The Effects of Low-Probability, High-Impact Events on Automotive Supply Chains: Black Swans and the 2011 Earthquake-Tsunami Disaster that Hit Japan

Adrian E Coronado Mondragon, Christian E Coronado Mondragon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Extreme situations such as Black Swans, which are low-probability, high-impact events like the earthquake-tsunami disaster that hit Japan in March 2011 can seriously disrupt the operation of automotive supply chains. The automotive sector has been characterized for the management of technological innovations using modularity to provide customized products seen in the use of complex electronic components such as Microcontroller Units (MCUs) which are found in modern motor vehicles and used to support from engine management systems, to airbag systems to infotainment applications among many others. However, disruptions triggered by Black Swans happen as the sources of innovation for modular architectures located within the firms supplying highly engineered components prove to be irreplaceable or very difficult to copy/imitate. Hence, this chapter suggests the need to re-think the management of technological innovations, product complexity and modularity in order to mitigate the negative effects caused by Black Swans on automotive supply chains.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustaining Industrial Competitiveness after the Crisis
Subtitle of host publicationLessons from the Automotive Industry
EditorsLuciano Ciravega
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-0-230-34816-5
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2012

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