Journal of Supply Chain Management

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  • How Supplier Economies of Scale Drive Supplier Selection Decisions

    Supplier selections are complex but nonetheless strategically important decisions that are influenced by numerous factors. Drawing on the resource‐based and relational view of the firm, we investigate how suppliers’ economies of scale influence the buyer's selection decision, and we illustrate how the influence of scale is contingent upon important economic, buyer, and relationship characteristics. We test the model with a large secondary dataset of actual supplier selection decisions from the automotive industry and show that economies of scale have a strongly positive but diminishing effect on the buying firm's supplier selection decision. These effects are reinforced or extenuated by economic, buyer, and relationship characteristics, with characteristics that are more specific to the buyer‐supplier situation (e.g., relationship duration and power balance) having a stronger moderating effect than do characteristics that are more global (e.g., economic cycle). Our research helps suppliers to better understand how to manage selection probabilities with buyers and provides buying firms with a better understanding of how contextual factors affect the benefit of supplier‐provided economies of scale.

  • Operating Performance Effects of Service Quality and Environmental Sustainability Capabilities in Logistics

    Resource allocation decisions in the areas of service quality and environmental sustainability can be challenging because ex ante it is difficult to assess the potential performance benefits of such investments. This study investigates the operating performance implications of service quality and environmental sustainability in the context of logistics. Specifically, using the resource‐based view of the firm as the theoretical framework, we examine future operating performance of firms that won service quality and environmental sustainability awards in logistics between 2004 and 2013. Awardees include firms that are logistics service providers and firms that operate in other industries; in all cases, these awards recognize firms’ logistics capabilities. Our results reveal that firms’ service quality and environmental sustainability capabilities, as recognized by winning awards in the respective categories, are associated with improved operating performance during the 3‐year post‐award period. Additionally, the performance benefits associated with service quality awards are greater than those associated with environmental sustainability awards. Our analysis further shows that whereas environmental sustainability relates to better future operating performance by enhancing only sales growth, service quality is positively associated with enhanced sales growth as well as cost efficiency. Finally, our results also indicate that positive operating performance implications of these awards are not contingent on the industry competitive intensity or innovative intensity. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

  • Acting as Expected: Global Leadership Preferences and the Pursuit of an Integrated Supply Chain

    While research has extensively explored the potential benefits companies gain with integrated supply chains, the topic of why some companies are better at pursuing supply chain integration (SCI) is relatively under‐examined. We take the perspective that SCI is associated with preferred forms of leadership using leadership preference derived from path–goal logic. By combining global data sources, we examine the relationships among leadership style preferences, internal integration (i.e., between sales and purchasing) programs, and external integration (i.e., supplier side) programs. Our country‐level results challenge the assumption that the choice to pursue internal and external integration has similar origins. Specifically, while collaborative‐style leadership preferences relate to internal integration programs, societies preferring individualistic‐style leaders will be predisposed toward external integration programs. Our study’s contribution is in the novel use of theories on leadership to explain variations in approaches toward supply chain integration.

  • Issue Information
  • Ramp Up and Ramp Down Dynamics in Digital Services

    Volume ramp ups are notoriously difficult in digital services, where market pressures can lead to ramping up too soon and too rapidly which in turn can lead to the need to ramp down. This paper addresses the challenge of taking innovation to scale in an established firm by enhancing our understanding of the nature of service ramp ups and ramp downs. Digital service ramp ups differ substantially from production ramp ups as the speed is much greater, and problems are visible to customers. However there are similarities between service ramp downs and product recalls and an important contribution is exploring the nature of ramp downs their processes and possible causes. Using an engaged research approach, longitudinal data from three consecutive ramp ups in a European telecom operator were collected. Through analyses of cases, qualitative and quantitative case data, and using a system dynamics model, we identified a set of issues that affect service ramp ups and ramp downs. These include the need to ramp up the service supply chain, biases leading to unrealistic assumptions about scalability and problem‐solving, decision biases in various functions, launching digital services in beta form, a lack of transparency of capacity and lack of learning from previous ramp ups. We show that if these problems are not addressed or resolution is delayed, this can lead to cycles of delay, backlogs and productivity problems and the inevitability of a ramp down. We explore reasons and importance for such delays that lead to service ramp downs.

  • From the Editors: Introduction to the Emerging Discourse Incubator on the Topic of Research at the Intersection of Supply Chain Management and Public Policy and Government Regulation
  • Issue Information
  • Understanding the Downstream Healthcare Supply Chain: Unpacking Regulatory and Industry Characteristics

    Hospital leaders face unprecedented pressure to improve traditional supply chain performance measures such as cost, quality, and customer experience. As such, healthcare executives are increasingly turning to the operations and SCM field to provide thought leadership and establish best practices around coordinating information, material, and financial flows in healthcare delivery. Unfortunately, our learnings from traditional manufacturing, and to some extent other service supply chains, do not always easily port to the downstream healthcare delivery supply chain due to regulatory issues and distinctive characteristics present in this network. Grounded in Institutional Theory, this study conceptualizes the downstream healthcare delivery supply chain, highlights important regulatory pressures that influence this supply chain, and examines the effects of government regulation and the unique characteristics of this network on coordination. In doing so, this conceptual study brings to bear important contextual considerations and motivates novel research areas where the SCM field can make substantial contributions.

  • Implementing Government Policy in Supply Chains: An International Coproduction Study of Public Procurement

    Public procurement is the commercial arm of governments, contracting for goods, and services to feed public sector service provision. However, mainstream operations and supply chain management journals have published little on supply chains to governments, public procurement, and the significance of engaging small businesses in government supply chains. Policy feedback theory and thirteen coproduced international case studies of public procurement and small business agency dyadic relationships are used to explore this space. The research highlights the importance of both public procurement and small business as areas of policy and supply chain management research. Policy feedback theory is introduced as a means to understand relationships and is applied to a coproduction study to understand how supply chain management research can both explore and change policy.

  • Public Policy and Supply Chain Management: Using Shared Foundational Principles to Improve Formulation, Implementation, and Evaluation

    Public policy and associated governmental regulatory issues play critical roles in shaping the practice of supply chain management (SCM). To date, however, these issues remain largely unexplored by SCM researchers. This article makes the case that such issues are highly relevant to the field of SCM, and that SCM researchers are uniquely positioned to speak to the issues by virtue of the foundational principles and levels of analysis that define our discipline. The discussion provides suggestions and examples of how fruitful research might be conducted in this space.

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