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Supply chain vs supply chain competition: a niche‐based approach

Imoh Antai (Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 13 September 2011




The purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptualization of supply chain vs supply chain competition using the ecological niche approach. It suggests a probabilistic methodology for evaluating competition from time series data, using overlap in the utilization of services provided by critical providers as a source of competition.


Literature on ecological niche theory and competition is explored and given the uncertainty that surrounds the operation and management of supply chains, a probabilistic approach to the analysis of supply chain vs supply chain competition (via the Bayesian inference) is advocated. Simulated data are used to illustrate the methodology.


Should an area of overlap be identified, ecological niche theory provides a sensible approach to identifying the nature and extent of competition between supply chains. Applicability of the methodology is not limited to supply chain vs supply chain competition.

Research limitations/implications

The data used for the analysis of competition between supply chains are computer generated and use a single niche dimension. Although this was done to merely test/validate the proposed model, the approach is somewhat oversimplified. However, the model is readily extendable to multiple niche dimensions.


The proposed approach offers a simple and straight‐forward method of estimating competition in general, and supply chains vs supply chain competition in particular. Attempts at using the niche theory of competition in this context are so far inconspicuous. Hence, approaching competition in this way contributes to furthering our understanding of competitive interaction especially in supply chains, whose prospect is yet to be pointed out in literature.



Antai, I. (2011), "Supply chain vs supply chain competition: a niche‐based approach", Management Research Review, Vol. 34 No. 10, pp. 1107-1124.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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