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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2021

Lu Yang, Baofeng Huo, Min Tian and Zhaojun Han

Digitalization encourages the manufacturer to engage in inter-organizational technological activities (i.e. supplier IT integration and supply visibility) with its major…

Abstract

Purpose

Digitalization encourages the manufacturer to engage in inter-organizational technological activities (i.e. supplier IT integration and supply visibility) with its major supplier, which influences supply chain (SC) governance. This study tests a moderated mediation model that considers supplier IT integration and supply visibility as mediators between supply-side digitalization and supplier opportunism, and relational ties as a moderator in the relationship between inter-organizational technological activities and supplier opportunism.

Design/methodology/approach

Ordinary least square (OLS) regression is used to examine data from 200 firms in China describing their supply chain management (SCM) practices and perceived relationships with their major suppliers.

Findings

Supply-side digitalization is positively related to supplier IT integration and supply visibility. Supply-side digitalization has a positive indirect effect on supplier opportunism through supplier IT integration but a negative indirect effect through supply visibility. Relational ties weaken the positive effect of supplier IT integration and the positive indirect effect of supply-side digitalization on supplier opportunism. Relational ties also weaken the negative effect of supply visibility and the negative indirect effect of supply-side digitalization on supplier opportunism.

Originality/value

This study enriches understanding of SC governance in the digital age by empirically confirming that digital transformation brings both challenges and opportunities to SC governance and by clarifying the interplay of relational governance and technological activities. In addition, this study contributes to the SC digitalization literature by empirically validating the role of digitalization in promoting inter-organizational technological activities, as well as by revealing its potential dark side.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 August 2021

Shih-Jung Juan, Eldon Y. Li and Wei-Hsi Hung

This study aims to explore the relationships among the five components of supply chain (SC) resilience (SCRES): visibility, velocity, flexibility, robustness and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the relationships among the five components of supply chain (SC) resilience (SCRES): visibility, velocity, flexibility, robustness and collaboration and their impacts on the SC performance under disruption (SCPUD).

Design/methodology/approach

Five SCRES components are identified from the literature review and data are collected using an web survey from 113 manufacturing companies in Taiwan. The data are analyzed by structured equation modeling with the partial least square solution. Two-stage least-squares (2SLS) regression was used to test the potential endogeneity of SC collaboration (SCC).

Findings

The results reveal that SCC is an exogenous driver of SCRES; it directly affects visibility, velocity, flexibility, robustness and SCPUD. Furthermore, SC flexibility is the only component of SC agility that directly affects SCPUD; it is influenced directly by SC velocity and indirectly by SC visibility through SC velocity. SC visibility is a vital agility component that positively influences SC velocity and SC robustness.

Research limitations/implications

The data in this study are cross-sectional and the sample size of 113 is relatively small. The relationship between SC robustness and SCPUD needs a longer observation period to reveal. The logistic issue in the shortage of carriers caused by the pandemic has been overlooked.

Practical implications

A firm should enhance its collaboration and flexibility in the SC as they both are the critical antecedents of SC performance (SCP) during the disruption period.

Originality/value

This study integrates visibility, velocity, flexibility, robustness and collaboration into a complete framework of SCRES. The dependent variable, SCPUD, measures SC performance (SCP) under the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the first study to investigate the associations of the six constructs in a research model.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2021

Pedro Lafargue, Michael Rogerson, Glenn C. Parry and Joel Allainguillaume

This paper examines the potential of “biomarkers” to provide immutable identification for food products (chocolate), providing traceability and visibility in the supply…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the potential of “biomarkers” to provide immutable identification for food products (chocolate), providing traceability and visibility in the supply chain from retail product back to farm.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses qualitative data collection, including fieldwork at cocoa farms and chocolate manufacturers in Ecuador and the Netherlands and semi-structured interviews with industry professionals to identify challenges and create a supply chain map from cocoa plant to retailer, validated by area experts. A library of biomarkers is created using DNA collected from fieldwork and the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre, holders of cocoa varieties from known locations around the world. Matching sample biomarkers with those in the library enables identification of origins of cocoa used in a product, even when it comes from multiple different sources and has been processed.

Findings

Supply chain mapping and interviews identify areas of the cocoa supply chain that lack the visibility required for management to guarantee sustainability and quality. A decoupling point, where smaller farms/traders’ goods are combined to create larger economic units, obscures product origins and limits visibility. These factors underpin a potential boundary condition to institutional theory in the industry’s fatalism to environmental and human abuses in the face of rising institutional pressures. Biomarkers reliably identify product origin, including specific farms and (fermentation) processing locations, providing visibility and facilitating control and trust when purchasing cocoa.

Research limitations/implications

The biomarker “meta-barcoding” of cocoa beans used in chocolate manufacturing accurately identifies the farm, production facility or cooperative, where a cocoa product came from. A controlled data set of biomarkers of registered locations is required for audit to link chocolate products to origin.

Practical implications

Where biomarkers can be produced from organic products, they offer a method for closing visibility gaps, enabling responsible sourcing. Labels (QR codes, barcodes, etc.) can be swapped and products tampered with, but biological markers reduce reliance on physical tags, diminishing the potential for fraud. Biomarkers identify product composition, pinpointing specific farm(s) of origin for cocoa in chocolate, allowing targeted audits of suppliers and identifying if cocoa of unknown origin is present. Labour and environmental abuses exist in many supply chains and enabling upstream visibility may help firms address these challenges.

Social implications

By describing a method for firms in cocoa supply chains to scientifically track their cocoa back to the farm level, the research shows that organizations can conduct social audits for child labour and environmental abuses at specific farms proven to be in their supply chains. This provides a method for delivering supply chain visibility (SCV) for firms serious about tackling such problems.

Originality/value

This paper provides one of the very first examples of biomarkers for agricultural SCV. An in-depth study of stakeholders from the cocoa and chocolate industry elucidates problematic areas in cocoa supply chains. Biomarkers provide a unique biological product identifier. Biomarkers can support efforts to address environmental and social sustainability issues such as child labour, modern slavery and deforestation by providing visibility into previously hidden areas of the supply chain.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2021

Mengyi Zhu, Yuan Sun, Anand Jeyaraj and Jie Hao

This study aims to explore whether and how task characteristics affect employee agility in the context of enterprise social media (ESM).

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore whether and how task characteristics affect employee agility in the context of enterprise social media (ESM).

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting the social network ties perspective, this study examines how task characteristics (i.e. task complexity, task interdependence and task non-routineness) affect employee agility by promoting their social network ties (i.e. instrumental ties and expressive ties) and how ESM visibility moderates their relationships. Data gathered from 341 ESM users in workplaces were analyzed using Smart-PLS 3.2.

Findings

First, task complexity, task interdependence and task non-routineness have positive effects on instrumental and expressive ties, which in turn influences agility; Second, instrumental ties have a stronger effect on employee agility relative to expressive ties; Finally, ESM visibility positively moderates the effects of task complexity and task non-routineness on social network ties.

Practical implications

The findings provide guidance for organizational managers on how to use task characteristics and ESM to improve employee agility, as well as insights for social media designers to optimize ESM functions to improve agility.

Originality/value

This study provides empirical evidence to explain the roles of task characteristics and social network ties in influencing employee agility, thus clarifying the inconsistent findings in extant research. The moderating effects of ESM visibility on the relationships between task characteristics and social network ties are also examined, thus providing further insights on the positive role of ESM in organizations.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2021

Zhongpeng Cao

From the perspective of customer segmentation, most scholars show more interest in the very important person (VIP) customer’s service experience and satisfaction; however…

Abstract

Purpose

From the perspective of customer segmentation, most scholars show more interest in the very important person (VIP) customer’s service experience and satisfaction; however, the way in which ordinary customers view VIP services has received less attention. Based on fairness heuristic theory and social comparison theory, this study aims to examine the impact of the social visibility of VIP services on ordinary customers’ satisfaction and explored the underlying mechanisms and boundary conditions of this effect.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experiments were conducted, Study 1 verified the main effect and mediating effect, Study 2 tested the moderating effect.

Findings

The results show that the social visibility of VIP services decreases ordinary customers’ satisfaction and perceived fairness mediates this effect. The deservingness of VIP status moderates the connection between social visibility and perceived fairness.

Research limitations/implications

This research changes the objects of VIP services research and focuses on ordinary customers as its main group and expands the scope of social comparisons among customers.

Practical implications

The findings expand the scope and perspective of research on VIP services and provide guidance to service providers to reduce ordinary customers’ feelings of unfairness so as to improve customer satisfaction.

Originality/value

This study explores the effect of the social visibility of VIP services on ordinary customer satisfaction from the perspective of perceived fairness, as well as the underlying mechanism and boundary conditions of the effect.

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2021

Charles Baah, Douglas Opoku Agyeman, Innocent Senyo Kwasi Acquah, Yaw Agyabeng-Mensah, Ebenezer Afum, Kassimu Issau, Daniel Ofori and Daniel Faibil

Exploring ways to acquire, sustain and improve competitive positions in supply chains through information sharing, supply chain visibility, collaboration and agility have…

Abstract

Purpose

Exploring ways to acquire, sustain and improve competitive positions in supply chains through information sharing, supply chain visibility, collaboration and agility have been essential for scholars and practitioners. Basing on the relational view, resource based view and the extended resource based view, this study assesses the critical role of information sharing in supply chains through emphasizing its effect on supply chain visibility, collaboration, agility and supply chain performance. Particularly, the study proposes that information sharing, supply chain visibility, collaboration and agility collectively have crucial direct and indirect influences on supply chain performance which lead to superior gains, competitiveness and flexibility.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a survey research design, a quantitative approach and partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) in making data analysis and interpretations due to its suitability for predictive research models.

Findings

The results indicate information sharing positively and significantly influenced supply chain visibility, collaboration, agility and performance. Supply chain visibility presented significant effects on collaboration, agility and performance, while supply chain collaboration and agility had significant impact on supply chain performance. The study findings connote that information sharing is key to enhancing competitive gains and superior supply chain performance.

Originality/value

The study is among the few to probe on how information sharing as a variable interacts with supply chain visibility, collaboration, agility and performance. Although, information sharing has received a lot of attention in supply chains, this study is among the first to capture the study variables in a single model and thus, exposes the vital need for information sharing in improving supply chain performance seeing that it ensured significant and robust impacts on the study variables.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2021

Zulkaif Ahmed Saqib and Qingyu Zhang

Sustainability failures have increased the pressure for manufacturing firms to come up with innovative solutions to resolve the sustainable matters. Drawing on the…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainability failures have increased the pressure for manufacturing firms to come up with innovative solutions to resolve the sustainable matters. Drawing on the resource-based theory, the purpose of this study is to examine how supply chain visibility moderates the effects of sustainable practices on sustainable performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The data employed in the current work were collected from 355 small and medium manufacturing firms in Pakistan using a structured questionnaire. The structural equation modelling was applied to the collected data with AMOSS-23 and SPSS-25 package

Findings

The results show that sustainable practices (for manufacturing, procurement and distribution) significantly influence the firm's sustainability performance, and this relationship is moderated by supply chain visibility.

Originality/value

Sustainable practices are necessary for small and medium enterprises to achieve sustainable performance, but the previously under-explored moderating effect of supply chain visibility generally indicates that sharing information for learning, sensing and co-ordinating activities plays an intensifying effect.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Charles Baah, Innocent Senyo Kwasi Acquah and Daniel Ofori

The need to stay competitive amidst ever-changing business environment has shifted competitive strategies from firms to supply chains. Managers are now basing competitive…

Abstract

Purpose

The need to stay competitive amidst ever-changing business environment has shifted competitive strategies from firms to supply chains. Managers are now basing competitive strategies on supply chains acknowledging that supply chains present competitive advantages among other resources. The purpose of the study is to explore the predictive relevance of supply chain collaboration and the extent to which it influences supply chain visibility, stakeholder trust, environmental and financial performances. This study focused on manufacturing firms due to their supplier relationships, consumption of resources, energy and emissions of greenhouse gasses.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a survey research design, a quantitative approach and partial least square structural equation modelling technique in making data analysis and interpretations due to its suitability for predictive research models as is the case in this study.

Findings

The study hypothesized that supply chain collaboration positively and significantly interacts with supply chain visibility, stakeholder trust, environmental and financial performances. The study results confirmed supply chain collaboration as a significant, positive and a robust influence on supply chain visibility, stakeholder trust, environmental and financial performances thereby projecting win-win scenarios for firms that engage in collaborative supply chain practices.

Originality/value

The study is among the few to indicate findings in relation to the scope of supply chain collaboration's potency in influencing performance from the perspective of manufacturing firms operational in an emerging economy. Thus, this study contributes to understanding the wider scope of supply chain collaboration, its interactions with other firm variables and how it informs decisions of managers, scholars and supply chain partners.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2021

Abdul Hameed Pitafi and Minglun Ren

This study aims to investigate the impact of enterprise social media (ESM) usage on employee agility through communication quality and visibility. Theory of communication…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impact of enterprise social media (ESM) usage on employee agility through communication quality and visibility. Theory of communication visibility is used to explore the moderating role of ESM-related strain in the relationship among communication quality, visibility and employee agility.

Design/methodology/approach

The research model is analyzed using data from 240 Chinese employees of different companies. The proposed hypotheses are tested using structural equation modeling, hierarchical regression and mediation analysis.

Findings

Findings suggest that ESM usage is positively related to communication quality and visibility. Communication visibility mediates the relationship between ESM usage and employee agility. ESM-related strain reduces the relationship between communication visibility and employee agility. However, ESM-related strain has an insignificant moderating effect on the relationship between communication quality and employee agility.

Originality/value

The present study examines how employee agility is associated with ESM usage in the workplace. The mediating effects of communication quality and visibility are explored using a theoretical foundation. This study provides empirical evidence on how the impact of ESM on employee agility is transmitted through communication visibility. Lastly, the current study quantifies the advantages of ESM for organizations and may motivate managers to confidently deploy ESM in the workplace.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2021

Vineeth Dharmapalan, William J. O’Brien, Douglas Morrice and Minhyuk Jung

Stakeholders of construction projects exhibit different perceptions regarding the visibility of materials in the supply chain, which affects the timely delivery and…

Abstract

Purpose

Stakeholders of construction projects exhibit different perceptions regarding the visibility of materials in the supply chain, which affects the timely delivery and installation of materials. This study aims to quantitatively investigate the differences in viewpoints of owners, contractors, designers and suppliers about the visibility of materials at supply chain locations and different material types during the construction of industrial projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data about visibility at nine typical supply chain locations and three common material types were collected from owner, contractor, designer and supplier groups and analyzed using frequency statistics, relative importance index and tests for equality of odds.

Findings

Offsite Tier-2 supplier, ports and kitting site shows the lowest visibility level for the owner, contractor, supplier and designer groups. Also, the supplier group tends to have adequate to extreme visibility at the Tier-2 supplier, kitting site and during transportation compared to owner, contractor and designer groups. An example finding concerning the visibility of material types is that owners and contractors perceive prefabricated material requires higher visibility than all other material types.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to construction projects in the industrial sector. Further, the survey participants were based in North America at the time of participation.

Practical implications

The study’s findings indicate how visibility is spread across supply chain locations and for material types for the owners, contractors, suppliers and designers of industrial projects. As such, academia and industry’s research and investment efforts can be more focused on locations and material types that need improvement.

Social implications

Industrial projects play an essential part in improving society’s daily lives, and this study’s findings contribute to improving the efficiency of the supply chain during construction of industrial projects.

Originality/value

Although previous studies mentioned the need and importance of visibility improvement, none have sought to understand the perception of leading supply chain stakeholders about visibility at supply chain locations and of material types. This study’s findings provide specific insights and directions for advancing in these areas with regard to supply chain visibility.

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