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Market performance implications of modularization: Evidence from global auto firms operating in China

Belay Seyoum and Yunshan Lian

International Business Review, 2018, vol. 27, issue 4, 852-866

Abstract: Auto firms play an increasingly important role in national economies. However, their internationalization strategies, especially the trend towards modularization has been underexplored in the international business literature. Drawing on the resource based theory, we develop hypotheses on the link between modularization and market performance. Analyzing a sample of 262 auto parts suppliers in China, the study shows the positive influence of modularization on firm performance and the moderating role of knowledge sharing tools and physical proximity in this relationship. In addition, these relationships are channeled by firms’ strategic actions to maintain superior business performance against competitors (firm positional advantage).

Date: 2018
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