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Collaborative process design: A dynamic capabilities view of mitigating the barriers to working together

David Swanson (Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA)
Yao Henry Jin (Department of Management, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA)
Amydee M. Fawcett (Department of Business Administration, Goddard School of Business, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, USA)
Stanley E. Fawcett (Department of Business Administration, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, USA)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




Over the past two decades, technological advances have spurred companies to design collaborative processes. Yet most such efforts are difficult to implement, with only a few resulting in sustained competitive advantages. The purpose of this paper is to leverage the tenets of socio-technical theory to examine how collaborative process design may lead to improved collaborative performance.


The authors employ a multi-method – survey and interview – approach to examine the roles of technical and social initiatives in mitigating resistors to collaborative performance, and identify both the short-term appeals of technology investments and long-term social resistors that inhibit additional performance gains.


While initial investments in information technology yield alluring gains, performance benefits diminish as social resistors create limiting conditions. The dynamic capability for firms to recognize and respond to the dual and integrative nature of technical and social systems is required for firms to overcome powerful limiting conditions and change resistors through collaborative process design in order to cultivate new value-creation processes.


This study is the first in the discipline to utilize socio-technical systems theory to examine an issue in supply chain process redesign. The multi-method approach elaborates the difficulty inherent in cultivating new value-creation processes. The results collectively illustrate a need for recognizing the influence of both the reinforcing and limiting processes. Whereas, technical initiatives enable new capabilities, social initiatives remove fear, create vision, and inculcate skills, enabling technology adoption and process change.



Swanson, D., Jin, Y.H., Fawcett, A.M. and Fawcett, S.E. (2017), "Collaborative process design: A dynamic capabilities view of mitigating the barriers to working together", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 571-599.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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