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The business perspective on materials criticality: Evidence from Manufacturers
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Sustainability and Industrial Dynamics. (Sustainability and Industrial Dynamics)
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Sustainability and Industrial Dynamics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5912-441X
2016 (English)In: Resources policy, ISSN 0301-4207, Vol. 50, p. 93-107Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The European Commission identified a group of materials that were claimed to be critical due to their high economic importance and high supply constraints, which could become bottlenecks for the deployment of emerging technologies and enabling sustainable production. Currently this discourse takes place at the industrial system level from a policyperspective, and it is unclear if what is perceived by policy circles as critical could be true for manufacturing operations. This paper explores how five EU manufacturing companies in different sectors and supply chains see materials criticality, and their strategies to mitigate such criticality. On the one hand, the results indicate the limited scope of the criticalityfactors and employed mitigation strategies considered, compared to those established in the literature. On the other hand, the findings point to the existence of interdependences between companies within and between supply chains, which should be incorporated into the materials criticality assessment, if viable implications for the industrial systems are to be developed. The paper concludes by discussing the implications for manufacturing companies and policy-makers, and suggests prospects for further research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 50, p. 93-107
Keywords [en]
Critical materials; Criticality factors; Manufacturers; Mitigation strategies
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192640DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2016.09.001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84987956603OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-192640DiVA, id: diva2:971565
Note

QC 20160928

Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-16 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
Keywords
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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