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Supply chain relational capital and the bullwhip effect: An empirical analysis using financial disclosures

Rong Zhao (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)
Raj Mashruwala (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)
Shailendra Pandit (Department of Accounting, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Jaydeep Balakrishnan (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 5 August 2019

Issue publication date: 7 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conduct a large-sample empirical investigation of how relational capital impacts bullwhip at the supplier.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses mandatory disclosures in regulatory filings of US firms to identify a supplier’s major customers and constructs empirical proxies of supply chain relational capital, i.e., length of the relationship between suppliers and customers and partner interdependence. Multivariate regression analyses are performed to examine the effects of relational capital on bullwhip at the supplier.

Findings

The findings show that bullwhip at the supplier is greater when customers are more dependent on their suppliers, but is reduced when suppliers share longer relationships with their customers. The results also provide additional insights on several firm characteristics that impact supplier bullwhip, including shocks in order backlog, selling intensity and variations in profit margins. Furthermore, the authors document that the effect of supply chain relationships on bullwhip tends to vary across industries and over time.

Originality/value

The study employs a novel data set that is constructed using firms’ financial disclosures. This large panel data set consisting of 13,993 observations over 36 years enables thorough and robust analyses to characterize supply chain relationships and gain a deeper understanding of their impact on bullwhip.

Keywords

Citation

Zhao, R., Mashruwala, R., Pandit, S. and Balakrishnan, J. (2019), "Supply chain relational capital and the bullwhip effect: An empirical analysis using financial disclosures", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 658-689. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-03-2018-0186

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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