also known for its limited collaborative and process management capabilities. In fact, key automotive components are still primarily designed outside of China. Interviews were conducted with 30 managers in the Chinese automotive industry and transcribed into 650 pages of textual material. Key themes were developed using qualitative data analysis tools, including within-case analysis, hierarchical axial coding and line-by-line analysis of the transcripts. This resulted in seven analytical categories and six causal relationships. Proposals were developed related to collaborative supplier capabilities, supplier collaboration readiness, buyer leadership, continuous supplier development, leadership inhibitors and cultural distance. The authors suggested development of an organizational interface with the Chinese supplier market, to help address the tradeoff between local adaptation and global integration of sourcing processes.