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An organizational entrepreneurship model of supply management integration and performance outcomes

Robert Handfield (College of Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Kenneth Petersen (Department of Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)
Paul Cousins (Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK)
Benn Lawson (Queens University Belfast, Belfast, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 6 February 2009




The role of supply managers in driving corporate performance is changing, with an increased emphasis on supply market intelligence, collaboration, inter‐organizational partnerships, and operational integration with supply partners. These traits are also mirrored in the research on entrepreneurial settings and firms. The purpose of this paper is to explore the parallels between supply management roles, and the entrepreneurial skill sets and mechanisms that have been identified in prior research.


A structural equation model, using a sample of 151 manufacturing and service firms based in the UK, tests this hypothesised model.


The theoretical framework was supported, with results indicating that entrepreneurial behaviours (supply market intelligence and supply management influence) contribute to integration within the firm and with suppliers, in order to drive performance improvement.

Practical implications

The results provide support for purchasing managers seeking to improve performance by changing the recruitment and culture of the supply management function toward an entrepreneurial orientation.


Although the application of organizational entrepreneurship thinking to supply management theory is nascent, this paper's results suggest that further research along these lines may provide a resilient platform for utilisation of entrepreneurial constructs to explain supply management principles in buyer‐supplier collaboration, relational capital, and organisational outcomes.



Handfield, R., Petersen, K., Cousins, P. and Lawson, B. (2009), "An organizational entrepreneurship model of supply management integration and performance outcomes", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 100-126.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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