Dynamic Stable Supplier Coalitions and Invariance in Assembly Systems with Commodity Components
17 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2011 Last revised: 27 Jun 2014
Date Written: January 2014
Stable alliance structures among monopoly component-suppliers in a decentralized assembly system are somewhat well understood. However, when there are competing suppliers for any particular component, less is known about such alliances. The intent of this paper is to address some of the theoretical issues that pose challenges in analyzing stable supplier coalitions in such assembly systems. We examine a simple assembly system in which n suppliers sell complementary components to a downstream assembler, who faces a price-sensitive deterministic demand. We assume that k of these suppliers sell commodity components and the remaining n-k suppliers are monopolists. We analyze alliance/coalition formation between suppliers, using a two stage approach that is common in the literature. When not all suppliers are monopolists, predictions on stable supplier alliances is fraught with technical difficulties. We resolve these by showing an asymptotic invariance result. We use this in Stage 1 of the game, to predict the structure of the stable supplier coalitions using a dynamic version of stability that accounts for players' farsightedness.
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