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Chains, networks and shifting paradigms: the UK defence industry supply system

Paul Dowdall

Defence and Peace Economics, 2004, vol. 15, issue 6, 535-550

Abstract: Industrial supply chains have emerged as the focus of much economic and business research over the previous decade and defence is no exception. This paper reviews contributions made to the body of knowledge in this field with particular attention given to primary research undertaken on the UK defence industrial supply system. In doing so, the author assesses the quantity and quality of knowledge available to researchers, analysts and policy makers. There have been a number of valuable contributions to the literature and this paper reveals a subject that is extremely complicated, dynamic and yet under-researched. It is suggested that it may well be this complexity and dynamism, coupled with difficulty in accessing data, that has inhibited research development in this field. Defence industry supply systems are repeatedly referred to as 'chains'; however, primary research consistently suggests this is a misnomer - the author concludes that future analysis of the UK defence sector must embrace directly the economics of networks if understanding of the same is to progress and industrial 'invisibility' is to be avoided.

Keywords: UK defence industry; Supply chain; Networks; Restructuring; Primary research; Literature review (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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DOI: 10.1080/1024269042000246639

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