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Journal of Supply Chain Management

Article Abstracts

Vol. 48, No. 1
Winter 2012

  • Organizational Structure, Entrepreneurial Orientation and Trait Preference in Transportation Brokerage Firms

    This article presents the results of an inductive, multiple-case study of the transportation brokerage industry. Insights from the organizational behavior and entrepreneurship literature help to sharpen understanding of how organizational structure and entrepreneurial culture relate to firm-level trait preferences in personnel hiring and promotion decisions. Using an inductive, theory-building approach, a typology of four different organizational structures within the transportation brokerage space is proposed. Working propositions are presented that related organizational structure, entrepreneurial orientation, the differential prioritization of proactive personality and self-management at various stages of career progression, and perceptions of firm performance vis-à-vis competitors. Contributions to theory and practice, and the broader implications for supply chain intermediaries, are discussed.
    Bryan Ashenbaum, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of supply chain management in the Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio,
    Peter A. Salzarulo, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of supply chain management in the Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and
    W. Rocky Newman, Ph.D., is a professor of supply chain management in the Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

  • The Role of Personal Relationships in Facilitating Supply Chain Communications: A Qualitative Study

    While the importance of communication between companies within the supply chain has been well established in the literature, a number of gaps remain pertaining to how individual-level employee relationships influence firm-to-firm communications. One such gap in the literature represents the focus of the current study; little research has addressed the role of non-work-focused personal relationships (i.e., friendships) formed between employees of supply chain partner firms and, specifically, how such relationships impact business-related communications processes. Because research in this area is limited, and qualitative methods are considered most appropriate to assess emergent research phenomena, grounded theory building (Strauss and Corbin, 1990) via semi-structured interviews was undertaken. The results reveal that interpersonal relationships facilitate business communications through four emergent process themes. Our analysis thus allows us to develop initial theory related to how two different personal social network layers — personal relationships and inter-organizational communications — relate within supply chain settings. Implications for future research also are considered.
    David M. Gligor, M.B.A. is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee and
    Chad W. Autry, Ph.D., is an associate professor of logistics, and Director of the Supply Chain Forum — North America, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  • Peeking Inside the Black Box: Toward an Understanding of Supply Chain Collaboration Dynamics

    Supply chain collaboration is a vital dynamic capability — one that can deliver differential performance. Yet, few managers comprehend the nuanced complexities involved in assessing heterogeneously dispersed resources and bringing complementary competencies together up and down the supply chain. As a result, gains from collaborative initiatives are often disappointing. Several literature streams, including systems design, competency development (e.g., the resource-based view and relational view), and change management predict these outcomes. Building on insights from the literature, we sought to enrich the theory of collaboration via inductive, interview-driven research. Specifically, we conducted approximately 50 structured interviews at each of two points in time. Rigorous analysis of the interview firms' experience with collaborative initiatives provided insight into the motivations, resistors, enablers and outcomes of collaboration. These insights form the foundation for a theoretical model to explain collaboration successes and failures, as well as to provide prescriptions for using collaboration to achieve differential firm and supply chain performance.
    Stanley E. Fawcett, Ph.D., is a Visiting Distinguished Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia,
    Amydee M. Fawcett, MPA, is is a doctoral student at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas,
    Bradlee J. Watson, M.B.A., is the Executive Director of the Lake Village Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Lewisville, Texas and
    Gregory M. Magnan, Ph.D., is a professor and MBA Program Director in the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University in Seattle, Washington.

  • Supply Chain-Wide Consequences of Transaction Risks and Their Contractual Solutions: Towards and Extended Transaction Cost Economics Framework

    How supply chain actors manage their exposure to both supply- and demand-side risks is a topic that has been insufficiently examined within the transaction cost economics (TCE) literature. TCE studies often only examine transaction risks in the context of bilateral exchanges. This study aims to contribute to a shift within the TCE literature from a focus on bilateral transactions, to examining transactions within a supply chain context. In this article, various models are constructed that examine how supply chain actors' usage of contracts to manage their exposure to supply-/demand-side transaction risks can affect their exposure to demand-/supply-side transaction risks. The models show that when supply chain actors follow the recommendations from the traditional TCE model regarding the use of contracts, they may increase rather than decrease their exposure to transaction risks. However, when supply chain actors take into account simultaneously both supply- and demand-side transactions when making their contract decisions, as is recommended in this article, a reduction in exposure to transaction risks is more likely. This study offers managers various strategies for taking a supply chain-wide approach to reduce transaction risk exposure.
    Mark Wever, M.A., is a researcher and Ph.D. candidate in the Management Studies Group at Wageningen University in Wageningen, the Netherlands,
    Petronella Maria Wognum, DR, is a senior researcher in the Department of Social Sciences within the Management Studies Group at Wageningen University in Wageningen, the Netherlands,
    Jacques H. Trienekens, Ph.D., is an associate professor of supply chain Management in the Management Studies Group at Wageningen University in Wageningen, the Netherlands and
    Simon Willem Frederik Omta, Ph.D., is the Chaired Professor in Business Administration in the Management Studies Group at Wageningen University in Wageningen, the Netherlands.

  • Reference Prices as Determinants of Business-to-Business Price Negotiation Outcomes: An Empirical Perspective from the Chemical Industry

    Price negotiations in supply chain relationships often take place during annual pricing reviews. This study integrates transaction cost economics and reference price thinking from consumer behavior to understand better how a seller's reservation price, aspiration price and initial price offering might influence the ultimate settlement price. We apply ridge regression analysis to negotiation data from 282 business relationships of a German chemicals supplier with customers in six client industries. Overall, the three determinants explain 86 percent of the variation in the settlement price. A seller's reservation price is substantially less important than the aspiration price or the initial price offering. Although this outcome can be explained via a reference price perspective, transaction cost economics theory helps clarify the industry differences that determine the impact of reservation prices and initial price offerings on settlement prices.
    Dirk Moosmayer, Ph.D., is a researcher at the Research Group for Management and Business-to-Business Marketing at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany,
    Bjoern Schuppar, Dr. rer. Pol., is the founder and managing partner of Schuppar Consulting Ltd. & Co KG in Dusseldorf, Germany and
    Florian U. Siems, Dr. rer. Pol., is a junior professor in and leads the Research Group for Management and Business-to-Business Marketing at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany.