The value of information sharing in automotive supply chains: Understanding the role of information utilisation for operations planning and control
Abstract: The purpose of the thesis is to provide knowledge about the role of information utilisation in suppliers’ operations planning and control (OPC) processes, for generating value of shared demand-related information in automotive supply chains. To do so, the thesis focuses on information utilisation from three different perspectives: (1) how suppliers utilise shared information; (2) why they utilise the information the way they do; and (3) the effect of the utilisation. The thesis is based on three research studies, two case studies and one survey study, all performed in the Swedish automotive industry. The thesis contains both qualitative and quantitative data, which enables both a deep understanding of the studied phenomena, as well as general descriptions and explanations of it. The results from the research studies are presented in five academic papers, which are appended in the thesis. The thesis describes suppliers in the automotive industry divided into four clusters, depending on how they utilise three types of shared demand-related information in their OPC processes. Moreover, the thesis shows how an inter-organisational collaborative relationship, as well as intra-organisational process support at a supplier impact how suppliers utilise shared information both directly and indirectly, through information quality (IQ). Furthermore, the thesis explains that information utilisation mediates the relationship between IQ and OPC performance, but also that the mediation differs between different types of shared information. The thesis contributes to academia by highlighting the critical role of information utilisation for generating value of shared demand-related information. It develops a five-phase conceptual model of the impact of information sharing on OPC performance and explains how this model differs between different types of shared demand-related information. Additionally, the thesis opens up further research into information utilisation by defining and operationalising the information utilisation concept. The research contributes to practitioners in the automotive industry by showing that the potential value of information sharing is far from reached in the industry and that its value can be improved by better utilisation of shared demand-related information. It develops an information utilisation maturity model, which can be used as guidance for both suppliers and OEMs, in their endeavour to improve the value of information sharing in the automotive industry.
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