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Toward SME digital transformation in the supply chain context: the role of structural social and human capital

Le Dang Lang (Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Abhishek Behl (Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India)
Nguyen Ngoc Duy Phuong (International University, National University Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Jighyasu Gaur (Indian Institute of Management Raipur, Raipur, India)
Nguyen Tien Dzung (University of Economics and Law, Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 5 December 2022

171

Abstract

Purpose

Digital transformation (DT) and supply chain resilience have received increasing attention. Structural social capital (SSC) and human capital (HC) have recently been identified as strategic resources for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). While the significant role of entrepreneurial competencies (ECs), SME innovativeness (SMI) and technology adoption (TA) in driving business performance have been partially researched, no studies have simultaneously examined the effect of these resources and capabilities on SME business performance growth (BPG) under the lenses of a resource-based view (RBV) and dynamic capabilities (DCs) as well as in the context of DT. This study aims to clarify these unclear relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts established theoretical lenses, a mixed-methods approach and structural equation modeling (SEM) using a sample of 371 respondents who are top and middle SME managers in Vietnam.

Findings

The study discovers the significant and insignificant relationships between HC, SSC, ECs, SMI, TA and BPG besides providing a new measurement and reconciling existing measurements for the DT context. Some implications for driving SMEs' DT are also suggested.

Originality/value

This study is the first to thoroughly examine the effect of HC and SSC on SMEs' BPG through the mediating role of ECs, SMI and TA under RBV and DCs lenses in the DT context. The investigation is conducted in an emerging market, where DT implementation is in the process of being learned and experimented upon.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to convey their sincere appreciation to the editor and anonymous reviewers for the effort and time that they have invested in providing constructive reviews despite the challenges of COVID-19, which helped to substantially improve the quality of the manuscript.

Citation

Lang, L.D., Behl, A., Phuong, N.N.D., Gaur, J. and Dzung, N.T. (2022), "Toward SME digital transformation in the supply chain context: the role of structural social and human capital", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-12-2021-0525

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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