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The triple-As supply chain competitive advantage

Javad Feizabadi (MIT Global SCALE Network – Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
David Gligor (University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)
Somayeh Alibakhshi Motlagh (University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 9 August 2019

Issue publication date: 13 September 2019




The purpose of this paper is to draw on resource orchestration theory (ROT) and resource advantage theory (RAT) to develop a measurement scale for supply chain competitive advantage (SCCA) as a second-order construct with the dimensions of agility, adaptability and alignment (triple-A).


A survey research design is adopted to collect primary and secondary data from 182 international firms. The paper utilizes a scale development procedure to develop a measurement instrument and assess its psychometric properties. The scale’s predictive validity is tested using both subjective and objective data. Additionally, the simultaneous effect of triple-A is tested using latent congruent modeling.


Drawing upon ROT and RAT, this study introduces SCCA as a second-order construct composed of SC agility, adaptability and alignment. In addition, the findings show that an SCCA has a direct and positive impact on firms’ financial and market performance.


Existing literature indicates that competition has shifted from inter-firm to inter-SC. To account for this change in competition level, past studies have suggested various capabilities that SCs must possess to offer a competitive advantage, such as triple-As. However, drawing upon RAT and ROT, the authors argue that the SCCA construct accounts for sources of advantage in both the resource side and the demand side. The authors further assert that possessing supply chain resources (i.e. agility, adaptability, alignment as disparate resources) is not sufficient to create advantage but the resources must be orchestrated to create SCCA (i.e. the combination of agility, adaptability and alignment).



Feizabadi, J., Gligor, D. and Alibakhshi Motlagh, S. (2019), "The triple-As supply chain competitive advantage", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 26 No. 7, pp. 2286-2317.



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