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Evolution of organizational structure and strategy of the automobile industry

R.P. Wibbelink and M.S.H. Heng
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R.P. Wibbelink: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics

No 12, Serie Research Memoranda from VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics

Abstract: This paper is a historically oriented study of the automobile industry. It sets out to understand why have the structure and strategy of the dominant companies in the automobile industry changed in the way they have done. Our findings suggest three factors at work, namely the knowledge of car production and of customers, the capability of the technological system, and the business environment. The knowledge system represents the level of know-how and the availability of information. In a sense the knowledge system in the automobile industry refers to the level and the degree of diffusion of knowledge of how to make a car on the one hand and the know-how of customer demands on the other hand. In the history of the automobile industry the knowledge system has improved continuously and gradually. The technological system of car production consists of clusters of technologies that together form the technological base necessary to support or shape the car production. The business environment refers to the social system (economy, prosperity), the market system (the quantity and direction of the market demand), the intensity level of competition, the culture, the legislation, etc.

Keywords: hierarchical organization; network organization; business environment; Ford; Sloan; structure; strategy; knowledge; technology; automobile industry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L62 N60 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:vua:wpaper:2000-12