Heavy Vehicle Maintenance in an Industrial Network Perspective: Implications of Embeddedness and Interdependencies

Detta är en avhandling från Chalmers University of Technology

Sammanfattning: Road transport solutions are often complex and involve numerous stakeholders. To secure that goods arrive in a timely and efficient manner, companies must cooperate and interact to define, implement and operate the transport solutions required. To support efficiency, reliability and robustness of the transport solutions, the trucks involved must be operational, and to achieve this, vehicle maintenance is imperative.

The aim of this thesis is to contribute to the understanding of heavy vehicle maintenance from an interorganizational perspective. The phenomenon in focus is the use and performance of heavy vehicle maintenance and the research underlying this thesis applies a holistic approach. As a result of this approach, the networks studied include Transport Buyers and Transport Providers (hauliers) together with other actors concerned by or influencing the focal phenomenon. The Industrial Network Approach (INA) has been applied as a starting point for the analytical framework of the thesis. In specific, the network model representing activities, resources and actors as three interdependent dimensions (the ARA model), is used for analysis of the maintenance activities.

Three cases involving Transport Buyers heavily dependent on freight transport form the empirical base of this qualitative case study. Data was collected using semi structured interviews and analysed using the ARA model. Specifically, maintenance activities are analysed with respect to interdependencies between activities, resources and actors embedded in the network.

The three cases demonstrate how demands on, and implications for, vehicle maintenance is conditioned by the characteristics of the context in which the haulier operates. Specifically, the embeddedness of the vehicle maintenance activity, and interdependencies involving the haulier and the workshop, strongly influence the conditions for vehicle maintenance. In addition, as the notion of efficiency of vehicle maintenance activities differs between stakeholders, a main conclusion is that an approach building on a holistic network-based perspective must be applied when improving overall efficiency of vehicle maintenance.

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