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Project 9 diffusion in supply chains

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ERC3 - Project 9 - Best practice diffusion in UK supply chains: barriers, enablers and policy

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Project 9 diffusion in supply chains

  1. 1. Best practice diffusion in UK supply chains: barriers, enablers and policy Stephen Roper, Nola Hewitt-Dundas, Maria Wishart
  2. 2. Starting points • Diffusion of best practice technologies (management and digital) is important in raising productivity • Trusted – and long-term - relationships can be critical to the effective transfer of best practice. This focuses attention on supply chains • But, existing evidence suggests significant gaps exist between supply chain tiers in terms of their adoption of best practice techniques • Questions here are therefore – (1) What are the barriers and enablers of best practice diffusion in supply chains? – (2) How can policy be designed to encourage diffusion and so improve productivity outcomes?
  3. 3. Diffusion in supply chains Distributions of knowledge gaps in best practice use within multi-national groups (left) and supply-chains (right). Key message is diffusion in supply chains is slower and best practice less evenly adopted. Source: Crone and Roper, 2001.
  4. 4. Building blocks Key insights OECD (2015) Frontier firms have better technology and can be 5 x more productive than non-frontier firms. National technology champions are three times as important for diffusion as global champions Valentim, L Aydin, A., & Parker, R. P. (2018). Market and technological factors may shape the most appropriate level of intervention in a supply chain (conceptual) Todo, Y., Matous, P., & Inoue, H. (2016). Diversified links may facilitate innovation. Too close ties (closed networks) may generate lock-in. Be careful what you wish for! Crone, M., & Roper, S. (2003) Best practice adoption can vary widely between supply chain tiers. Diffusion is a strategic decision not operational in most cases Crone, M., & Roper, S. (2001) Lags in adoption are measurable and comparable across supply chain tiers
  5. 5. Research questions 1. How are best practice technologies distributed across UK supply chains? How big are the gaps in adoption and utilization? What does ‘good’ look like? 2. What are the barriers and enablers of knowledge diffusion: operational, strategic, tactical? Could reflect challenges both for knowledge providers and recipients. 3. What are the key mechanisms of best practice diffusion along supply chains? 4. How can policy be designed to promote knowledge diffusion along supply chains?
  6. 6. Research approach • Focus on UK supply chains and partners in (perhaps) Aerospace, Automotive, Food, Electronics, Plastics • Partner with industry representative bodies and organisations notably ‘Innovation Alliance’ to help with access • Approach is qualitative – face to face or telephone interviews. Aim 10-15 interviews per supply chain • ‘Progressive’ sampling to progress down tiers of supply-chain linking from one firm to its suppliers. Confidentiality assurances will be key. • Analysis qualitative and should provide a rich picture of best practice adoption and use, diffusion and potential policy opportunities
  7. 7. Project timeline Research question Timing Identification of target supply chains, building access, questionnaire development July – August Lead interviews with OEMs and 1st tier suppliers Sept to Nov Interviews with 2nd and 3rd tier suppliers Dec to Feb – Interim report (internal and funder circulation) Interviews with 4th tier suppliers March to April Analysis and reporting May to June – Research Paper 1
  8. 8. References Valentim, L Aydin, A., & Parker, R. P. (2018). ' Innovation and technology diffusion in competitive supply chains. European Journal of Operational Research, 265(3), 1102-1114. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2017.08.047 Todo, Y., Matous, P., & Inoue, H. (2016). The strength of long ties and the weakness of strong ties: Knowledge diffusion through supply chain networks. Research Policy, 45(9), 1890-1906. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2016.06.008 Crone, M., & Roper, S. (2003). Knowledge Complementarity and Co-Ordination in the Local Supply Chain: Some Empirical Evidence. British Journal of Management, 14(4), 339-357. OECD. (2015). The Future of Productivity, Paris. Crone, M., & Roper, S. (2001). Local learning from multinational plants: Knowledge transfers in the supply chain. Regional Studies, 35(6), 535-548.

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