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Influence of power regimes on identification and mitigation of material criticality: The case of platinum group metals in the automotive sector
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM). Politecnico di Milano, Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1868-1847
Politecnico di Milano, Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0251-8538
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The discourse on materials criticality assists with the identification of materials that are subject to supply disruptions and have high economic importance within an industrial system. Multiple research efforts generated different lists of critical materials and proposed a variety of mitigation strategies.  However, all that is not necessarily meaningful for companies, as the current discourse misses to consider a business perspective. The paper addresses this gap, and in particular, examines cross-tier power regimes as mechanisms for shaping company’s ability to identify and mitigate materials criticality. The empirical investigation is based on the case of PGMs employment in the automotive industry. Four companies that form two supply chains were engaged in the study. The findings indicate that power dominance rises upstream in a supply chain and with bigger magnitude of materials exchange. A more advanced power position allows for better awareness of supply constraints and a wider scope of feasible mitigation actions. It appears that the power structure can serve as a facilitator or a constraint for the management of critical materials. Therefore, an industrial system comprised from companies with advanced power positions has a broader scope of applicable mitigation options. Both practitioners and policy-makers should consider power regimes between companies when developing strategies and policies to secure stable flow of materials.

Keyword [en]
Critical materials, Power regime, Platinum group metals, Automotive industry
National Category
Social Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-227870OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-227870DiVA, id: diva2:1205509
Note

QC 20180514

Available from: 2018-05-14 Created: 2018-05-14 Last updated: 2018-05-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Opening the black box of material criticality: heterogeneity and interrelations of companies within and across industrial sectors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Opening the black box of material criticality: heterogeneity and interrelations of companies within and across industrial sectors
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The concept of ‘material criticality’ has been introduced to examine availability and accessibility of natural resources that underlie industrial competitiveness and deployment of strategic technologies, such as electric mobility or wind turbines. The academic and policy discourse conceptualised material criticality rather as a black box, assuming industrial sectors to be monolithic, homogeneous and independent entities, neglecting complexity of the company dimension. The thesis questions appropriateness of these assumptions and aims to achieve the following objectives: 1) to examine the influence of heterogeneity and interrelations of companies on identification and mitigation of material criticality; and 2) to demonstrate their relevance for understanding material criticality.Through the exploratory case based research, the thesis highlights the importance of the company dimension for examination of critical materials. The findings indicate the need to extend the criticality analysis to consider power relations of companies along supply chains, and competitive relations of companies across industrial sectors at a shared resource market. These relations influence a company’s ability to identify and mitigate material criticality, which in turn affects an industrial system’s ability to withstand supply disruptions. Heterogeneity of companies within and across industrial sectors suggests against utility of generic outcomes of the criticality analysis at the national/global levels.The thesis provides implications for policy-makers regarding selective support for companies and industrial sectors to assist their efforts to mitigate material criticality. The results serve to raise awareness of practitioners about material criticality and to assist with the decision-making for development of mitigation strategies. Finally, the thesis calls for the need to establish a dialogue between policy-makers, industrial actors and researchers to advance understanding and analysis of material criticality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. p. 68
Series
TRITA-ITM-AVL ; 2018:12
Keyword
Critical materials, Identification, Mitigation, Company, Supply chain, Inter-sectoral competition, Buyer-supplier power relations
National Category
Social Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-227878 (URN)978-91-7729-769-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-07, D2, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20180514

his thesis is produced as part of the EMJD Programme European Doctorate in Industrial Management (EDIM) funded by the European Commission, Erasmus Mundus Action 1.

The research was jointly conducted in Politecnico di Milano and KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Available from: 2018-05-14 Created: 2018-05-14 Last updated: 2018-05-14Bibliographically approved

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