Exploiting Linkages for Building Technological Capabilities —Vietnam’s Motorcycle Component Suppliers under Japanese and Chinese Influence—
Focuses on one of the most dynamic and successfully developed but underexplored industries in Southeast Asia Provides rich insights into trajectories and mechanisms of supplier learning based on firm-level data collected through extensive fieldwork Makes significant theoretical and methodological contributions to the field of global value chain and technological capability formation One of the key ingredients of success in building internationally competitive industries lies in amassing a sizeable pool of competent suppliers of parts, components and accessories. This monograph examines how in developing countries suppliers of mechanical components at the low end of the technological trajectory build up key capabilities over time. The focus is on Vietnam’s motorcycle industry, which was rapidly transformed from a small, highly protected market to the world’s fourth largest motorcycle producer. This rare success resulted from intense competition between leading Japanese motorcycle manufacturers and local Vietnamese assemblers of imported Chinese components both attempting to gain supremacy in the emerging market. In particular, the book analyzes how local Vietnamese suppliers of motorcycle components exploited participation in contrasting types of value chains developed by the two groups of leading manufacturing firms, referred to here as Japanese and/or Vietnamese–Chinese chains, for accumulating strategic know-how. On the basis of historical evidence and recent empirical data collected through repeated rounds of in-depth fieldwork the analysis finds first, those suppliers’ learning trajectories evolved over time resulting in a divergence in learning performance extending across suppliers in later phases of industrial development. In the later stage, high-performing suppliers amassed basic innovative expertise, constituting the bedrock of this fast-growing industry. Second, the analysis finds that the diverging performance can be explained by the combination of roles played by lead firms in inducing and facilitating supplier learning and those of suppliers in mobilizing their own sources of knowledge. These conclusions not only provide dynamic, insightful accounts of supplier learning in developing country contexts but also make key theoretical and methodological contributions to the research on value chain participation and supplier learning.
The Motorcycle Industry: The Global Context and the Vietnamese Case
Local Suppliers’ Capability Building: Attainment and Trajectory
Learning Models in Japanese and Vietnamese–Chinese Chains up to the Early 2000s: An Aggregated Analysis of Learning Events
Evolution of the Two Learning Models (2005–2008): In-Depth Analysis of Selected Suppliers