A roadmap for applying qualitative comparative analysis in supply chain research: The reverse supply chain case
International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Article publication date: 7 September 2018
Issue publication date: 8 February 2019
The purpose of this paper is to introduce qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to the field of supply chain management and provide a detailed roadmap that supply chain researchers can utilize when applying this methodology.
Data collection focused on the evaluation of product returns management practices as perceived by business customers who operate in a supplier–customer context. In order to analyze the data using the QCA approach, a multi-step analysis was developed.
The results indicate five solutions that lead to high levels of customer satisfaction. The existence of multiple sufficient configurations for customer satisfaction indicates equifinality because multiple alternative solutions can lead to the same outcome.
The authors make a methodological contribution by applying the QCA method to the field of supply chain management and providing a detailed roadmap that supply chain researchers can utilize.
The authors provide managers five different and novel combinations of antecedents that lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
This study offers supply chain researchers a better understanding of when it is appropriate to use QCA and how to apply this methodology. From a theoretical perspective, past studies focused exclusively on the “net effects” of these antecedents, thus, did not capture the complexity of the relationships between these various antecedents and customer satisfaction. This is a noteworthy contribution as it highlights the complexity of the amalgam of relationships and factors that impact customer satisfaction within the context of reverse supply chain.
Russo, I., Confente, I., Gligor, D. and Cobelli, N. (2019), "A roadmap for applying qualitative comparative analysis in supply chain research: The reverse supply chain case", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 49 No. 1, pp. 99-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-02-2018-0056
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