Crafting strategic responses to ecosystem dynamics in manufacturing

Ates, Aylin and Paton, Steve and Sminia, Harry and Smith, Marisa (2023) Crafting strategic responses to ecosystem dynamics in manufacturing. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 194. 122727. ISSN 0040-1625 (

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This research goes beyond the dyadic view of co-opetition in supply chains and seeks to explore how firms that act as suppliers in a dynamic manufacturing ecosystem establish and sustain their strategic position. We interviewed 31 senior managers in seven firms that were identified by a committee representing government and academia as occupying various advanced manufacturing ecosystems. We argue that as actors within a manufacturing ecosystem interact overt time to co-create the overall product-service offerings, new relationships may be formed, and existing connections may be dissolved, giving rise to three co-opetition dynamics at the ecosystem level - capability configuration, value appropriation, and network governance. Our analysis unveiled eighteen operational tactics that suppliers deploy which combine to produce nine strategic responses that allow them to sustain their position within manufacturing ecosystems. Specifically, we discuss the role of suppliers in manufacturing ecosystems and capture the relationship between ecosystem dynamics and the strategic responses as they accommodate co-opetition. This research indicates that ecosystem performance is essentially a dynamic effort, which is simultaneously collective and distributed. Thus, policymakers should avoid carrying out analysis based on overly linear and single industry conceptualisations of manufacturing value networks.


Ates, Aylin ORCID logoORCID:, Paton, Steve ORCID logoORCID:, Sminia, Harry and Smith, Marisa ORCID logoORCID:;