Managerial approach to subcontract manufacture co-operation in the metal industry. Common Agenda as a management tool between parties: Dissertation

Kai Häkkinen

    Research output: ThesisDissertationMonograph


    In this study, a new concept of Common Agenda as a management tool for subcontract manufacture co-operation is introduced and tested. The research problem is formulated by analyzing the theory of the firm. The research problem is the proposal of Common Agenda itself and its usability as a management tool in subcontract manufacture co-operation in the metal industry. The creation of Common Agenda and its testing are undertaken in connection with Finnish metal industry companies. The nature of this study follows mainly a hypothetic-deductive model. On the other hand, the content of the headings of Common Agenda is created following inductive logic. The proposal of Common Agenda can be seen as a hypothesis, which was tested in the real world. The study is based on the conceptual approach and is carried out using multiple case research design. The first part of the study is based on the related literature and it is aimed at formulating the research problem. In the second part, the study deals with different kinds of classifications of subcontracting phenomena and introduces a proposal for Common Agenda with headings. The third phase of the study concentrates on the case testing of Common Agenda with headings (content test and functionality test). In the final phase, we analyze the results of the study and make generalizations for the doctrine of business management and practice. The proposal for Common Agenda has the following headings, which are called: 1) subcontractor/principal selecting process, 2) concurrent engineering process, 3) quality assurance process, 4) logistics process, 5) manufacturing planning and control process, 6) financial process, 7) contract and order process, and 8) management of the processes. The content test shows that the proposed Common Agenda with headings can act as a basis for mutual discussion in subcontract manufacture co-operation. Additionally, the functionality test shows that Common Agenda with headings can be used as a tool for a practical evaluation method in subcontract manufacture co-operation. Considering the research problem, we can state that Common Agenda is a vital theoretical instrument to be placed in the doctrine. Practical implications based on case testing indicate that Common Agenda seems to function as a managerial tool for co-operating companies in practice. The analysis of quality evaluation results revealed problems in the subcontract manufacture processes in the case companies. These results are only indicative and require more detailed research in order to localize and understand the problems. Finally, the study concentrates on the concept of truth and proposes a concept of Common Truth as a base for Common Agenda.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor Degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Aaltonen, Kalevi, Supervisor, External person
    Award date3 Oct 2008
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    Print ISBNs978-951-38-7087-4
    Electronic ISBNs978-951-38-7088-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


    • subcontract
    • manufacture
    • Common Agenda
    • management
    • metal industry


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