The impact of innovativeness on supply chain performance: is supply chain integration a missing link?

Young-Joon Seo (Plymouth Graduate School of Management, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)
John Dinwoodie (Plymouth Graduate School of Management, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)
Dong-Wook Kwak (Coventry Business School, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Publication date: 2 September 2014



This purpose of this paper is to study the impact of innovativeness on supply chain integration (SCI) and supply chain performance (SCP) and the role of SCI in mediating between innovativeness in the supply chain and SCP. Innovativeness is an accepted driver to leverage firm performance. SCI and SCP require innovativeness in the supply chain, but their interrelationships have rarely been researched empirically.


A questionnaire survey and structural equation modelling were used in this work. After a structural and measurement model was devised from existing supply chain literature, the main data were collected in a web-based questionnaire survey of South Korean manufacturers. Structural equation modelling was applied to test proposed hypotheses on the associations between variables, following a hierarchical analysis process.


Innovativeness in the supply chain had a positive impact on both SCI and SCP. However, the direct impact of innovativeness on SCP disappeared when the model included SCI as a mediator. In specific, internal and supplier integration fully mediated innovativeness–SCP relationships, whereas customer integration had no mediating role on those relationships. The findings suggest that innovativeness can influence SCP only when the manufacturer’s level of SCI is sufficiently effective in developing necessary supply chain practices.

Research limitations/implications

In this work, innovativeness in the supply chain effectively influenced SCP through the mediation of SCI. However, cross-sectional analysis in one nation using one response per organisation invites validation embracing other geographical areas and longitudinal studies.

Practical implications

Design of an innovative culture within a firm and along a supply chain can enhance SCI practices by stimulating innovativeness. A high level of SCI should be pursued to effectively transform innovativeness into performance.


This work seminally examines the effect of innovativeness in the supply chain on SCI and SCP as well as the mediating role of SCI in the relationships between innovativeness and SCP.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments and suggestions received from the two anonymous referees and the editor.


Seo, Y., Dinwoodie, J. and Kwak, D. (2014), "The impact of innovativeness on supply chain performance: is supply chain integration a missing link?", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 19 No. 5/6, pp. 733-746.

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