Antecedents to supplier integration in the automotive industry

A multiple-case study of foreign subsidiaries in China

Martin Lockström*, Joachim Schadel, Norma Harrison, Roger Moser, Manoj K. Malhotra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Citations (Scopus)


Supplier integration has become an important concept for improving supply chain performance. The aim of this paper is to identify factors that facilitate and inhibit supplier integration in the context of the Chinese automotive industry. An inductive approach based on grounded theory was chosen as the research methodology, where data was collected through 30 detailed case interviews with subsidiaries of foreign automotive companies operating in China. The results indicate that buyer-side leadership is an important antecedent for building motivation, trust, and commitment among suppliers and for shaping their mindsets. This, in turn, facilitates strategic alignment and enables suppliers to build collaborative capabilities, which are finally shown to be a key enabler for successful supplier integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-256
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Automotive
  • China
  • Collaborative relationship
  • Supplier integration

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