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A neo-institutional view of the transaction cost drivers of construction supply chain risk management

Raymond Obayi (Department of Operations, Project and Supply Chain Management, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)
Seyed Nasrollah Ebrahimi (Faculty of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 8 March 2021

Issue publication date: 13 July 2021

905

Abstract

Purpose

In a departure from the efficiency theory assumptions implicit in most supply chain risk management (SCRM) literature, this study aims to explore the role that external neo-institutional pressures play in shaping the risk management strategies deployed to mitigate transaction cost risks in construction supply chains (CSC).

Design/methodology/approach

A theory-elaborating case study is used to investigate how regulatory, normative and mimetic neo-institutional pressures underpin SCRM strategies in state-led and private-led CSC in China.

Findings

The study finds that institutionalized Confucianist networks serve as proxies for regulatory accountability and thereby create a form of dysmorphia in the regulatory, normative and mimetic drivers of SCRM strategies in state-led and private-led CSC in China.

Originality/value

The findings reveal that relational costs such as bargaining, transfer and monitoring costs underpin SCRM in state-led CSC. Behavioral costs associated with search, screening and enforcement are the core drivers of SCRM in private-led CSC. These differences in transaction cost drivers of SCRM arise from the risk-buffering effect of personalized Guanxi networks, creating variants of institutional pressures on actors' risk analysis, identification and treatment strategies in China. Considering China's global hegemony in construction and related industries, this study provides valuable insights for practitioners and researchers on the need for a constrained efficiency view of SCRM in global CSC.

Keywords

Citation

Obayi, R. and Ebrahimi, S.N. (2021), "A neo-institutional view of the transaction cost drivers of construction supply chain risk management", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 592-609. https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-09-2019-0350

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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