Managing resource dependencies in electric vehicle supply chains:a multi-tier case study


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate dependencies that arise between companies during the ramp-up of production volume in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain. Design/methodology/approach: An inter-company case study method has been used. Data were collected via tours of manufacturing plants, workshops and interviews from multiple tiers in a supply chain, namely, a niche EV manufacturer, as well as two of its tier-one suppliers and five of its tier-two suppliers. Findings: As production volumes increased, a more relational approach was found to be necessary in inter-company relationships. The authors’ research showed that key suppliers, in addition to providing the parts, pursued a supply chain orchestrator’s role by offering direct support and guidance to the niche EV manufacturer in designing and executing its development plans. Research limitations/implications: The resource dependence theory (RDT) is used to analyse and explain the changing dependencies throughout the planning and execution of production ramp-up. Practical implications: This study will help supply chain managers to better manage resource dependencies during production ramp-up. Originality/value: This study explores dependencies during the early stages of the production ramp-up process in the EV sector, which is in itself in the early stages of evolution. RDT is used for the first time in this context. This study has moved beyond a simple dyadic context, by providing empirical insights into the actions taken by an EV manufacturer and its suppliers, towards a multi-tier supply chain context, to better manage resource dependencies.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Engineering Systems and Supply Chain Management
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Logistics and Systems Institute
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Additional Information: © Emerald Publishing Limited 2019 Published by Emerald Publishing Limited Licensed re-use rights only Funding: Advanced Propulsion Centre UK.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Case study,Electric vehicle,Production ramp-up,Resource dependence theory,Supply chain management,Business, Management and Accounting(all)
Publication ISSN: 1758-6852
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.eme ... CM-03-2018-0116 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2019-03-11
Published Online Date: 2019-01-31
Accepted Date: 2018-09-29
Authors: Kalaitzi, Dimitra (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1057-1697)
Matopoulos, Aristides (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5083-0534)
Clegg, Benjamin T (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7506-5237)



Version: Accepted Version

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