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Does national culture matter? Understanding the impact of supply chain integration in multiple countries

Shan Liu (Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China)
Jing Tan (Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China)
Hongyi Mao (School of Business Administration, Guizhou University of Finance and Economics, Guiyang, China)
Yeming Gong (Emlyon Business School, Ecully, France)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 4 February 2021

Issue publication date: 13 July 2021




With increasing globalization, supply chain management in various national cultures requires understanding. This study aims to examine the moderating effects of individualistic and uncertainty avoidance cultures on the relationship between supply chain integration (SCI) and different dimensions of firm performance (i.e. flexibility and financial).


This study collected 124 pairwise survey data from supply chain and senior managers of retail firms in 35 countries. Hofstede’s national culture index was used to examine the moderating effects. Structural equation modeling and regression analysis were used to test the model.


Results corroborate that in a higher uncertainty avoidance culture, the positive influence of SCI on flexibility performance is stronger, but that on financial performance is weaker. By contrast, individualism reduces the positive influence of SCI on financial performance, but does not moderate that on flexibility performance.


This paper proposes a contingent model for SCI-performance relationships by integrating the relational view and the national cultural perspective. Critical national cultural dimensions moderate the effects of SCI on flexibility and financial performance. Therefore, operational managers should design differential SCI strategies in various cultural settings.



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation Program of China [71722014, 72032006, 72011540408, 71661017 and 72061005]. We also appreciate the support from the Youth Innovation Team of Shaanxi Universities “Big data and Business Intelligent Innovation Team”.


Liu, S., Tan, J., Mao, H. and Gong, Y. (2021), "Does national culture matter? Understanding the impact of supply chain integration in multiple countries", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 610-628.



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