The study of emerging industries has recently captured the interest of academics, industrialists and government policy makers as a means to providing potential sources of ‘value’ creation. In recent years, research in this area has typically focused on product R&D technologies, coupled with their particular technology commercialisation challenges. However, industrial systems are more complex and are not readily described by a single viewpoint.
It is now widely recognised that manufacturing value chains (including subsequent stages of design for manufacture, engineering, production operations ramp-up, route-to-market and in-use activities) are critical to transforming new technologies and ideas into innovative products and services. However, the design, set-up and operation of enabling supply networks, in the context of emerging industries, is poorly understood.
One key challenge is that there is no defined strategy that a firm can follow due to lack of certainty in the business eco-system and in end-consumer requirements, forcing entrepreneurs to experiment with multiple supply chain strategies. This process can be very time-consuming, increasing time-to-market and making it difficult to maintain critical “first mover advantage”.
The increasing focus on emerging industries, with these inherent uncertainties, is also concurrent with changes in the industrial landscape for mature sectors, which have arisen from the twin impacts of globalisation and the dissolution of vertically integrated value chains, raising the importance of supply networks as an enabling element of emerging industrial development.
This special issue focuses on supply network evolution in emerging industries, drawing on examples of ‘industrial innovation’ spanning technology-based product innovation, new production or supply chain replenishment models (e.g. new routes to market) and/or novel business models. Consistent with the mission of IJMTM, submitted papers should contain a significant empirical contribution and enable communication between academics, industrialists and policymakers to further knowledge and research, as well as theory and practice, in the field of manufacturing technology and management. Original research and development papers, review papers and case studies are welcome. The relevance of supply network evolution in emerging industries must be explicit.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Understanding the dynamics of emerging technologies/industries and subsequent engagement with complex industrial networks
- Insights on the interaction between various stages of the manufacturing value chain
- Visualisation of value showing potential value streams for network partners
- Industrial network development from the perspectives of different stakeholders
- Trends and generic stages of supply network evolution within emerging industries
- Effective management of resources through effective supply chain strategies
- Development of frameworks and their application to supporting the configuration of networks for the commercialisation of nascent and emergent technologies
Papers should address relevant practical problems and provide either valuable managerial insight and/or a fundamental improvement of our understanding of supply network evolution in emerging industries.
Manuscript submission: 30 June, 2015