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Supply chain integration: value creation through managing inter-organizational learning

Quan Zhu (Faculty of Management, Science and Technology, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands)
Harold Krikke (Faculty of Management, Science and Technology, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands)
Marjolein C.J. Caniëls (Faculty of Management, Science and Technology, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 2 January 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how inter-organizational learning (including supply chain learning and imitation prevention) mediates the relationships between supply chain integration (SCI) and two dimensions of focal firm performance (i.e. customer service performance and innovation performance).

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional approach was adopted with primary data collected through a survey in China. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling with partial least-squares estimations.

Findings

The findings verify that inter-organizational learning mediates the relationship between SCI and focal firm performance. The results of sub-group model analysis illustrate that both powerful and weak focal firms benefit from inter-organizational learning, but in different ways.

Research limitations/implications

The responses were all from young executives who had four years’ work experience on average. Top-level executives may provide more comprehensive and accurate input for similar future research.

Practical implications

The results suggest that successfully integrating the supply chain to create customer value requires both supply chain learning and imitation prevention.

Originality/value

This paper responds to calls for an inter-disciplinary research between supply chain management and inter-organizational learning by taking into account supply chain learning and imitation prevention as links between SCI and both customer service performance for current success and innovation performance for future prosperity.

Keywords

Citation

Zhu, Q., Krikke, H. and Caniëls, M.C.J. (2018), "Supply chain integration: value creation through managing inter-organizational learning", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 211-229. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-06-2015-0372

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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