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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Kostas Selviaridis, Aristides Matopoulos, Leslie Thomas Szamosi and Alexandros Psychogios

The purpose of this paper is to understand how reverse resource exchanges and resource dependencies are managed in the service supply chain (SSC) of returnable transport…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how reverse resource exchanges and resource dependencies are managed in the service supply chain (SSC) of returnable transport packaging (RTP).

Design/methodology/approach

A single case study was conducted in the context of automotive logistics focusing on the RTP SSC. Data were collected through 16 interviews, primarily with managers of a logistics service provider (LSP) and document analysis of contractual agreements with key customers of the packaging service.

Findings

Resource dependencies among actors in the SSC result from the importance of the RTP for the customer’s production processes, the competition among users for RTP and the negative implications of the temporary unavailability of RTP for customers and the LSP (in terms of service performance). Amongst other things, the LSP is dependent on its customers and third-party users (e.g. the customer’s suppliers) for the timely return of package resources. The role of inter-firm integration and collaboration, formal contracts as well as customers’ power and influence over third-party RTP users are stressed as key mechanisms for managing LSP’s resource dependencies.

Research limitations/implications

A resource dependence theory (RDT) lens is used to analyse how reverse resource exchanges and associated resource dependencies in SSCs are managed, thus complementing the existing SSC literature emphasising the bi-directionality of resource flows. The study also extends the recent SSC literature stressing the role of contracting by empirically demonstrating how formal contracts can be mobilised to explicate resource dependencies and to specify, and regulate, reverse exchanges in the SSC.

Practical implications

The research suggests that logistics providers can effectively manage their resource dependencies and regulate reverse exchanges in the SSC by deploying contractual governance mechanisms and leveraging their customers’ influence over third-party RTP users.

Originality/value

The study is novel in its application of RDT, which enhances our understanding of the management of reverse exchanges and resource dependencies in SSCs.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Kostas Selviaridis

The aim of this paper is to understand the antecedents and effects of performance attribution challenges arising in the provision of business-to-business (B2B) services in…

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to understand the antecedents and effects of performance attribution challenges arising in the provision of business-to-business (B2B) services in supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on three in-depth case studies of logistics service providers (LSPs) offering supply chain solutions to their clients in Sweden. The analysis of performance attribution challenges and their antecedents and effects is based on 38 semi-structured interviews and review of 43 documents, including contracts and performance monitoring records.

Findings

Three key antecedents of performance attribution challenges are stressed. Two of these, the inseparability and contestability of service inputs, are closely related to the notion of service co-production. The third antecedent is the limited provider capability in performance data collection and analysis. Performance attribution challenges may result in provider aversion to performance-related risk and have a harmful effect on client relationships, for example, in terms of provider perceptions of opportunism and unfair allocation of gains. These effects can be mitigated through contracting, interventions in performance measurement system design and deployment of relational mechanisms.

Research limitations/implications

The paper extends the service management literature that emphasises on service co-production by suggesting that inputs of the client firm and its supply chain partners may not only vary in quality but also can be inseparable from provider inputs and highly contestable. It also empirically demonstrates how performance attribution challenges and their antecedents and effects manifest themselves in B2B service provision, as opposed to supply chain settings where the main user of logistics services is the consumer.

Practical implications

LSP managers should contract for performance based on high-quality and incontestable external inputs they rely upon. Contractual specifications (performance indicators and related incentives) should explicate and consider the inputs required by clients and their supply chain partners to minimise their contestability.

Originality/value

The study proposes an empirically based framework of the antecedents and effects of performance attribution challenges, an issue that has received scant attention in logistics outsourcing research and the business services literature more broadly.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 May 2018

Torsten Steinbach, Carl Marcus Wallenburg and Kostas Selviaridis

This research focuses on the role of customer behavior in service outsourcing relationships that are governed by outcome-oriented contracts. The purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

This research focuses on the role of customer behavior in service outsourcing relationships that are governed by outcome-oriented contracts. The purpose of this paper is to explain how non-collaborative customer behavior impedes the effectiveness of outcome-oriented contracts to align the goals and incentives of the customer and service provider, and leads to service provider opportunism.

Design/methodology/approach

Nine hypotheses are developed regarding customer behavior and the reaction of the service provider to this. These are tested using structural equation modeling with data from 213 service outsourcing relationships.

Findings

Outcome-orientated contracts in service outsourcing may have unintended consequences because they create value attribution ambiguity. This ambiguity induces non-collaborative customer behavior, which, in turn, results in service provider opportunism. This reveals a paradox, where customer behavior aimed at curbing service provider opportunism instead induces such opportunism. This chain of effects can be counteracted by increased outcome attributability, which reduces the ambiguity and, thus, the motivation for non-collaborative customer behavior.

Originality/value

This research extends the existing literature by stressing that non-collaborative customer behavior is a key reason why outcome-oriented contracts fail in effectively governing outsourcing relationships, and that this can be counteracted by increased outcome attributability.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 10 August 2021

Tom A.E. Aben, Wendy van der Valk, Jens K. Roehrich and Kostas Selviaridis

Inter-organisational governance is an important enabler for information processing, particularly in relationships undergoing digital transformation (DT) where partners…

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Abstract

Purpose

Inter-organisational governance is an important enabler for information processing, particularly in relationships undergoing digital transformation (DT) where partners depend on each other for information in decision-making. Based on information processing theory (IPT), the authors theoretically and empirically investigate how governance mechanisms address information asymmetry (uncertainty and equivocality) arising in capturing, sharing and interpreting information generated by digital technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

IPT is applied to four cases of public–private relationships in the Dutch infrastructure sector that aim to enhance the quantity and quality of information-based decision-making by implementing digital technologies. The investigated relationships are characterised by differing degrees and types of information uncertainty and equivocality. The authors build on rich data sets including archival data, observations, contract documents and interviews.

Findings

Addressing information uncertainty requires invoking contractual control and coordination. Contract clauses should be precise and incentive schemes functional in terms of information requirements. Information equivocality is best addressed by using relational governance. Identifying information requirements and reducing information uncertainty are a prerequisite for the transformation activities that organisations perform to reduce information equivocality.

Practical implications

The study offers insights into the roles of both governance mechanisms in managing information asymmetry in public–private relationships. The study uncovers key activities for gathering, sharing and transforming information when using digital technologies.

Originality/value

This study draws on IPT to study public–private relationships undergoing DT. The study links contractual control and coordination as well as relational governance mechanisms to information-processing activities that organisations deploy to reduce information uncertainty and equivocality.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 February 2018

Kostas Selviaridis and Martin Spring

The purpose of this paper is to understand how buyers and suppliers in supply chains learn to align their performance objectives and incentives through contracting.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how buyers and suppliers in supply chains learn to align their performance objectives and incentives through contracting.

Design/methodology/approach

Two longitudinal case studies of the process of supply chain alignment were conducted based on 26 semi-structured interviews and 25 key documents including drafts of contracts and service level agreements.

Findings

The dynamic interplay of contracting and learning contributes to supply chain alignment. Exchange-, partner- and contract framing-specific learning that accumulates during the contracting process is used to (re)design pay-for-performance provisions. Such learning also results in improved buyer-supplier relationships that enable alignment, complementing the effect of contractual incentives.

Research limitations/implications

The study demonstrates that the interplay of contracting and learning is an important means of achieving supply chain alignment. Supply chain alignment is seen as a process, rather than as a state. It does not happen automatically or instantaneously, nor is it unidirectional. Rather, it is a discontinuous process triggered by episodic events that requires interactive work and learning.

Practical implications

Development of performance contracting capabilities entails learning how to refine performance incentives and their framing to trigger positive responses from supply chain counterparts.

Originality/value

The paper addresses supply chain alignment as a process. Accordingly, it stresses some important features of supply chain alignment.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 February 2019

Kostas Selviaridis and Wendy van der Valk

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects that the framing of contractual performance incentives have on supplier’s behavioural and relational responses and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects that the framing of contractual performance incentives have on supplier’s behavioural and relational responses and on the buyer–supplier relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted three in-depth case studies of contractual relationships, which exhibit differences in terms of how performance incentives are framed, i.e., using promotion, prevention and “hybrid” frames, respectively. The study involved 38 semi-structured interviews and content analysis of contract agreements.

Findings

First, while promotion-framed incentives lead to positive supplier responses and improved relationships, prevention-framed incentives result in negative responses and deteriorating relations. Second, hybrid-framed incentives can lead to productive supplier responses when positive ex ante expectations are met, although the creation of such positive expectations in the first place depends on the proportionality of bonus and penalty elements. Third, promotion- and hybrid-framed incentives do not by default lead to positive effects, as these are contingent on factors pertaining to contractual clarity. Fourth, the overarching purpose of the contract moderates the effects of contract framing on supplier responses.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributes to contracting research by showing how the framing of performance incentives influences supplier behavioural and relational responses. It also extends the existing literature on contract framing by examining the effects of hybrid-framed incentives, and stressing that contract framing should be considered in joint with the clarity and overall purpose of the contract to elicit desired supplier behaviours.

Practical implications

Managers of buying firms may differentiate their approach to contract framing depending on the type of supplier relationship in focus. Furthermore, effective design of promotion- and hybrid-framed incentives requires attention to: realistic performance targets (on the short, medium and long term); salient bonuses related to these targets; incentive structures that appropriately balance rewards and risks; and: mechanisms that explicate and consider uncontrollable factors in the calculation of bonus–malus payments.

Originality/value

The paper extends the literature stressing the psychological impact of contracts on buyer–supplier relationships by highlighting that contractual clarity and the overarching purpose of the contract moderate the effects of contract framing on supplier behavioural and relational responses.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 July 2021

Harwin de Vries, Marianne Jahre, Kostas Selviaridis, Kim E. van Oorschot and Luk N. Van Wassenhove

This “impact pathways” paper argues that operations and supply chain management (OSCM) could help address the worsening drug shortage problem in high-income countries…

Abstract

Purpose

This “impact pathways” paper argues that operations and supply chain management (OSCM) could help address the worsening drug shortage problem in high-income countries. This significant societal problem poses difficult challenges to stakeholders given the complex and dynamic nature of drug supply chains. OSCM scholars are well positioned to provide answers, introducing new research directions for OSCM in the process.

Design/methodology/approach

To substantiate this, the authors carried out a review of stakeholder reports from six European countries and the academic literature.

Findings

There is little academic research and no fundamental agreement among stakeholders about causes of shortages. Stakeholders have suggested many government measures, but little evidence exists on their comparative cost-effectiveness.

Originality/value

The authors discuss three pathways of impactful research on drug shortages to which OSCM could contribute: (1) Developing an evidence-based system view of drug shortages; (2) Studying the comparative cost-effectiveness of key government interventions; (3) Bringing supply chain risk management into the government and economics perspectives and vice versa. Our study provides a baseline for future COVID-19-related research on this topic.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 February 2018

Mehmet Chakkol, Kostas Selviaridis and Max Finne

Inter-organisational collaboration is becoming increasingly important in complex projects; some project customers even formally require evidence of collaborative…

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Abstract

Purpose

Inter-organisational collaboration is becoming increasingly important in complex projects; some project customers even formally require evidence of collaborative competence from potential providers. The purpose of this paper is to explore the governance of collaboration and the ways in which it is enacted in practice for complex projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a qualitative analysis of 29 semi-structured interviews, primary data from meetings and events supported by secondary data, including standards and industry-specific contract templates.

Findings

The paper identifies how collaboration can be effectively governed in complex projects through the emerging role of the collaboration standard and its impact on contractual and relational governance mechanisms. The standard sets higher-level institutional guidelines that affect the way in which collaboration is governed in complex projects. It helps formalise informal relational practices whilst also providing guidelines for building flexibility in contracts by including coordination- and adaptation-oriented provisions conducive to collaboration.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the emerging role of the collaboration standard and its influence on contractual and relational mechanisms deployed in complex projects. It shows how the standard can formalise and codify informal collaborative practices and help transfer related learning across projects, thereby contributing towards the dual requirement for standardisation and flexibility in project settings.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2022

Victoria Ahlqvist, Nonhlanhla Dube, Marianne Jahre, Jin Soo Lee, Tsegaye Melaku, Andreas Farstad Moe, Max Olivier, Kostas Selviaridis, Joe Viana and Christine Aardal

This paper links supply chain risk management to medicine supply chains to explore the role of policymakers in employing supply chain risk management strategies (SCRMS) to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper links supply chain risk management to medicine supply chains to explore the role of policymakers in employing supply chain risk management strategies (SCRMS) to reduce generic medicine shortages.

Design/methodology/approach

Using secondary data supplemented with primary data, the authors map and compare seven countries' SCRMS for handling shortage risks in their paracetamol supply chains before and during the first two waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings

Consistent with recent research, the study finds that policymakers had implemented few SCRMS specifically for responding to disruptions caused by COVID-19. However, shortages were largely avoided since multiple strategies for coping with business-as-usual disruptions had been implemented prior to the pandemic. The authors did find that SCRMS implemented during COVID-19 were not always aligned with those implemented pre-pandemic. The authors also found that policymakers played both direct and indirect roles.

Research limitations/implications

Combining longitudinal secondary data with interviews sheds light on how, regardless of the level of preparedness during normal times, SCRMS can be leveraged to avert shortages in abnormal times. However, the problem is highly complex, which warrants further research.

Practical implications

Supply chain professionals and policymakers in the healthcare sector can use the findings when developing preparedness and response plans.

Social implications

The insights developed can help policymakers improve the availability of high-volume generic medicines in (ab)normal times.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to prior SCRM research in two ways. First, the authors operationalize SCRMS in the medicine supply chain context in (ab)normal times, thereby opening avenues for future research on SCRM in this context. Second, the authors develop insights on the role policymakers play and how they directly implement and indirectly influence the adoption of SCRMS. Based on the study findings, the authors develop a framework that captures the diverse roles of policymakers in SCRM.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 53 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 July 2020

Kostas Selviaridis

The study aims to investigate how pre-commercial procurement (PCP) influences the activities, capabilities and behaviours of actors participating in the innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to investigate how pre-commercial procurement (PCP) influences the activities, capabilities and behaviours of actors participating in the innovation process. Unlike much of PCP research underpinned by a market failure theoretical framework that evaluates the additionality of innovation inputs and outputs, this paper focusses on the role and capacity of PCP in addressing systemic failures impeding the process of innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

PCP effects on the innovation process were studied through a qualitative study of the UK small business research initiative (SBRI) programme. Data collection comprised 33 semi-structured interviews with key informants within 30 organisations and analysis of 80-plus secondary data sources. Interviewees included executives of technology-based small businesses, managers within public buying organisations and innovation policymakers and experts.

Findings

The UK SBRI improves connectivity and instigates research and development (R&D) related interactions and cooperation. Through securing government R&D contracts, small firms access relevant innovation ecosystems, build up their knowledge and capabilities and explore possible routes to market. Public organisations use the SBRI to connect to innovative small firms and access their sets of expertise and novel ideas. They also learn to appreciate the strategic role of procurement. Nonetheless, SBRI-funded small business face commercialisation and innovation adoption challenges because of institutional constraints pertaining to rules, regulations and public-sector norms of conduct.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributes to existing PCP research by demonstrating innovation process-related effects of PCP policies. It also complements literature on small business-friendly public procurement measures by highlighting the ways through which PCP, rather than commercial procurement procedures, can support the development of small businesses other than just facilitating their access to government (R&D) contracts.

Social implications

The study identifies several challenge areas that policymakers should address to improve the implementation of the UK SBRI programme.

Originality/value

The study demonstrates the effects of PCP on the activities, capabilities and behaviours of small businesses and public buying organisations involved in the innovation process.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Keywords

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