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Overcoming the collaborative challenge: commitment as a super-ordinate enabler of value co-creation

Stanley E. Fawcett (Supply Chain Management, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria–Campus Steyr, Steyr, Austria)
Amydee M. Fawcett (Supply Chain Management, Engage2E..., Farmington, Utah, USA)
August Michael Knemeyer (Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA)
Sebastian Brockhaus (Boler College of Business, John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio, USA)
G. Scott Webb (Marriott School of Business, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 3 August 2021

Issue publication date: 8 October 2021




Despite over 30 years of focus on supply chain collaboration, companies continue to struggle to achieve collaborative advantage. To better understand why some companies are able to collaborate for competitive advantage and others can't, the authors explore how managerial commitment enables collaborative capabilities.


The authors employed a longitudinal inductive study, interviewing companies with reputations for intense supply chain collaboration at four different times over 20 years.


The authors identified managerial commitment as a super-ordinate enabler. They describe the dynamics of commitment development and explore three types of commitment: instrumental, normative and transformative. The authors document key antecedents and outcomes of each type of commitment.

Research limitations/implications

Theory regarding the antecedents to commitment to collaborative capability is underdeveloped. The authors elaborate these antecedents and the dynamics that enable or undermine the commitment necessary to build effective collaboration capabilities.

Practical implications

The authors provide insight (i.e. a practical and actionable roadmap) into the process companies use to cultivate commitment to collaboration and value co-creation.


Collaboration is critical to value co-creation, including effective supply chain risk mitigation and lasting sustainability efforts. The authors elaborate a theory of commitment dynamics that explains why most companies never go beyond basic levels of collaboration. At the same time, the authors provide a roadmap for deep, transformative collaboration.



Fawcett, S.E., Fawcett, A.M., Knemeyer, A.M., Brockhaus, S. and Webb, G.S. (2021), "Overcoming the collaborative challenge: commitment as a super-ordinate enabler of value co-creation", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 51 No. 9, pp. 1022-1047.



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