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Defensive pessimism and its effect on supply chain performance

Uchenna Peter Ekezie (Department of Logistics and Operations Management, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Seock-Jin Hong (Department of Logistics and Operations Management, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 9 January 2023

42

Abstract

Purpose

This paper addresses a gap in task performance research, with a focus on supply chain operations, by exploring the role that defensive pessimism (DP)—a phenomenon sparsely studied in supply chain literature—has in the workplace. It investigates the roles that task complexity, perceptions of control and employee situatedness in the workplace play as predictors of DP, as well as addresses the relationship between defensive pessimism and supply chain performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Five hypotheses are developed and empirically tested employing the data-generating method, Monte Carlo simulation and then applying factor analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM) to survey data from practitioner members of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Findings

The results reveal that task complexity and external locus of control heighten perceptions among employees that task completion could be outside their locus of control. The increased tendency to be defensively pessimistic about workplace commitments negatively impacts supply chain performance. This study found that task complexity and external locus of control encourage DP, negatively impacting supply chain performance (SCP).

Originality/value

This study explored underlying causes of defensive pessimism, a self-limiting behavior among supply chain professionals. In understanding the role of DP, it is possible to enhance SCP by managing task complexity, external locus of control and job autonomy—predictors of defensive pessimism in work commitments.

Keywords

Citation

Ekezie, U.P. and Hong, S.-J. (2023), "Defensive pessimism and its effect on supply chain performance", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-02-2022-0079

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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