Opportunities in the Wake of Crisis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionProcedia CIRP. 2013, 7 73-78. 10.1016/j.procir.2013.05.013
This study reveals the history of a Norwegian automotive supplier that went bankruptcy during the financial crisis in 2009. The crisis swept through the industry and hit hard for those actors who already struggled to keep up with the cost pressure. A few people kept faith in knowledgeable workers and innovative ideas, and the company arose from the cumbersome situation to become a sole supplier of critical wheel suspension systems to European premium brands. The company managed to ascend and invest in R&D and innovations that save weight, reduce number of components and save cost. The main research question asked in this study is what strategic capabilities are demonstrated when turning a crisis into opportunities. The study shows interesting features about how a supplier can adapt to a completely new market situation by focusing on, and combining, R&D, customer relations, co- creation, employee competency, sustainability and ability to adapt. The essence is that the crisis was not entirely negative - it also gave opportunities for those who dared to invest in human capital, technology and niche markets.