Vol. 45, No. 4
The Impact of Boundary-Spanning Information Technology and Position in Chain on Firm Performance
A series of hypotheses, derived from resource-based view (RBV) and extended RBV theory, are developed to assess how boundary-spanning information technologies (BSIT) are perceived to impact performance improvement, measured by order cost reduction, inventory reduction and customer satisfaction. Data are gathered from managers in the food industry to test our hypotheses. The results of our empirical analysis lend support to RBV theory in that we find that the use of BSIT is perceived to be positively associated with performance benefits. We also find that supply chain intermediaries — distributors and retailers — perceive greater performance improvements from BSIT than do manufacturers. The findings are significant in that investments in BSIT can produce important benefits for firm operations, and may forestall potential disintermediation from supply chains. Finally, we find that despite the greater perception of benefits from BSIT by intermediaries, they do not actually invest in BSIT to any greater extent than to manufacturers. This result may suggest that intermediaries are under-investing in BSIT.
Yuliang Yao, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,
Martin Dresner, Ph.D., is Professor of Logistics, Business and Public Policy at the R. H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland and
Jonathan W. Palmer, Ph.D., is President of Principia College, Elsah, Illinois.
An Empirical Examination of Reverse Auction Appropriateness in B2B Source Selection (research note)
Electronic reverse auctions (e-RAs) are receiving attention as an effective strategy for reducing the price of purchased goods and services. To optimize their use, sourcing professionals will need to match firm requirements to market characteristics and supplier capabilities through the application of optimal sourcing strategies. To date, explanations of why sourcing managers decide to utilize an e-RA strategy are incomplete. This study relies upon strategic sourcing concepts coupled with extant research on e-RA use to develop a conceptual model of antecedents to the perceived appropriateness of e-RA usage. The model is tested and supported via structural equation modeling. Findings demonstrate that a sourcing professional's perception as to the appropriateness of using an e-RA for sourcing a particular requirement is influenced by (1) the specifiability of the requirement, (2) supplier competition, (3) leadership influence, and (4) a price-based selection criterion. Further, a requirement with higher specifiability was found to increase competition in an e-RA bidding event. Contributions to theory, practice and future research directions are identified.
Timothy G. Hawkins, Ph.D., Maj USAF, is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California,
Wesley S. Randall, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama and
C. Michael Wittmann, Ph.D., is the Max and Susan Draughn Professor of Healthcare Marketing and Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Special Topic Forum on Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Co-edited by Daniel R. Krause ,
Stephan Vachon and
Robert D. Klassen
Introduction and Reflections on the Role of Purchasing Management (invited essay)
This paper introduces a special topic forum on "Sustainable Supply Chain Management". Before introducing the papers included in the forum, the authors provide thoughts on the direction and future of sustainability research, particularly in the context of purchasing and supply chain management. The underlying premise that structures our discussion is straightforward: A company is no more sustainable than its supply chain. As such, the purchasing function becomes central in a company's sustainability effort. Having accepted that premise, we reflect on the relationship between purchasing management and sustainable development by drawing from Kraljic/s seminal article on how "Purchasing Must Become Supply Management".
Daniel Krause, Ph.D., is Professor in the Faculty of Business at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia (Canada),
Stephan Vachon, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Logistics and Operations Management Department at HEC Montreal. Montreal, Quebec (Canada) and
Robert Klassen, Ph.D., is Professor of Operations Management at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario (Canada).
Looking Forward, Pushing Back and Peering Sideways: Analyzing the Sustainability of Industrial Symbiosis
This paper compares and contrasts two different forms of interorganizational relationships that deal with the production and movement of waste: Industrial symbiosis and supply chains. Industrial symbiosis reuses, recycles and re-processes byproducts and intermediates within the system of organizations; whereas conventional supply chains reduce waste within manufacturing processes, and reuse end-of-life products. Although both of these models address waste, there is surprisingly little consideration of industrial symbiosis within supply chain research. Yet, industrial symbiosis has much to offer the study of sustainable development within supply chains. Industrial symbiosis emphasizes community, cooperation and coordination among firms, which serves to protect the environmental integrity, social equity and economic prosperity of the region — all hallmarks of sustainable development. However, such tight integration among a diverse set of organizations is difficult to jump start, and difficult to maintain. In this paper, we also outline the challenges and offer some ideas on how to address these challenges. We ground our insights from interviews with firms in the Sarnia-Lambton region of Ontario, Canada. This region is home to over 130,000 people, and has a strong physical infrastructure and social structures that have facilitated symbiotic relationships among local businesses.
Pratima Bansal, D. Phil., is Professor at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario (Canada), and Dierctory of the Richard Ivey Business School's Centre on Building Sustainable Value/Executive Director of the Research Network for Business Sustainability and
Brent McKnight, M.B.A., is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business, London, Ontario (Canada).
Food for Thought: Social Versus Environmental Sustainability Practices and Performance Outcomes
Sustainable supply management research generally focuses on environmental practices. We show, through an analysis of the food industry, that sustainability requires an expanded view that encompasses both environmental and social elements. We interviewed and surveyed food and beverage producers in the U.S. Pacific Northwest both to validate expanded sustainability elements in the industry, and to assess subsequent performance outcomes. A path analysis reveals that food industry managers perceive both direct and mediated impacts of sustainability programs on performance. Specifically, the results indicate that sustainability program effects are limited to the impact of conservation and land management environmental practices on overall environmental performance, and human resources practices on quality performance. However, environmental performance improvements lead to improved quality performance, which in turn improves cost performance. The results highlight the complexity of sustainability impacts on performance and suggest that performance benefits from sustainability programs may be difficult to recognize.
Madeline E. Pullman, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon,
Michael J. Maloni, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Management in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia and
Craig R. Carter, Ph.D., is Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada; and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Supply Chain Management.