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The mediating effect of logistics integration on supply chain performance : A multi-country study

Arshad Alam (College of Business, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas, USA)
Prabir K. Bagchi (School of Business, George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)
Bumsoo Kim (Sogang Business School, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea)
Subrata Mitra (Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India)
Fernando Seabra (Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis-SC, Brazil)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 4 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of individual logistics-related factors, namely, supplier involvement (SI), length of supplier relationship (LSR), use of information technology (IT), and logistics integration (LI) on a firm's supply chain performance (SCP) and test for the mediating effect of LI in a multi-country survey conducted in Brazil, Korea and India. The paper also develops a composite variable, supply chain competency (SCC), as an overall measure of the quality of a firm's supply chain and demonstrate its effect on a firm's SCP.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology was based on designing and administering a survey instrument. Data collected from 187 organizations in Brazil, Korea and India were analyzed using the partial least squares structural equation modeling methodology.

Findings

Results show that for the combined data, the direct effects of SI, LSR and IT on SCP are insignificant while LI has a very significant direct effect on SCP. On the other hand, except for SI, LSR and IT have significant effects on SCP through LI establishing the mediating role of LI. The paper also finds that SCC has a significant effect on SCP. Further, when countries are considered individually the paper finds that IT has a significant indirect effect on SCP in the case of all the countries while LSR has a significant indirect effect on SCP, both in the case of Brazil and Korea. Additionally, in the case of Korea SI has a significant indirect effect on SCP.

Research limitations/implications

Like other survey-based research, the findings of this paper are also limited by the sample size. Especially, the observations specific to individual countries are as good as the respective sample sizes. Also, since all the respondents belonged to manufacturing firms, the findings of this paper are relevant for the manufacturing sector.

Practical implications

This paper establishes the mediating effect of LI in assessing the impact of logistics-related factors on a firm's SCP. It confirms that although logistics-related factors are necessary for a firm's superior SCP, they are not sufficient unless their interactions are taken into consideration, as evidenced by the significant positive relationship between SCC and SCP.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first paper to study the effect of logistics-related factors on a firm's SCP and establish the mediating role of LI in a multi-country setting. This paper also develops a composite variable SCC and examines its effect on SCP.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was partially funded by a grant from the US Department of Education and the Brazilian Ministry of Education under the FIPSE/CAPES Exchange Program and the Sigur Center of Asian Studies, George Washington University. The authors are also grateful to the Editor and two anonymous reviewers of the paper for their valuable comments that led to a significant improvement over the original version of the paper.

Citation

Alam, A., K. Bagchi, P., Kim, B., Mitra, S. and Seabra, F. (2014), "The mediating effect of logistics integration on supply chain performance : A multi-country study", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 553-580. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-05-2013-0050

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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