Relational Governance and Modularity of Japanese Automotive Industry: Effects and Dynamic of Strategic Action FIELD (full-text)

The objective of this study was to analyze the modularity in the networks of Japanese automakers from 2007 to 2014 and its association to the dynamics of strategic action fields. The metric of modularity (Q) (Clauset, Newman, & Moore, 2004; Newman, 2006) indicates the best partition in groups of a particular network. As a global metric longitudinal network modularity indicates changes in the composition of the groups. Variano, McCoy & Lipson (2004) showed that the presence of a hierarchy of modules (groups) confers increased robustness and stability of a structure in networks where this is expose to external disturbances. With this in mind we sought time events that have caused disturbances to the Japanese industry and combine them to variations in modularity (Q). Finally, we associate this level of analysis to the dynamics of a meso level arrangement or field according to Fligstein & McAdam (2012). There may be a relationship between modularity and structure of a field. For Fligstein & McAdam (2012), actors in a stable field will try to maintain their position and arrangement; the changes are due to the changes and actions of other actors, so field is intersubjective (Fligstein & McAdam, 2012; Nooy, 2003). So in a stable field the transformation is progressive, as there is this idea of defending the arrangement and relational and structural positions. If the field of Japanese automakers is stable, so their responses to disturbances will attempt to maintain the status quo.
In this paper we consider two secondary sources, (i) the annual journal The Motor Industry of Japan from JAMA, and (ii) production statistics of OICA. Were raised 670 contractual relationships between 82 legal entities grouped by Japan, China, Europe and USA and by Ownership, Joint Ventures, Assembly Contracts and Technology Alliances, in order to analyze the modularity associatively to disturbances.

The results revealed three times, the first resulting from the financial crisis of 2008 which boosted the strengthening of the Japanese domestic market by assembly contracts. The second in 2011 caused by the tsunami, when Toyota introduced answers celebrating Technology Alliances with Japan and US automakers. Finally the third in 2013, when apparently pressured by rising demand for alternative energy sources Japanese automakers began a demobilization process of Assembly Contracts in Europe and mobilization of domestic Assembly Contracts, also initiates a mobilization of Technological Alliances with European and US automakers. So the main results reveal that modularity (Q) was sensitive to identify strategic action fields dynamics. These results are combined with clustering technique of data offers rich detail analysis. Also showed great effort into keeping the local market despite the gains in strengthens relations with China. The paper finally contributes to understand the relationship between networks and fields through the Q sensibility to disturbances. Studies correlating network and fields are central to the study of institutions.
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Author(s): Paulo Cesar Matui, Mário Sacomano Neto
Organization(s): Federal University of Sao Carlos
Source: Moral Economies, Economic Moralities – June 24 – 26, 2016
Year: 2016

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