In this era of globalization, network integration has received great attention, as it certainly has implications for the competitiveness in international manufacturing. A key issue in integration is to coordinate activities of dispersed facilities in a way to align the target of locating abroad and the priorities to be competitive. This study explores and clarifies the effect of competitive priority and focus of dispersed facilities on coordinating the activities in intra-firm network manufacturing. Based on a multiple case study involving four different companies manufacturing in globally dispersed facilities, the results confirm that both competitive priorities and specific focus of global manufacturing are important for selecting mechanisms to coordinate overseas facilities, with the competitive priorities ‘quality’ and ‘flexibility’ being the more important. Furthermore, the findings reveal that companies place emphasis on informal mechanisms to coordinate the low-cost focused facilities. In turn, the importance of formal mechanisms seems equal for coordinating both low-cost focused facilities and those focused on capturing a local market. Finally, the findings of this paper suggest that elements of competitive priority, as well as the focus of dispersed facilities, should be considered towards making the choice for mechanisms of coordination. The findings bear important implications for the effective coordination of activities in international manufacturing.
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