Search results

1 – 10 of over 53000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Zhibin Hu, Guangdong Wu, Xianbo Zhao, Jian Zuo and Shicong Wen

This study aims to explore the influence of the strength of ties (strong ties and weak ties) on contractual flexibility (term flexibility and process flexibility) and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the influence of the strength of ties (strong ties and weak ties) on contractual flexibility (term flexibility and process flexibility) and relationship quality among stakeholders in a megaproject network.

Design/methodology/approach

This study, via a questionnaire survey, collected 380 valid responses from megaproject professionals (including project managers, department managers and project engineers). The data were analyzed using least squares structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results show that both strong ties and weak ties have positive effects on relationship quality. The introduction of contractual flexibility can help improve relationship quality by combining the positive effects of the strength of ties. Interestingly, the indirect influence of strong ties on relationship quality is mainly due to term flexibility. However, the influence of process flexibility is not significant, while weak ties have an indirect influence through term flexibility and process flexibility.

Research limitations/implications

This study, while helpful to megaproject management both in theory and practice, is nevertheless subject to several limitations. First, this study only considers the impact of the strength of ties on contractual flexibility and relationship quality; other factors, such as environmental uncertainty, are not explored. Second, the sample data are limited to just a few regions of China. Future research should cover other influencing factors, in order to make the model more substantial; data should also be collected from different cultural and industrial sources, thereby extending and further verifying the results.

Originality/value

This study makes three contributions to extant megaproject literature. First, this study provides a deep and nuanced understanding of the strength of ties. With the distinction between strong ties and weak ties clearly explained, this research furnishes a subtler understanding of relationship governance than has previously been achieved. Second, by precisely identifying the mechanism of how contract flexibility improves contract control and coordination functions, this research offers a complementary view of how contractual flexibility positively contributes to cooperation and relationship quality. Third, this study identifies which dimension of the strength of ties is more influential. This brings a new explanation for the previous controversy and offers some insight into the determinants of how to improve relationship quality in Chinese megaprojects.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Alvaro López‐Cabrales, Ramon Valle and Jose L. Galan

This paper seeks to analyse whether the firm model of employment relationships is associated with functional flexibility and organisational learning (exploratory versus…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to analyse whether the firm model of employment relationships is associated with functional flexibility and organisational learning (exploratory versus exploitative). It also aims to assess the mediating effect of functional flexibility in the relationship between a specific employment mode (mutual investment) and organisational learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This research was conducted using a sample of Spanish companies in the food industry, from which data from HR managers and production managers in each firm were collected. Cluster analyses, MANOVA and regression analyses were applied to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results suggest that those firms developing a mutual investment employment relationship outperform other firms in terms of functional flexibility and organisational learning (both exploitative and exploratory learning). The paper also finds a mediating effect of one dimension of functional flexibility (range‐number of activities) between mutual investment and exploitative learning.

Research limitations/implications

The principal limitation of this paper is the cross‐sectional study design, because the dynamic character of learning would require a longitudinal study design. The main research implications are derived from the combination of employment relationships, variety of dimensions of flexibility and learning, and identification of a model of direct and mediating effects among variables.

Practical implications

The results of this paper suggest that a model of employment relationships (mutual investment) favours not only functional flexibility but also ambidextrous learning. Thus, the findings not only provide a broader understanding of the variables associated with HRM, employment relationships and/or flexibility, but also reinforce the strategic role of HRM through its contribution to the development of such a relevant organisational capability that learning represents.

Originality/value

The paper combined a series of variables that previous studies have rarely treated in combination: employment relationships, functional flexibility and exploitative versus exploratory learning. This paper also discusses different dimensions of functional flexibility (range‐number of activities, heterogeneity, mobility, and uniformity), demonstrating the association of some of these dimensions with exploratory or exploitative learning.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Sajad Fayezi and Maryam Zomorrodi

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the supply chain management literature by presenting the Australian practitioners’ perception of the role of relationship

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the supply chain management literature by presenting the Australian practitioners’ perception of the role of relationship integration in developing supply chain agility and flexibility.

Design/methodology/approach

The research takes semi-structured, indepth interviews with ten operations and supply chain practitioners in the Australian manufacturing sector. A systematic qualitative data analysis approach grounded on cross-interview synthesis was used.

Findings

Findings contributed into understanding of the manufacturing companies’ implementation of relationship integration with respect to decision trade-offs involved in contract design. Moreover, the findings revealed the significant perceived importance and impact of relationship integration on supply chain agility and flexibility development. This was, however, found to be a function of things such as upstream or downstream focus and organisational size. These findings were expressed in terms of seven propositions.

Practical implications

Analysis of the interviews substantiates the criticality of informed allocation of resources to relationship-intensive activities and investments across the supply chain to develop agility and flexibility. International businesses can gain insights into Australian manufacturing businesses’ perception of relationship integration, which can be invaluable for strategic planning to develop agile and flexible supply chains with their Australian partners.

Originality/value

This paper takes an original approach to present operations and supply chain practitioners’ perception of manufacturing businesses’ use of relationship integration for supply chain agility and flexibility development.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Guangdong Wu, Xianbo Zhao, Jian Zuo and George Zillante

This study aims to investigate the influence of contractual flexibility on different types of conflict, determine if contractual flexibility is significantly correlated…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the influence of contractual flexibility on different types of conflict, determine if contractual flexibility is significantly correlated with project success between contracting parties, verify the mediating effect of project conflicts on the relationship between contractual flexibility and project success and examine the relationship between different types of conflicts and project success in megaprojects.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model was developed and a structured questionnaire survey was conducted with 468 professionals. The structural equation modeling technique was used to analyze the data.

Findings

The results showed that both types of contractual flexibility – term and process flexibility – were correlated with and significantly positively affected project success, and term flexibility was found to have a greater influence. The introduction of project conflicts significantly weakened the relationship between contractual flexibility and project success, verifying the partial mediating effect of conflicts. All types of project conflicts play a destructive role in achieving project success; relationship conflict had the largest negative effect. Contractual flexibility affects two paths with respect to project success: the direct path (contractual flexibility → project success) and the indirect path (contractual flexibility → conflict → project success). The direct effect of contractual flexibility on project success is positive; the corresponding indirect effect is negative. The direct effect is greater than the corresponding indirect effect.

Research limitations/implications

Different types of conflicts may mutually transform to extent certain degree. However, this study did not address the potential influence of conflict transformation on project success. The results implied that more emphasis should be placed on contractual terms, particularly on developing flexible terms in the contractual document, when implementing megaprojects. Meanwhile, this study reveals the effects of conflicts on project success in megaprojects, which provides a useful reference for project stakeholders to avoid the negative effect of conflicts.

Practical implications

This study provides a better understanding of the relationship between contractual flexibility, types of conflicts in megaprojects and a reliable reference for the project manager to effectively deal with these related issues. This implies the contracting parties strengthen communication and cooperation to establish a trust mechanism, while reducing the negative influence of project conflicts and enhancing the positive effect of contractual flexibility.

Originality/value

Few studies have investigated the effects of contractual flexibility on conflict and project success in megaprojects; this study contributes significant theoretical and practical insights to contract management and conflict management and provides a reliable reference to achieve project success.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Ángel Martínez-Sánchez, Maria-Jose Vela-Jimenez, Silvia Abella-Garces and Sophie Gorgemans

The purpose of this paper is to analyze simultaneously two moderator effects on a model of relationships between external human resource (HR) flexibility and innovation in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze simultaneously two moderator effects on a model of relationships between external human resource (HR) flexibility and innovation in a large sample of manufacturing firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The study sample consisted of 1,864 Spanish industrial firms in 2012 compiled from a large set of statements from the Survey of Business Strategies questionnaire. Logit and linear regressions tested the moderator effects of inter-organizational technology cooperation and environmental (market) dynamism in the relationship between external HR flexibility and innovation performance. To control for multicollinearity the Lance’s residual centering technique was used.

Findings

Process innovations seemed to be dependent on industry while innovative firms have developed a greater flexibility than non-innovative firms. Some moderator effects were found regarding inter-organizational cooperation while the market dynamism was negatively related to the measures of innovation with absence of moderator effects.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies should integrate more moderator effects that may influence the relationship between external HR flexibility and the firm’s innovation performance. The results regarding the influences of external flexibility on innovation have to be differentiated as inter-organizational technological cooperation compensated the influence of external workplace flexibility on innovation.

Practical implications

Managers should use a right mix of external flexibility measures according to the inter-organizational cooperation but regardless the level of environmental dynamism.

Originality/value

This paper is original in the sense that it studies the relationship between external HR flexibility and innovation with the simultaneous moderator effect of inter-organizational technology cooperation and market dynamism. The value of the paper lies in the discussion of interrelated moderator effects in order to propose adequate strategies to develop external HR flexibility.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 48 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Kangkang Yu, Jack Cadeaux, Nanfeng Luo, Cheng Qian and Zhenghao Chen

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the consistency between objective and perceived environmental uncertainty might affect supply chain flexibilities that cope…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the consistency between objective and perceived environmental uncertainty might affect supply chain flexibilities that cope with supply chain risk.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a case study of comparative four companies in order to obtain an in-depth knowledge of the environmental conditions under which the companies implement different types of supply chain risk management (SCRM) strategies: logistics flexibility and relationship flexibility.

Findings

The case analysis not only distinguished the different effects of objective and perceived environmental uncertainty on supply chain flexibility, but also established the propositions about the effects of the consistency between objective and perceived environmental uncertainty on logistics flexibility and relationship flexibility in SCRM.

Originality/value

In principle, supply chain flexibility aims to cope with complex and turbulent environments. Yet, empirical findings about the effects of environmental uncertainty on supply chain flexibility are inconclusive. This study addressed this question by differentiating between objective and perceived environmental uncertainty as well as between logistics and relationship supply chain flexibilities.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Kamel Aissa Fantazy, Vinod Kumar and Uma Kumar

The purpose of this research is to examine the relationships among strategy, flexibility, and performance in the supply chain context.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine the relationships among strategy, flexibility, and performance in the supply chain context.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a quantitative approach using a questionnaire survey and personal interviews from a total of 175 small and medium‐sized Canadian manufacturing companies. The identified constructs have been utilized to test a theoretical model using the path analysis technique.

Findings

First, the findings provide evidence of direct effects of strategy on flexibility and flexibility on performance. Second, innovative strategy firms must invest time and resources in developing new product and delivery flexibility; while customer‐oriented strategy firms are required to invest heavily in developing sourcing, product, and delivery flexibility and follower strategy firms need no investment in any specific type of flexibility. Third, results demonstrated that Canadian manufacturers must reconsider how they use information technology to enhance information systems flexibility and improve overall performance.

Research limitations/implications

The measures of flexibility and strategy dimensions used to rate the supply chain organizations are a possible limitation of the research study.

Practical implications

Managers need to think seriously about which type of flexibility they implement and that they should not increase all dimensions of flexibility in their power; some dimensions of flexibility may not significantly contribute to the overall performance. Considering that small and medium‐sized enterprises have limited resources, it is important for managers to carefully assess their strategic needs before getting involved in any flexibility program; otherwise the result can be competitively negative.

Originality/value

No empirical study was found in the supply chain literature that specifically investigates the relationships among strategy, flexibility and performance in the supply chain context; the paper fills an important gap in the supply chain literature.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

John W. Cadogan, Sanna Sundqvist, Kaisu Puumalainen and Risto T. Salminen

The study aims to develop and test a model of export performance, focusing on the degree to which firms have different types of export flexibility and the degree to which…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to develop and test a model of export performance, focusing on the degree to which firms have different types of export flexibility and the degree to which firms adopt market‐oriented behavior in their export operations (i.e. their degree of export market‐oriented [EMO] behavior). Furthermore, the study seeks to examine the moderating roles that EMO behavior and export environment play with respect to the relationships between export flexibility dimensions and export performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The model is tested on a sample of 783 exporting firms. Data were collected via mail survey. Analysis was undertaken using structural equation modeling.

Findings

EMO behavior moderates the relationship between export flexibility and export sales performance. However, EMO behavior's moderating role differs depending on (a) the source of the export flexibility, and (b) the environmental conditions the firms face. Increasing levels of EMO behavior are associated with increased export sales performance under all conditions studied.

Research limitations/implications

Reliance on cross‐sectional data may limit generalizability, as may the reliance on single country data. Additional sources of export flexibility should be modeled, as should more complex models of the export environment.

Practical implications

The findings identify several situations when EMO behavior is most beneficial and others where it is beneficial (but less so). Similarly, the results pinpoint situations where greater levels of export flexibility are a necessity. Managers should look to exploit this knowledge by enhancing EMO behavior and export flexibility.

Originality/value

This study is one of the very few that explicitly identifies export flexibility as a source of competitive advantage in the exporting literature. It is also the first study to suggest that EMO behavior's ability to shape export success is determined in part by other factors internal to the firm (e.g. export flexibility), as well as factors external to the firm (environment).

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 46 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Jennifer A. Espinosa, James Stock, David J. Ortinau and Lisa Monahan

The authors explore complex adaptive systems (CAS) theory as an updated theoretical perspective for managing product returns that better matches the chaotic nature of…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors explore complex adaptive systems (CAS) theory as an updated theoretical perspective for managing product returns that better matches the chaotic nature of recent consumer behaviors. CAS theory highlights the importance of agents who create and self-organize to help systems adapt in unpredictable environments.

Design/methodology/approach

This research utilizes data collected from return managers in an online survey and applies regression analyses to estimate the influence of the focal variables.

Findings

Empirical evidence of the firm flexibility–firm adaptability link is established, and return processor creativity positively relates to this link. The firm flexibility–firm adaptability link fully mediates the relationship between return processor creativity and returns management performance and partially mediates the relationship between return processor creativity and relationship quality. Nonmediated effects were observed for turnover and revenue size.

Practical implications

Managers of returns who embrace an adaptability approach become facilitators of returns by supporting processor creativity. Enhancing the autonomy of processors in their day-to-day work increases the knowledge-creation capabilities of the firm, which helps the firm move forward and adapt in an uncertain environment.

Originality/value

This research presents empirical evidence of the underlying mechanisms of CAS theory in the product returns context by studying processor agents and argues that CAS theory better fits the current dynamics of the product returns environment. Further, this paper extends work by Espinosa et al. (2019) and Nilsson (2019) by studying how a specific human characteristic – creativity – impacts product returns management.

Details

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

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Berman Kayis and Sami Kara

This paper seeks to present the formulation of relationships involving different manufacturing flexibility elements related to the total chain of acquisition, processing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to present the formulation of relationships involving different manufacturing flexibility elements related to the total chain of acquisition, processing and distribution in order to assess the level of flexibility practiced by Australian manufacturing industries.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of published works and a detailed data gathered from a wide range of Australian manufacturing industry through questionnaires are evaluated to determine how customer‐supplier relationships could have an impact on manufacturing flexibility and enhance the total chain of manufacturing. The main analysis tool used is logistic regression. The knowledge and analysis obtained are linked to evaluate the level of each type of flexibility as well as the impact of customer‐supplier flexibility on the total chain of manufacturing. Finally, a performance assessment framework is developed to connect the interlinking factors and contribution regarding customer, supplier, and manufacturing flexibility of Australian industries.

Findings

The relationships and correlation of data displayed would enhance the available body of knowledge on the total chain of manufacturing. Consequently, the relationships found in this paper can be used to support the overall flexibility assessment of manufacturing industries. In the paper, the current flexibility practices of Australian industries are assessed and a framework is suggested based on several elements taken into consideration. As the different elements under flexibility have suggested, the manufacturing flexibility of Australian industries as affected by customer‐supplier participation is found as medium. Suggestions for pursuing improvements are recommended.

Research limitations/implications

The main outcome of the research is to reveal that customer‐supplier relationship could significantly affect the flexibility level within the industries under different functional areas. As a result, to achieve the “real” flexibility of the system, flexibility has to be built into the total chain of acquisition‐processing‐distribution stages, not just focusing on the manufacturing aspects only. The flexibility framework developed in this paper would better assess the impact of customer‐supplier flexibility on the total chain of manufacturing and give more insights for analyzing the flexibility level of customers, suppliers, and manufacturers with data gathered across the globe.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper lies in its detailed analysis of the effect of supplier and customer contribution on manufacturing problems as well as developing a flexibility assessment framework to discuss its impact on the total chain of manufacturing. Its value to both body of knowledge and practitioners are emphasized in the paper.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 16 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 53000