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Customer focus, supply‐chain relational capabilities and performance : Evidence from US manufacturing industries

Augustine A. Lado (School of Business, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York, USA)
Antony Paulraj (Department of Management, Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA)
Injazz J. Chen (Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management, Nance College of Business Administration, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 16 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the extent to which a firm's customer focus drives several interlinked facets of supply chain management and their relationships to customer service and financial performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on diverse streams of research, the authors develop and test an integrated model in which customer focus is proposed to foster supply‐chain relational capabilities, leading to beneficial performance outcomes. This study's empirical validity is enhanced by collecting data from over 200 US manufacturing firms and testing the model using SEM.

Findings

This empirical investigation documents significant positive relationships between (a) customer focus and supply‐chain relational capabilities, (b) customer focus and customer service, (c) supply‐chain relational capabilities and customer service, and (d) customer service and financial performance.

Practical implications

This study holds the important implication for managers that, in order to be effective, supply chain partners must reconfigure their supply chains to be more customer oriented and continually develop and leverage the relational competencies in order to enhance firm competitiveness.

Originality/value

Interdisciplinary in nature, this study is one of the first to conduct empirical supply chain management research using multiple and complementary theoretical perspectives, including strategic management and relationship marketing in order to gain a better understanding of the nuances involved in fostering strategic collaboration among supply chain partners.

Keywords

Citation

Lado, A.A., Paulraj, A. and Chen, I.J. (2011), "Customer focus, supply‐chain relational capabilities and performance : Evidence from US manufacturing industries", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 202-221. https://doi.org/10.1108/09574091111156550

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited