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Investigating the impact of e‐business applications on supply chain collaboration in the German automotive industry

Frank Wiengarten (Department of Operations Management and Innovation, ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain)
Paul Humphreys (Ulster Business School, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)
Alan McKittrick (Ulster Business School, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)
Brian Fynes (School of Business, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 4 January 2013




The internet and web‐based technologies have enabled the integration of information systems across organisational boundaries in ways that were hitherto impossible. The measurement of e‐business (EB) value has been traditionally considered as a single construct. However, the desire to develop a comprehensive understanding of the impact of EB applications from a theoretical perspective has resulted in the modelling of multiple EB constructs. The impact of EB enabled collaboration on operational performance was also investigated. The purpose of this paper is to explore the enabling role of multiple dimensions of EB investigating if all EB applications impact directly and positively on supply chain collaboration.


A web‐based survey was carried out to collect data within the German automotive industry. Structural equation modelling was conducted to test the measurement and structural model.


The results provide justification for the modelling of EB in multiple dimensions. Furthermore, some EB applications impacted positively on supply chain collaboration whilst some did not. The results also proved that EB enabled collaboration impacted directly and positively on the multiple dimensions of operational performance tested.

Practical implications

EB applications cannot be viewed by practising managers as being universally beneficial in improving collaboration across a buyer‐supplier boundary. However, the results reveal that, by carefully selecting the most appropriate EB applications, operations improvement benefits can be realised across a range of operational metrics due to enhanced supply chain collaboration.


The deconstruction of EB into multiple constructs will enable the measurement of EB value to be more accurately assessed. Furthermore, the direct impact of EB‐enabled collaboration to facilitate interaction and integration and its impact on operational performance adds to the body of knowledge within the larger research field of supply chain collaboration.



Wiengarten, F., Humphreys, P., McKittrick, A. and Fynes, B. (2013), "Investigating the impact of e‐business applications on supply chain collaboration in the German automotive industry", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 25-48.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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