Journal of Supply Chain Management

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  • Discovery‐to‐Recall in the Automotive Industry: A Problem‐Solving Perspective on Investigation of Quality Failures

    Several recent high‐profile product recalls raise the question of why companies take so long to recall defective products from the market. The recall timing decision is not a simple task, as companies constantly face multiple, often competing goals during the recall process. In this research, we examine variations in large automakers’ recall timing decisions after an initial report of a suspected quality failures. Drawing upon problem‐solving theory, we theorize about how five recall attributes impact discovery‐to‐recall, defined as the time between a defective product's initial discovery and its officially announced recall. To test our hypotheses, we assembled a vehicle recall investigation dataset from recall reports filed by the six largest automakers that sold passenger cars in the United States from 2000 to 2012. Results from event history analysis reveal that discovery‐to‐recall is longer for: (1) recalls that are triggered by external initial reports, rather than internal initial reports; (2) recalls that are attributed to suppliers, rather than automakers; (3) recalls that are associated with design flaws, as opposed to manufacturing flaws; and (4) recalls with more models involved. We also find that cumulative recall experience, measured as the total number of previous recalls, shortens discovery‐to‐recall. These findings improve our understanding of why the timing of vehicle recalls varies considerably at the individual recall level. They also highlight the value of problem‐solving theory in vehicle recall research, as well as quality management research.

  • Bluffs, Lies, and Consequences: A Reconceptualization of Bluffing in Buyer–Supplier Negotiations

    Business negotiations constitute a key element of supply chain interactions that can create additional value for both the buyer and supplier. However, negotiations can also render the parties vulnerable to deception. While a large body of knowledge on buyer–supplier relationships exists, research on deception and bounded ethicality in supply chain relationships is still nascent. We advance this new research stream in behavioral supply chain management by first conceptualizing two types of deception—bluffs and lies. Departing from previous content‐dependent conceptualizations/definitions, we define both as convention‐dependent, norms‐based constructs: Bluffs (lies) are deceptions that are palatable (unpalatable) to both parties in a buyer–supplier negotiation. Second, studies 1 and 2 of our article employ Q methodology and best–worst scaling to operationalize bluffs while refining the construct of a lie. Third, a correlational study (study 3) examines the psychological properties/cognition of a negotiator who lies, bluffs, or does neither (i.e., communicates honestly). Fourth, a behavioral experiment (study 4) investigates the psychological consequences of bluffs, lies, and honesty for the targets. Bluffers (liars) show low (high) degrees of moral disengagement. Targets of bluffs experience high degrees of self‐directed anger but are willing to engage in further negotiations with the bluffer, while targets of lies experience high degrees of anger directed at the liar and show a low willingness to further negotiate with the liar. Taken together, these findings provide new insights into the dynamics of bluffing and lying in buyer–supplier negotiations.

  • From the Editors: Introduction to the Emerging Discourse Incubator on the Topic of Research where the Focal Actor in the Network is not a for‐profit Firm
  • EMERGING DISCOURSE INCUBATOR: Cross‐Sector Relations in Global Supply Chains: A Social Capital Perspective

    Virtually unheard of 30 years ago, collaborations involving environmental NGOs and businesses are now common and are increasingly being used to address sustainability issues in supply chains. We argue that a supply chain perspective is instrumental for collaborative NGOs in helping them to understand environmental impacts, interorganizational dynamics, and optimal collaborative partners and tactics. We apply a framework that integrates three predominant social capital theories to cross‐sector partnerships to explain how three dimensions of social capital, individually and in interaction, may create strategic value for NGOs who seek to improve the environmental performance of companies through collaboration. Finally, we survey the nature of the progress that has (and has not) been made through cross‐sector partnerships and offer suggestions for how social capital may be deployed to accelerate change.

  • EMERGING DISCOURSE INCUBATOR: Delivering Transformational Change: Aligning Supply Chains and Stakeholders in Non‐Governmental Organizations

    Governments and global corporations increasingly both confront and rely on international non‐governmental organizations (INGOs) to identify, design, and deliver interventions that prompt transformational change in societies, industries, and supply chains. For INGOs, transformational change is defined as a fundamental, long‐lasting reframing of a social or industrial system through synergistically altering the knowledge, practices, and relationships of multiple stakeholder groups. With each intervention, the focal INGO assembles its own complex supply chain of nonprofit organizations and for‐profit firms to provide the necessary resources and skills. While prior supply chain management literature provides a good starting point, with some generalizability to the nonprofit sector, this study begins with several key differences to explore how interventions are delivered, and then, how INGOs’ supply chains must be aligned. In doing so, at least three critical factors must be taken into account to improve alignment: stakeholder‐induced uncertainty; supply chain configuration; and supply chain dynamism. By synthesizing these factors with prior literature and emerging anecdotal evidence, tentative frameworks and research questions emerge about how INGOs can better leverage their supply chains, thereby offering a basis for scholars in supply chain management to build a much richer and more nuanced research understanding of INGOs.

  • EMERGING DISCOURSE INCUBATOR: The Roles of Institutional Complexity and Hybridity in Social Impact Supply Chain Management

    Supply chain research and practice has moved beyond green or environmental issues to include social issues. But much of the focus still remains on attempts of large companies to reduce social harm along their supply chains rather than creating social good. At the same time, research investigating the role of NGOs in supply chains or humanitarian logistics often emphasizes temporary initiatives and overlooks long‐term viability. This conceptual paper seeks to expand the playing field by looking at how social enterprises manage their supply chains to generate social benefit while maintaining or improving their financial viability in the long term. Our contribution is to consider those socially motivated organizations that lie on the continuum between purely social and purely commercial enterprises. We consider how these organizations manage their supply chains for social impact and define this area as social impact supply chain management (SISCM). In this work, we view these organizations and managerial issues through the lens of institutional complexity, that is, the presence of multiple and possibly conflicting institutional logics in the focal organization. We propose that, for these organizations, supply chain strategy, stakeholder identification and engagement, and relationship management might differentiate SISCM from traditional supply chain management. And as a result, we offer future research directions that might add clarity to effective SISCM.

  • Building the Case for A Single Key Informant in Supply Chain Management Survey Research

    Survey research is appropriate and necessary to address certain types of research questions. In this paper, we acknowledge the ongoing debate about survey research and focus specifically on examining the conditions under which a study might validly utilize data provided by a single respondent. To this end, we summarize the main challenges that survey research in supply chain management faces when dealing with single respondents and later argue that having multiple respondents does not necessarily represent a cure‐all solution. Next, we discuss the concept of alignment in survey research and explore the characteristics of research questions that can be addressed through single key informants. We conclude the paper by suggesting that researchers should carefully consider the appropriateness of single key informants in light of the type of research question and also clearly support such choice when describing the method adopted.

  • Setting Standards for Single Respondent Survey Design

    We propose that single respondent surveys continue to be a viable supply chain management research tool. However, necessary care must be taken in research design and implementation. Articles published in leading supply chain management journals in the past 10 years were reviewed to identify patterns and trends in the use of single respondent surveys. Based on that analysis, several recommendations such as using multimethod research design, careful informant selection, and better documentation are presented for survey researchers to ensure and enhance the validity of single respondent survey research.

  • Small and Medium Enterprise Research in Supply Chain Management: The Case for Single‐Respondent Research Designs

    Deciding on the number of respondents in a data‐collection instrument is a key design consideration requiring supply chain researchers to balance multiple competing factors. The debate on this respondent design question may unintentionally disregard over 95% of enterprises engaged in supply chains: small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We present arguments for why single‐respondent designs can be more appropriate in the SME setting, particularly when considering the various facets of supply chain management and the untapped potential of SCM‐SME research. Assuring that SCM theoretical frameworks and research designs allow for SME inclusion will be important in aiding the SCM field to progress forward.

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