Why supply chain collaboration fails: the socio-structural view of resistance to relational strategies

Stanley E. Fawcett (Department of Management, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, United States.)
Matthew W. McCarter (College of Business, University of Texas, San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, United States.)
Amydee M Fawcett (Department of Management, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, United States.)
G Scott Webb (Department of Marketing and Global Supply Chain, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, United States.)
Gregory M Magnan (Department of Marketing, Seattle University, Seattle, Washington, United States.)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Publication date: 14 September 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to elaborate theory regarding the reasons why collaboration strategies fail. The relational view posits that supply chain integration can be a source of competitive advantage. Few firms, however, successfully co-create value to attain supernormal relational rents.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a quasi-longitudinal, multi-case interview methodology to explore the reasons why collaboration strategies fail to deliver intended results. The authors interviewed managers at 49 companies in Period 1 and managers at 57 companies in Period 2. In all, 15 companies participated in both rounds of interviews.

Findings

This study builds and describes a taxonomy of relational resistors. The authors then explore how sociological and structural resistors reinforce each other to undermine collaborative behavior. Specifically, the interplay among resistors: obscures the true sources of resistance; exacerbates a sense of vulnerability to non-collaborative behavior that reduces the willingness to invest in relational architecture; and inhibits the development of essential relational skills and organizational routines.

Originality/value

This research identifies and describes the behaviors and processes that impede successful supply chain alliances. By delving into the interplay among relational resistors, the research explains the detail and nuance of inter-firm rivalry and supply chain complexity. Ultimately, it is the re-enforcing nature of various resistors that make it so difficult for firms to realize relational rents.

Keywords

Citation

Fawcett, S., McCarter, M., Fawcett, A., Webb, G. and Magnan, G. (2015), "Why supply chain collaboration fails: the socio-structural view of resistance to relational strategies", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 648-663. https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-08-2015-0331

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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