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Comparative advantages of spinoff suppliers: a case study of a Turkish automotive manufacturer

Uzunca, Bilgehan
Using an evolutionary perspective, this thesis examines the presence of specific genetic features that make spinoff suppliers more advantageous compared to other (non-spinoff) suppliers. The spinoff supplier concept is studied by analyzing the automotive subsidiary of one of the largest industrial and commercial conglomerates in Turkey. The company name is kept confidential. In this study, the idea that managerial processes and routines of the parent firm will pass on to spinoff suppliers (like the transfer of genes from mother to child), and that due to this genetic ability, spinoff suppliers will possess faster organizational learning processes compared to other external suppliers, is adopted. In addition, it is expected that spinoff suppliers’ founders, who are former employees of the parent firm, will access the parent’s resources more easily as a result of their informal relations with the parent company. In this regard, it is considered that spinoff supplier companies will be more advantageous compared to other suppliers which provide products/services to the same parent firm. Transfer of managerial processes and routines, organizational learning, informal relations and social capital are examined using a multiple case study method. Data collected is analyzed qualitatively. The results imply that managerial processes and routines genetically pass on from the parent company to suppliers and that spinoff suppliers perform more effective organizational learning. At the same time, the findings also show that informal relations with the parent company do not provide an advantage in terms of access to its resources. However, as a result of the dependence of non-spinoff suppliers to the parent company in sales, it is found that they might develop the advantages that spinoff supplier companies have.