Disrupted Collaborations: Re-Ordering Expectations in the Face of Geopolitical Uncertainties in the Semiconductor Market

Valentin Rottensteiner

The semiconductor chip market is characterized by complex transnational networks. Geopolitical conflicts and the Covid 19 pandemic have had a disruptive effect on these networks, which in turn has created uncertainty around cooperating with firms transnationally. The goal of the project is to examine how actors involved in the semiconductor industry seek to stabilize their expectations in the face of this uncertainty. The literature on resilience in supply chains already provides important insights into how actors develop new business strategies to address such disruptions. However, this strand of literature does not incorporate how actors try to stabilize their expectations on a cognitive level in order to make sense of the new developments in the market. Drawing on the sociology of markets, this project seeks to relate these cognitive concepts to the new developing business strategies and to identify which actors are able to define the concepts. This perspective is useful for understanding the further structural change of the market. The project therefore applies a network discourse analysis to study which concepts actors use to create an understanding of the market, how actors form alliances around the use of concepts, and how the concepts change over the period 2016-2024.

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