Linking networks and plant roles: the impact of changing a plant role

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Many manufacturing firms are expanding their global footprint to explore new opportunities for efficient and effective production. The strategic perspective on international manufacturing networks involves both the network level and the plant level. A key aspect is the relationship between the network and the role of plants. In this research, we investigate the relationship between the network and plant perspectives in international manufacturing networks.
We use an embedded case study that includes five plants in two product networks over a period of three years. We analyse how changing the role of one plant affects the network as well as the roles of the other plants in the networks. We find that decisions on plant roles are, to a very high degree, network decisions and not decisions for individual plants. Based on the insights from the case study we also develop a framework for mapping manufacturing networks, including market coverage, plant location and site competence.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Transport Systems and Logistics


  • Case study, Global operations, International manufacturing, Longitudinal study, Manufacturing strategy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5696-5710
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch