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Re-evaluating supply chain integration and firm performance: linking operations strategy to supply chain strategy

Frank Wiengarten (Department of Operations, Innovation and Data Sciences, ESADE School of Business, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain)
Huashan Li (Department of Management and Marketing, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Prakash J. Singh (Department of Management and Marketing, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Brian Fynes (Department of Business Administration, UCD Business School, Dublin, Ireland)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 15 May 2019

Issue publication date: 11 June 2019

2295

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the performance implications of supply chain integration (SCI) taking a strategic perspective. Thus, this paper is set to provide answers to the following research questions: Does a higher degree of SCI always lead to greater firm performance improvements? As the answer to this question is likely to be no, the authors explore the performance implications from a strategic perspective: Is the SCI–performance relationship contingent on a company’s competitive priorities (i.e. operations strategy)?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors explore their questions through multiple quasi-independent data sets to test the impact of SCI on firm performance. Furthermore, the authors provide a more nuanced conceptual and empirical view to explore the previously uncovered contradictory results and contingent relationship challenging the “more integration equals higher firm performance” proposition.

Findings

The results only provide partial support for the proposition that more integration is always beneficial in the supply chain context. The authors also identified that the impact of SCI on financial performance is contingent on a company’s competitive priorities.

Originality/value

This study provides a much-needed comprehensive assessment of the SCI–performance relationship through critically re-evaluating one of the most popular propositions in the field of supply chain management. The results can be extrapolated beyond the dyad, as the authors conceptualise integration simultaneously from an upstream and downstream perspective.

Keywords

Citation

Wiengarten, F., Li, H., Singh, P.J. and Fynes, B. (2019), "Re-evaluating supply chain integration and firm performance: linking operations strategy to supply chain strategy", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 540-559. https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-05-2018-0189

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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