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Title: An exploratory study of symbiotic changing relationships between a major aerospace manufacturer and thirty-four of its component suppliers
Author: Moreland, Harold D.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1994
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In this study the natural science definition of symbiosis is modified in several ways to suit the business context. To demonstrate symbiosis it has been deemed appropriate that the SMEs must have noted, acted on and benefited from the changes being made by the main manufacturer/assembler. In this way it can be argued that the parties (the main manufacturer and its subcontractors) are in a symbiotic relationship. In order to test out the relevance and the academic viability of the symbiotic concept, it was felt that the study of a high-technology industry, for example aerospace, automotive or electronics, would be appropriate. With this factor in mind, the aerospace industry was selected as it is perceived to be globally oriented, have transitory customers, demands high-technology and quality assurance, appreciable percentage of out-sourcing and consists of a limited number of major manufacturers, each of whom are easily identifiable. BAe Prestwick (Prestwick) is a complete assembler of two aircraft models - the nineteen passenger Jetstream 31 and the twenty-nine passenger Jetstream 41. Prestwick routinely out-sources about sixty per cent of their components and sub-assemblies. The main issues discussed with the SMEs were whether they observed changes at Prestwick, to what extent were the SMEs making consequential mirror-image or similar changes, and finally, did the SMEs perceive the changes made by both parties as being mutually beneficial and commensal. The results established that there was growing symbiotic relationship occurring between the major manufacturer and thirty-four of its component suppliers who were studied in this research. These symbiotic changes meet the definition of symbiosis, mutual beneficiality and commensality as defined in this research. This case study therefore has justified the use of the symbiotic concept, modified for business purposes, as a useful tool for examining and analyzing the changing relationships between the major assembler and a sample of subcontractors in the civil aerospace industry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available