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Article

Terry L. Esper, C. Clifford Defee and John T. Mentzer

The concept of supply chain orientation (SCO) has been described in multiple ways in previous research. The purpose of this paper is to integrate previous descriptions and…

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of supply chain orientation (SCO) has been described in multiple ways in previous research. The purpose of this paper is to integrate previous descriptions and further develop the structural element of SCO including the areas of organizational design, human resources, information technology, and organizational measurement.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review is used to identify previous descriptions of SCO and present a framework to more completely describe the concept.

Findings

SCO cannot be understood without incorporating both a firm's strategic intention to compete via supply chain capabilities and the firm's internal structural elements.

Research limitations/implications

This is a conceptual study undertaken to develop a comprehensive framework incorporating SCO concepts. Although the framework is developed from the existing literature, further research is necessary to test the extended view of the concept.

Practical implications

The paper provides a template for understanding a firm's current SCO, and may be a useful roadmap for firms wishing to develop a greater SCO.

Originality/value

Little research has been published surrounding the concept of SCO. The paper integrates previous descriptions by incorporating both strategic and structural views, and by explaining the antecedent elements internal to the firm that are required to form a SCO.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article

Wesley S. Randall, Brian J. Gibson, C. Clifford Defee and Brent D. Williams

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the unique supply chain strategies employed by retailers.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the unique supply chain strategies employed by retailers.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methods approach was employed involving analysis of depth interviews with 27 retail supply chain executives combined with a follow‐up survey capturing over 200 responses.

Findings

In light of uncertain economic conditions, retailers appear to be developing more agile/responsive supply chain management (SCM) strategies. Additionally, retailers are putting greater emphasis on maintaining a balance of cost versus service than the cost‐centered focus found in a prior study.

Research limitations/implications

This study focused on US retailers and therefore results should be cautiously extended to the retailing environment in other countries.

Practical implications

Retailing is not a “one size fits all” business, and study results suggest the SCM strategies used by retailers depend greatly on the nature of each retailer's model. However, the need to create agile SCM processes while controlling costs was an overarching theme described by retailers.

Originality/value

Retailers operate some of the largest and most complex supply chains, yet SCM research has generally overlooked the retail sector. This study targets this gap, and in addition introduces a novel data collection approach using clicker devices that researchers may find useful in future projects.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article

C. Clifford Defee, Theodore P. (Ted) Stank and Terry Esper

The purpose of this paper is to develop the concepts of supply chain leadership (SCL) and supply chain followership (SCF) from the literature, and propose a theory of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop the concepts of supply chain leadership (SCL) and supply chain followership (SCF) from the literature, and propose a theory of leadership in supply chains using a strategy‐structure‐performance theory framework.

Design/methodology/approach

Constructs are defined and valid and reliable scales are developed for SCL, SCF, and three structural elements (information availability, communication, and rewards). Proposed SCL and SCF theoretical relationships are tested using data collected from an interactive simulation and analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Transformational SCL and SCF are inter‐related constructs that can be linked to the creation of the three forms of supply chain structure examined in this research to varying degrees. A finding of significance is that supply chain follower organizations may actually have greater influence over operational performance than the supply chain leader.

Research limitations/implications

This research presents an initial test of supply chain‐related constructs not tested in previous research. These represent significant organizational constructs that may benefit future supply chain research efforts.

Practical implications

Transformational supply chain behaviors of leaders and followers can be perceived and measured. Managers may utilize this knowledge to better understand the type of supply chain relationships their organization should most effectively pursue.

Originality/value

The paper introduces the concepts of SCL and SCF and empirically tests these concepts and the structural constructs of information availability, communication, and rewards.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 40 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article

C. Clifford Defee, Terry Esper and Diane Mollenkopf

The paper's aim is to develop a closed‐loop supply chain orientation as a strategic alternative available to supply chain organizations seeking competitive advantage in a…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's aim is to develop a closed‐loop supply chain orientation as a strategic alternative available to supply chain organizations seeking competitive advantage in a setting that puts a premium on socially responsible decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature describing the concepts of supply chain orientation and supply chain leadership is used to develop a framework for achieving a competitive advantage.

Findings

Creating a closed‐loop supply chain orientation may be facilitated when the supply chain leader demonstrates a transformational leadership style, and when socially important environmental issues are present.

Research limitations/implications

The paper presents a synthesis of previously unconnected concepts in a conceptual framework that sets a stage for future research in this area.

Practical implications

The paper highlights the strategic importance of developing a closed‐loop supply chain orientation in the presence of environmental factors, and a supply chain leadership style that may enhance the transformation to such an orientation.

Originality/value

The paper extends the strategic concept of supply chain orientation to include forward and reverse flows in a holistic, closed‐loop view of the supply chain.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article

Rafay Ishfaq, C. Clifford Defee, Brian J Gibson and Uzma Raja

The purpose of this paper is to identify the realignment of the physical distribution process for store-based retailers in their efforts to integrate the online channel…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the realignment of the physical distribution process for store-based retailers in their efforts to integrate the online channel into their business model. Multiple attributes of the physical distribution process are evaluated to identify associations with order fulfillment methods adopted by omni-channel retailers.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-method approach is used which includes qualitative evaluation of 50 interviews of supply chain executives from large retailers. Additionally, secondary data about firm size, store and distribution networks, online sales, distribution configuration, and order delivery options are used. The findings of qualitative analysis are incorporated into a quantitative classification-tree analysis to identify associations among distribution attributes, order fulfillment methods and order delivery services.

Findings

Retailers are developing a consistent omni-channel physical distribution process in which stores undertake a bigger role in order fulfillment and delivery. Level of online sales, size of distribution network, number of sales associates at a store, and number of years engaged in the online channel are identified as having strong associations with the type of order fulfillment method used by omni-channel retailers. The study finds that retailers are focussed on integrating their store and DC inventories and have the benefit of scale with a large store network.

Practical implications

Retailers are reconfiguring their physical distribution processes in the complex omni-channel environment can use the findings of this study to evaluate their strategy and identify the level of realignment effort that is needed. A better understanding of the requirements of physical distribution in an omni-channel setting will guide retailers in developing requisite operational capabilities.

Originality/value

This paper provides a first in-depth look at order fulfillment choices in omni-channel retail and identifies efforts that are underway to realign key elements of the physical distribution process.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 46 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article

C. Clifford Defee and Brian S. Fugate

A review of the literature reveals that previous research on capabilities has been limited to static capabilities and have largely been firm‐centric, which neglect today's…

Abstract

Purpose

A review of the literature reveals that previous research on capabilities has been limited to static capabilities and have largely been firm‐centric, which neglect today's evolving supply chain environment. To address this shortcoming, this paper aims to explore dynamic supply chain capabilities (DSCCS) as a path to achieving sustainable competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

Logistics and supply chain literature is reviewed to provide a foundation for introducing a model of DSCCS driving competitive advantage. Propositions for future research are presented based upon the theoretical model.

Findings

The need to continuously renew boundary spanning supply chain capabilities may be facilitated by the presence of a supply chain orientation and a learning orientation found across the multiple partners.

Research limitations/implications

Supply chain organizations exist in a continually evolving environment with the best‐performing firms often being characterized as agile and continually improving. The dynamic capabilities perspective provides a theoretical foundation that may be used to better understand and predict the success of supply chain firms. The work presented here is conceptual and empirical examination of the propositions should occur before any broad generalization can be drawn.

Practical implications

Long‐term organizational success may be facilitated by continuous renewal and creation of new static capabilities through the use of DSCCS.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that dynamic capabilities may be extended beyond the traditional single‐firm view to exist across the relationships developed by multiple organizations in a supply chain.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article

C. Clifford Defee, Brent Williams, Wesley S. Randall and Rodney Thomas

Theory is needed for a discipline to mature. This research aims to provide a summary analysis of the theories being used in contemporary logistics and supply chain…

Abstract

Purpose

Theory is needed for a discipline to mature. This research aims to provide a summary analysis of the theories being used in contemporary logistics and supply chain management (SCM) studies.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive literature review of articles appearing in five top tier logistics and SCM journals is conducted in order to identify how often theory is used and to classify the specific theories used. An analysis of the theoretical categories is presented to explain the type and frequency of theory usage.

Findings

Over 180 specific theories were found within the sampled articles. Theories grouped under the competitive and microeconomics categories made up over 40 per cent of the theoretical incidences. This does not imply all articles utilize theory. The research found that theory was explicitly used in approximately 53 per cent of the sampled articles.

Practical implications

Two implications are central. First, in the minds of editors, reviewers and authors is approximately 53 per cent theory use enough? Literature suggests there continues to be a need for theory‐based research in the discipline. A first step may be to increase our theory use, and to clearly describe the theory being used. Second, the vast majority of theories used in recent logistics and SCM research originated in other disciplines. Growth in the discipline dictates the need for greater internal theory development.

Originality/value

Despite multiple calls for the use of theory in logistics and SCM, little formal research has been produced examining the actual theories being used. This research provides an in‐depth review and analysis of the use of theory in logistics and SCM research during the period 2004‐2009.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article

C. Clifford Defee and Theodore P. Stank

The paper extends a central paradigm of the strategy literature to the supply chain environment to foster a better understanding of the elements characterizing strategic…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper extends a central paradigm of the strategy literature to the supply chain environment to foster a better understanding of the elements characterizing strategic decisions that lead to supply chain structural development and performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Strategic literature is reviewed to provide a fuller explanation of the strategy‐structure‐performance (SSP) research stream. SSP foundational principles are linked to supply chain management concepts, and synthesized into an explanatory framework. Propositions for future research are presented based upon the framework.

Findings

An iterative relationship among internal firm strategy, structure, and performance measurement systems is indicated, implying that firm supply chain strategy should be complementary with that of supply chain partners.

Research limitations/implications

The paper presents a content analysis of existing research and a conceptual framework emerging from it. No data were collected nor were research propositions tested.

Practical implications

The primary implication is “know your supply chain partners”. Do their strategies mesh – either as consistent or complementary – to your own firm's supply chain strategy? Strategic alignment is a necessary precursor to deployment of an effective supply chain structure.

Originality/value

The paper shows that SSP theory can be extended beyond the firm to the complex supply chain environment.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article

Rodney W. Thomas, C. Clifford Defee, Wesley S. Randall and Brent Williams

Discussions about the managerial relevance of scholarly research have been taking place for decades and the topic continues to be a source of debate in a number of…

Abstract

Purpose

Discussions about the managerial relevance of scholarly research have been taking place for decades and the topic continues to be a source of debate in a number of business disciplines. The purpose of this paper is to make an initial attempt to empirically assess the relevance of supply chain management research.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative methods were utilized to provide some initial evidence that can help validate or refute assumptions about perceived relevance in contemporary supply chain management research.

Findings

Findings of this research indicate that the most impactful supply chain management issues for managers are internal supply chain organizational structure, communication and information exchange, information technology, forecasting and sales and operations planning, and strategic leadership. Some of these managerial issues appear to be well aligned with recent research trends, but other issues are not frequently researched.

Research limitations/implications

Future research opportunities are identified based on managerial feedback. Results of this study also suggest that a broader view of supply chain management may be appropriate if researchers want to be managerially relevant.

Practical implications

This research potentially highlights opportunities for firms to gain a competitive advantage via their approach to supply chain management.

Originality/value

This research utilizes a unique approach to assess managerially relevant topics through a “magic wand” interviewing technique (i.e. “If we gave you a magic wand and granted you just one wish, what would you wish for to improve your supply chain?”).

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 41 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article

Haris Aslam, Constantin Blome, Samuel Roscoe and Tashfeen Mehmood Azhar

The purpose of this paper is to determine the antecedents of dynamic supply chain capabilities (DSCCs). The authors test entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and supply chain…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the antecedents of dynamic supply chain capabilities (DSCCs). The authors test entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and supply chain learning orientation (SCLO) as two antecedents of DSCCs.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses structural equation modelling to test a hypothetical model. Data are gathered from a survey of 275 operations managers in Pakistan’s turbulent manufacturing industry.

Findings

The findings suggest that the weaker direct effects of EO, in comparison to the indirect effects, indicate that an SCLO mediates the relationship between EO and DSCCs.

Research limitations/implications

It is widely accepted that firms do not compete with each other, instead, it is end-to-end supply chains that fight for market dominance. Many scholars use the dynamic capabilities view to understand supply chain level competition. However, the dynamic capabilities view is firm-centric in its examination of how companies transform internal resources to compete in the external environment. The theoretical contribution of this paper is a roadmap of how to build dynamic, supply-chain level and capabilities by determining the key antecedents. This paper explains that DSCCs emerge when buyers and suppliers share strategic orientations. Firms with an EO and the ability to learn with supply chain partners are well-positioned to develop DSCCs. This provides a new angle to theory testing by indicating that dynamic capabilities are enabled by an EO and an ability to learn with supply chain partners.

Practical implications

Managers are given the building blocks of DSCCs, starting with fostering an entrepreneurially-oriented mindset in the company and then learning with supply chain partners. Entrepreneurially-oriented managers are encouraged to take risks and co-develop innovative ideas with suppliers during the supply chain learning process.

Originality/value

This study is one of the earliest efforts to determine the strategic orientations that antecede the emergence of DSCCs.

1 – 10 of 31