Title

使命感,客戶網路和供應商網路:影響我國電子資訊產業代工和自創品牌策略抉擇因素的探討

Translated Titles

Mission, Buyer Network, and Supplier Network – Factors Influencing the Choice of OBM Strategy in the Computer and Electronics Industries in Taiwan

DOI

10.6504/JOM.2004.21.04.03

Authors

洪清德(Ching Horng)

Key Words

策略管理 ; 使命感 ; 網路組織 ; 自創品牌 ; Strategy ; Mission ; Network ; OBM

PublicationName

管理學報

Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

21卷4期(2004 / 08 / 01)

Page #

451 - 476

Content Language

繁體中文

Chinese Abstract

自創品牌多年來一直為我國資訊電子產業業者高利潤掌握最終消費者的目標,本研究在面訪過十二家我國自創品牌協會會員廠商之後,設計問卷鎖定使命感,客戶網路和供應商網路為主要自變數來解釋自創品牌比例和自劉品牌績效兩個應變數。問卷母體為習下1998年的1000大企業裏的184家電子產業廠商和124家資訊產業廠商。總計回收57份,回收率達18.5%。結果分析顯示使命感和自創品牌績效呈顯著正相關,供應商網路和自創品牌績效亦呈顯正相關,但和自創品牌比例呈顯著負相關。本研究結論指出供應商網路和自創品牌比例之間強力的顯著負相關可園為供應商網路和代工存在正面相關,然而客戶網路和自創品牌比例不存在顯著關係,則指出我國業者透過客戶網路學習自創品牌仍是困難重重。

English Abstract

This study examines the issue of own brand manufacturing (OBM) for Taiwanese firms in the electronic and information technology industries. This group of firms obtains the majority of their sales by manufacturing products under their foreign buyers’ brands. This practice of original equipment manufacturing (OEM) offers the benefits of scale and efficiencies. However, the price is ever-lowering profit margins and losing touch with the final consumers. Capitalizing on this critical upgrading issue facing practitioners, I draw upon the network literature to examine the impact of buyer relations and supplier relations on firm’s OBM sales and subjective OBM performance. In addition to the network literature, I also borrow the identity literature to highlight the unique psychological need of this group of firms. The network literature has uncovered many benefits offered by networking. On the supplier network side, the industry cluster effect manifests itself in various industry success stories such as the IT industry in Silicon Valley, the automobile industry in Japan, and the textile industry in Italy. While Taiwanese firms also benefit from their local supplier network such as the industry cluster Shin Chu Scientific Park, I propose that one majo, learning source for Taiwanese firms is their foreign buyers. Since these buyers own well-known brands, it’s only natural for their Taiwanese partners to look to them for brand management knowledge. However, while I hypothesize that both supplier and buyer relations are positively related to the focal Taiwanese firm’s OBM sales and OBM performance, the network literature has also cautioned against an overoptimistic view of buyer relations. Being too close to one’s buyer sometime may lock the firm into a dead end. Coupling with the fact that many Taiwanese firms are yet to see the benefits of their OBM operations after years of investment, it is particularly important to test the aspiration for learning from the key buyer against the empirical reality. Similar to my motivation to anchor the network theory in the Taiwanese context, I include identity to highlight the unique psychological need of Taiwanese firms. Identity as applied in this study captures the pride of being a Taiwanese firm, not just being a unique firm. This treatment may sound strange to Westerners who are used to the rational view of organization, but many of my interviewees from my field study unanimously proclaim that they are not in the business simply to make a profit. Instead, they are looking fro respect. Aiming to make my study more than just a replicate of Western theories, I therefore include identity as my lead independent variable contributing to both OBM sales and OBM performance in this study. To test my hypotheses that buyer relations, supplier relations and identity are all positively related to OBM sales and OBM performance, I surveyed 124 firms in the electronic and information technology industries in 1998. I received 57 responses, resulting in a response rate of 18.5%. I asked the respondent from each firm to estimate the percentage of the firm’s OBM sales over total sales for last year, this year and next year. I take the average of these three numbers to measure the first dependent variable: OBM sales. As for the second dependent variable of subjective OBM performance, I asked the respondent to evaluate name recognition, growth rate, profits, long-term competitiveness, and intraoganizational coordination contributed by the firm’s OBM operations on seven-point Likert scales. In regard to independent variables, I used four items to measure both buyer relations and supplier relations. I asked the respondent to evaluate the closeness of the firm’s relations with its key buyer (supplier) on seven-point Likert scales. Lastly, I designed four original items to measure identity. In essence, identity measures the extent participants feel proud of being Taiwanese firms. I also included seven control variables in the final regression analyses: industry, age, numbers of foreign subsidiary, export percentage, global strategy, local strategy and transnational strategy. Since I collected data from one key informant in each firm, I conducted factor analyses to establish the convergent and divergent validity of my three independent variables. I also tested predictive validity by running correlation analyses between my key variables and other redundant items embedded in my survey. Both test turned in satisfactory results. Results pertaining to OBM sales are not very encouraging. Of the three independent variables, only supplier relations is significantly related to OBM sales. Furthermore, the sign is negative. In other words, the closer the focal firm is to its key supplier, the lower the focal firm’s OBM sales. This puzzle makes more sense if we interpret OBM sales as the reverse of OEM sales. Since Taiwanese firms still engage in more OEM that OBM, a close supplier relations naturally will contribute positively to OEM, and negatively to OBM. One the other hand, results from OBM performance confirm that both identity and supplier relations are significantly and positively related to OBM performance. However, the independent variable of buyer relations fails to show any significant effect again. Overall, results of this study indicate that supplier relations promote the reverse of OBM sales, i.e., OEM sales, and that supplier relations is positively related to subjective OBM performance. This study therefore confirms the positive industry cluster effect found in the literature. Second, the most significant finding of this study is the role played by identity. Although it does not show any positive effect on OBM sales, it is the most crucial variable explaining subjective OBM performance. This finding highlights the uniqueness of my study sample and echoes the need to combine indigenous constructs with the mainstream literature to contribute to the field. Lastly, the inability of buyer relations to show any effect on OBM sales and subjective OBM performance cautions us not to get too optimistic about buyer relations. Even if the thorny issues of trust, opportunism and learning race disappear, the focal firm’s own absorptive capacity may not be enough for it to make the leap from OEM to OBM. This leap asks the firm to engage in the daunting task of switching from exploitation to exploration. However, the recent phenomenal success of Samsung indicates that Asian brands other that Japanese can still earn a respectable spot on the global stage. Hopefully, this study has made a small step toward dispelling the myth of OBM.

Topic Category 社會科學 > 管理學
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