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The inverted U-shaped relationship between the network profile and the competitive advantage of supply chains: Chasing the perfect network setting

Artur Swierczek (Department of Business Logistics, University of Economics in Katowice, Katowice, Poland)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 30 July 2018

Issue publication date: 26 October 2018

366

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the author aims to explore if there is a curvilinear relationship between the network rent, generated as a combination of the relational performance of two dyads and the network profile of the triadic supply chains. Second, the author seek to recognize the ideal network profile, consisting of the properties at the node and relationship level, that provides the highest network rents, and thus enables to increase the competitive advantage of supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for an exploratory study using a survey of triads forming supply chains. In order to reveal the capability of yielding the network rent in the examined triads, multiple regression analysis with interaction effects was employed. Having confirmed the existence of supernormal profit, the author investigated the relationship between the network rent and the network index. Finally, a cluster analysis was conducted to compare the network profile in the group of triads generating higher network rents with the cluster yielding relatively lower network rents.

Findings

The obtained findings show that a combination of the relational performance of two dyads contributes to generating the network rent, and thus ensures a more favorable competitive position of supply chains. The results of the study also indicate that there is a significant curvilinear, inverted U-shaped relationship between the network profile and the competitive advantage of triadic supply chains. In addition, the following network properties appear to be particularly important for yielding higher network rents: network centrality, betweenness, network density and network size.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the theory by testing if the network rent can be yielded as a combination of the relational performance of two dyads in the triadic supply chains. The research also indicates that there is a curvilinear relationship between the network rent and the network profile of examined supply chains. Moreover, the study also addresses the link between the network profile, consisting of the multiple network properties simultaneously, in relation to the competitive advantage of supply chains.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The study was financed by the National Science Centre, Poland as a research project no. 2015/18/M/HS4/00388.

Citation

Swierczek, A. (2018), "The inverted U-shaped relationship between the network profile and the competitive advantage of supply chains: Chasing the perfect network setting", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 1379-1400. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-06-2017-0161

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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