Supply Network Evolution in Emerging Industries

Tomás Seosamh Harrington (Guest editor), Yufeng Zhang (Guest editor)

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The study of emerging industries has recently captured the interest of academics, industrialists, and government policy makers as a means to providing new sources of ‘value’ creation. In recent years, research in this area has typically focused on product R&D technologies, coupled with their particular technology commercialisation challenges. However, the industrial ecosystem is much more complex, and cannot be readily described by a single viewpoint. It is now widely recognised that manufacturing value chains (including subsequent stages of design for manufacture, engineering, production ramp-up, route-to-market, and in-use activities) are critical to transforming new technologies and ideas into innovative products and services. However, the design, setup and operation of enabling supply networks, in the context of emerging industries, is poorly understood. One key challenge is there is no defined strategy that a firm can follow due to lack of certainty in the business ecosystem and on end-consumer requirements. This often forces entrepreneurs to experiment with multiple supply chain strategies. This process can be very time consuming – leading to increased time to market and making it difficult to maintain critical ‘first mover advantage’. This increasing focus on emerging industries, with these inherent uncertainties, is also compounded with changes in the industrial landscape for mature sectors – with the impact of globalisation and the dissolution of vertically integrated value chains – raising the importance of supply networks as an enabling element of emerging industrial development. This special issue focuses on ‘Supply network evolution in emerging industries’, drawing on examples of ‘industrial innovation’ spanning technology-based product innovation, new production or supply chain replenishment models (e.g., new routes to market) and/or novel business models. The research presented here offers new insights into the design and operation of supply networks and their links to other parts of the broader industrial ecosystem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management
Issue number1/2/3
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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