Vol. 48, No. 2
Purchasing, Supply Chain Management and Sustained Competitive Advantage: The Relevance of Resource-Based Theory
Contrary to Ramsay's (2001) conclusion and Hunt and Davis; (2008) positioning of their recent article, resource-based theory suggests that purchasing and supply chain management often will have the attributes that can enable them to be sources of sustained competitive advantage.
Jay B. Barney, Ph.D., is professor of management, and the Chase Chair for Excellence in Corporate Strategy, at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
A Demand-Side Perspective on Supply Chain Management
When and how can supply chain management (SCM) be a source of long-term competitive advantage for the firm? We revisit and update arguments recently advanced by Hunt and Davis (2008) in this journal concerning which theoretical perspectives — the resource-based view of strategy or resource-advantage theory — may provide the most useful lenses for SCM scholars interested in addressed these critical questions. In this brief article, we suggest that SCM research addressing questions of competitive advantage can be enhanced by a more rigorous definition of resources, and by a more system-wide view of competition. We also recommend that the nascent demand-side perspective on strategic management can serve to provide new insights and a more completed understanding of SCM's role in competition. While the existing SCM literature offers a few examples of this perspective, in our opinion this remains an unfulfilled opportunity for SCM scholars.
Richard L. Priem, Ph.D., is the Luther Henderson Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Terna Chair in Business Ethics in the LUISS Business School at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, Italy; and
Morgan Swink, Ph.D., is professor of supply chain management, and holds the Eunice and James L. West Chair, in the Neely School of Business at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.
Grounding Supply Chain Management in Resource-Advantage Theory: In Defense of a Resource-Based View of the Firm
This article addresses the issues regarding the usefulness of the resource-advantage (R-A) theory of competition for supply chain management (SCM) research that are raised in commentaries by Barney (2012) and Hunt and Davis (2012). In response, we expand the discussion initiated in Hunt and Davis (2008) that compares R-A theory with the resource-based view (RBV), draw similarities between R-A theory and the demand-side perspective, and further explicate the foundations of R-A theory. In doing so, this article provides a "way forward" for both SCM researchers and RBV theorists.
Shelby D. Hunt, Ph.D., is the Jerry S. Rawls and P. W. Horn Professor of Marketing in the Rawls Business School at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas; and
Donna F. Davis, Ph.D., is the Georgie G. Snyder Professor of Marketing in the Rawls Business School at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Supply Chains: A Matter of Life and Death
With an increasing number of disasters disrupting commerce and community life around the world, it is timely to position humanitarian and disaster relief supply chains (HDRSC) within the broad field of supply chain management. This article presents a framework to that end. It distinguishes attributes of the environment that illustrate the difficulties encountered in supply chain management. Although considerable research has been conducted in logistics issues affecting HDRSCs, very little management research speaks to the complicating attributes. Thus, this article describes activities such as demand determination, supply chain coordination, recognizing when to move along the life cycle and post-disaster reconstruction that differentiates supply chain concerns from logistics concerns. From this backdrop, some of the areas where research into HDRSCs can inform supply chain management in general are presented. The article concludes by discussing critical areas of research need as identified by experienced practitioners. Research in these areas will provide insights for supply chain managers facing similar issues in other environments.
Jamison M. Day, Ph.D., is a member of the adjunct faculty in the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, and a co-founder of the Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Supply Chain Initiative,
Steven A. Melnyk, Ph.D., is professor of operations and supply chain management in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan,
Paul D. Larson, Ph.D., is professor of supply chain management at the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada),
Edward W. Davis, Ph.D., is the Oliver Wright Professor of Business in the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia; and
D. Clay Whybark, Ph.D., is the Macon Patton Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) and Senior Academic Advisor in the Institute for Defense and Business at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Tapping Supplier Innovation
Tapping supplier innovation necessitates the effective management of the fuzzy front end of the new product development (NPD) process. This study considers the role of suppliers in the fuzzy front end, and the influence of supplier integration on the focal firm's NPD outcomes. Project-level data with multiple informants indicate a strong positive relationship between supplier integration in the fuzzy front end and NPD project performance. Furthermore, relationship-specific assets and supplier integration in the firm's NPD process moderate this relationship.
Stephan Wagner, Ph.D., is a professor, holds the Kuehne Foundation Chair of Logistics Management, and is Director of the Executive MBA Program in the Department of Management, Technology and Economics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology-Zurich (ETH Zurich) in Zurich, Switzerland.
Operational Governance in Horizontal Cooperations of Logistics Service Providers: Performance Effects and the Moderating Role of Cooperation Complexity
Various market challenges have led logistics service providers (LSPs) to engage in horizontal cooperations with each other, while maintaining their general legal independence. As an idiosyncrasy, horizontal cooperations entail the opposing forces of competition and cooperation, also referred to as co-opetition (Bengtsson and Kock 2000; Tsai 2002). This constellation facilitates the development of opportunism and conflicts, which raise the risk of relationship failure. Adequate governance mechanisms provide a basis to avoid failure and drive cooperation success. This paper focuses on the post-formation cooperation management phase and identifies the specific effects that operational governance has on cooperation commitment and cooperation effectiveness. Based on survey data from 226 LSP cooperations, we show that both formal and social governance mechanisms have a substantial performance effect. In this regard, the results differ fundamentally from studies on vertical buyer-supplier relationships. With respect to the specific setup of the cooperation, a differentiated view is provided. Results indicate that two types of cooperation complexity are of relevance: organizational complexity and strategic complexity. The former drives the relevance of formal control; the latter increases the relevance of both formal and social control for cooperation success.
Christina Schmoltzi, Ph.D., is a research associate in logistics at the Kuehne Center for Logistics Management at the WHU—Otto Beishem School of Management in Vallendar, Germany; and
Carl Marcus Wallenburg, Ph.D., is professor of logistics and the Kuehne-Foundation Chair of Logistics and Services Management, Germany at the WHU—Otto Beishem School of Management in Vallendar, Germany.
Who Owns the Customer? Disentangling Customer Loyalty in Indirect Distribution Channels
Increasing levels of vertical competition make the possession of end customers' loyalty an issue of major concern for brand manufacturers and distributors alike. While we can rely on a solid body of knowledge on the drivers and outcomes of customer loyalty, empirical insights into the interplay between different forms of customer loyalty in channels of distribution remain limited, ambiguous and void of theoretical explanations. Based on a nationwide survey of customers in a detail-intensive industry in the Netherlands, and drawing on information integration theory and balance theory, this research indentifies a positive and unidirectional spillover effect from customers' brand loyalty to distributor loyalty. Hence, distributors can "free ride" on a brand manufacturer's investments in customer loyalty. From the brand manufacturer's perspective, the loyalty spillover can have positive or negative consequences, depending on the level of vertical competition among channel members. While the spillover increases end customers' loyalty toward the channel, it decreases the brand manufacturer's odds of keeping end customers when it comes to the contest between a brand manufacturer and its distributor.
Andreas Eggert, Ph.D., is Chaired Professor of Marketing at the University of Paderborn in Paderborn, Germany,
Jorg Henseler, Ph.D., is associate professor of marketing in the Institute for Management Research at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands; and
Sabine Hollmann, Ph.D., is the Deputy Head of the Corporate Electronic Business Department at Phoenix Contact in Blomberg, Germany.
The Effects of Strategic Supplier Selection on Buyer Competitive Performance in Matched Domains: Does Supplier Integration Mediate the Relationships?
This research examines whether the strategic selection of suppliers based on supplier new product development (NPD) capability, supplier quality capability and supplier cost capability directly and/or indirectly enhances the buyer's competitive performance capabilities in the matched domains of buyer product innovation, buyer quality and buyer competitive pricing, respectively. The resource-based view (RBV) of the firm is used to frame the direct effects of strategic supplier selection since the capability of a buyer to select a supplier with resources and expertise in a specified domain should enhance the buyer's performance capability in the "matched" domain (but not necessarily buyer performance in "unmatched" domains). Two supplier integration mechanisms — supplier partnerships and supplier development — are modeled as potential mediators, implying indirect paths. The research hypotheses focus on both direct and indirect effects for each of the matched domains, but do not posit relationships across different domains. For example, supplier selection for NPD capability should impact buyer product innovation (matched domains) but should not necessarily impact buyer quality capability (unmatched domains). The direct effects of strategic supplier selection on buyer performance are supported in each matched domain; however, the indirect effects through supplier integration are not significant for the matched domains. The results identify strategic supplier selection as a promising source of competitive advantage in the RBV sense. In contrast, supplier development and supplier partnership do not provide performance benefits in a given domain above those arising from strategic supplier selection in the same domain (i.e., it is the nature of the resources selected that is key to competitive advantage).
Xenophon Koufteros, Ph.D., is associate professor of supply chain management, and the Jenna & Galvin Guest Professor in Business Administration, at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas,
Shawnee K. Vickery, Ph.D., is professor of operations and supply chain management in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan; and
Cornelia Droge, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Marketing at the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.