We examine the shifting geography and architecture of the mobile handset industry over the entire ‘outsourcing era,’ leveraging data on virtually every significant supply relationships for the design and manufacture of complete handsets for branded producers and mobile telecom operators in the period 1992-2012.
As handset production shifted from primarily European and North American locations to a diverse set of countries centered in Asia, the industry architecture also evolved, from a stable structure dominated by a small handful of vertically-integrated producers, to a much more fragmented and differentiated structure, featuring integrated and ‘fabless’ producers, and a highly heterogeneous collection of electronic manufacturing service firms.
Our analysis explores how these changing structures have played out in terms of firm boundary decisions, buyer-supplier relationships, innovation, and new product introductions.
Joanne Oxley is the McCutcheon Professor in International Business, and Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, where she also serves as Vice Dean, Faculty.
Her research explores topics related to vertical integration, alliances, offshore outsourcing, and other forms of international collaboration. She has published widely in the fields of management and international business, and has held editorial positions at several leading journals, including the Journal of International Business Studies, Management Science, and Strategic Management Journal.
She is currently a senior editor at Strategy Science. Professor Oxley holds a BSc/BA in engineering and business studies from Trent Polytechnic (now Trent University), and MBA, MA and PhD degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to joining the University of Toronto, she was a faculty member at the University of Michigan Business School.
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