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Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1314; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051314

Coordination in International Manufacturing: The Role of Competitive Priorities and the Focus of Globally Dispersed Facilities

1
Department of Organization Engineering, Business Administration and Statistics, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), 28006 Madrid, Spain
2
Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), SE 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: international manufacturing; competitiveness; globalization; sustainability; formal coordination; informal coordination international manufacturing; competitiveness; globalization; sustainability; formal coordination; informal coordination
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sayem, A.; Feldmann, A.; Ortega-Mier, M. Coordination in International Manufacturing: The Role of Competitive Priorities and the Focus of Globally Dispersed Facilities. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1314.

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