The purpose of this paper is to examine empirically, an industry development paradox, using embryonic literature in the area of strategic supply chain management, together with innovation management literature. This study seeks to understand how, forming strategic supply chain relationships, and developing strategic supply chain capability, influences beneficial supply chain outcomes expected from utilizing industry-led innovation, in the form of electronic business solutions using the internet, in the Australian beef industry. Findings should add valuable insights to both academics and practitioners in the fields of supply chain innovation management and strategic supply chain management, and expand knowledge to current literature.
This is a quantitative study comparing innovative and non-innovative supply chain operatives in the Australian beef industry, through factor analysis and structural equation modeling using PAWS Statistical V18 and AMOS V18 to analyze survey data from 412 respondents from the Australian beef supply chain.
Key findings are that both innovative and non-innovative supply chain operators attribute supply chain synchronization as only a minor indicator of strategic supply chain capability, contrary to the literature; and they also indicate strategic supply chain capability has a minor influence in achieving beneficial outcomes from utilizing industry-led innovation. These results suggest a lack of coordination between supply chain operatives in the industry. They also suggest a lack of understanding of the benefits of developing a strategic supply chain management competence, particularly in relation to innovation agendas, and provides valuable insights as to why an industry paradox exists in terms of the level of investment in industry-led innovation, vs the level of corresponding benefit achieved.
Results are not generalized due to the single agribusiness industry studied and the single research method employed. However, this provides opportunity for further agribusiness studies in this area and also studies using alternate methods, such as qualitative, in-depth analysis of these factors and their relationships, which may confirm results or produce different results. Further, this study empirically extends existing theoretical contributions and insights into the roles of strategic supply chain management and innovation management in improving supply chain and ultimately industry performance while providing practical insights to supply chain practitioners in this and other similar agribusiness industries.
These findings confirm results from a 2007 research (Ketchen et al., 2007) which suggests supply chain practice and teachings need to take a strategic direction in the twenty-first century. To date, competence in supply chain management has built up from functional and process orientations rather than from a strategic perspective. This study confirms that there is a need for more generalists that can integrate with various disciplines, particularly those who can understand and implement strategic supply chain management.
Possible social implications accrue through the development of responsible government policy in terms of industry supply chains. Strategic supply chain management and supply chain innovation management have impacts to the social fabric of nations through the sustainability of their industries, especially agribusiness industries which deal with food safety and security. If supply chains are now the competitive weapon of nations then funding innovation and managing their supply chain competitiveness in global markets requires a strategic approach from everyone, not just the industry participants.
This is original empirical research, seeking to add value to embryonic and important developing literature concerned with adopting a strategic approach to supply chain management. It also seeks to add to existing literature in the area of innovation management, particularly through greater understanding of the implications of nations developing industry-wide, industry-led innovation agendas, and their ramifications to industry supply chains.
Acknowledgment is given to the Cooperative Research Centre for Beef Genetic Technologies (CRCBeef) which provided the Doctoral Scholarship that enabled this research to be undertaken.
Storer, M., Hyland, P., Ferrer, M., Santa, R. and Griffiths, A. (2014), "Strategic supply chain management factors influencing agribusiness innovation utilization", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 487-521. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-02-2013-0026
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