Strategies to Succeed in an Increasingly Technology-Based Environment: A Study of the Automotive Industry Dissertation

(2016). Strategies to Succeed in an Increasingly Technology-Based Environment: A Study of the Automotive Industry . 10.25148/etd.FIDC000219

thesis or dissertation chair


  • Geleilate, Jose


  • This dissertation investigates how firms embedded in an increasingly technology-based industry change their vertical integration and product development strategies in order to remain competitive and increase value capture. The first essay is a theoretical development integrating concepts of industry structure, organizational governance form and innovation in order to disentangle past research’s disagreements and guide future studies. Firms are seen as proactive actors that also have their decisions strongly shaped by structural (architectural) factors. The second essay focus on analyzing how module suppliers achieve a sustained competitive advantage by increasing their focus on modular products and innovations as well as managing their vertically related operations. Results from the global automotive industry reveal that suppliers are capable of capturing more value from modules when investing in modular innovations, integrating manufacturing operations via M&As and strengthening downstream relationships through strategic alliances. Lastly, the third essay investigates the great complexities involved in the manufacture of automobiles. By acknowledging the important strategic implications of managing product failures to the overall performance and reputation of organizations, this essay attempts to fill a gap in the literature by investigating how increased product, process and supplier changes affect product failure rates, and how firms manage product redesigns and learning from past product failures to increase quality reputation. Results indicates that in complex product industries such as automotive, firms find it very difficult to increase product changes without incurring also in more product failures. The results also highlight the importance of strong supplier involvement and integration as a means to reduce product failure rates. This study also demonstrates that quality reputation is better assessed by consumers when manufacturers invest more in model redesigns. Yet, it shows that experience with voluntary recalls helps firms to learn how to improve their new products and increase quality reputation.

publication date

  • March 31, 2016

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)