سوابق و نتایج عملکرد صلاحیت جهانی: بررسی تجربی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10745||2008||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, Volume 25, Issues 1–2, March–June 2008, Pages 75–92
We examine the role of commitment to supply chain management (CSCM) and information technology (IT) in the achievement of global competence (GC). Through an empirical examination of 667 manufacturing business units in the U.S., we confirm the importance of global competence using two objective measures of firm performance. We investigate the direct effects of CSCM and experience with IT on performance, in addition to their indirect effects through global competence. We show global competence to be linked directly to objective measures of sales, and indirectly to return on assets (ROA). Despite manufacturers’ hefty investments in IT, we find that experience with IT does not drive ROA directly, but only indirectly through global competence and sales.
Globalization is changing the way manufacturing businesses operate everywhere. Hardly a day passes without the press highlighting ways that American manufacturers are moving towards more foreign production. “Offshoring” (where companies move some or all of their operations abroad) and “outsourcing” (where production is contracted out to other business entities) are prime examples. Both have helped push emerging markets like China, India, and Brazil briskly up the technological ladder and have resulted in some unexpected consequences for the U.S., including product recalls and plant closings (Roth et al., 2008a). For example, the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., estimates that more than 60,000 factories were opened in China by transnationals between 2000 and 2003 (Progressive Policy Institute, 2004). China had $53.5 billion in direct foreign investments in 2003 alone. Yet, “transnationals severely underestimated the domestic competition, and Chinese companies won huge market share at the expense of the transnationals. What they lack in spiffy products they made up for in marketing savvy. The domestics built distribution networks” that fit China's national situation (King, 2004, p. R3; see also Zhao et al., 2007 for a summary of supply chain, logistics, and quality research in China). The drive for low cost production in emerging market countries, particularly, has sometime resulted in ‘quality fade,’ where opportunistic suppliers sometime cut corners (Midler, 2007, Roth et al., 2008b and Roth et al., 2008c). These rapid trends towards foreign production and cross-border trade have contributed to the ubiquity of globalization, especially due to advances in information and communications technology and supply chain practices that enable firms to buy and sell across borders more easily. They signal that manufacturers have entered what Ferdows (1997, p. 102) calls “the age of transnational manufacturing, where things made in one country are shipped across national borders for further work, storage, sales, repair, remanufacture, recycle, or disposal.” Or, as Jack Welch, General Electric's former chief executive officer, stated in a 2000 speech, “A truly global company will be one that uses the intellect and resources of every corner of the world” (General Electric Corporation, 2000). How do successful American manufacturers maintain their global primacy in the age of transnational manufacturing? Our paper answers this question in two ways. First, we inform researchers and professional managers of the shortcomings of traditional management practices that view globalization as merely a path to low-cost resources and new markets. Our research specifically pertains to manufacturers that seek foreign expansion of R&D, Marketing/Sales, and/or Manufacturing, such as by offshoring one or more of these functions. We do not consider global outsourcing of these functions to other organizations through contracts, alliances, etc., nor do we consider other non-core business functions. Second, we point readers toward a richer understanding of the business performance consequences of global competence—a term used to describe a company's relative competitive strength on four dimensions of internationalization: global research and development (R&D), global marketing, global manufacturing, and integration in foreign communities. Importantly, global competence provides a business case for building multi-functional, global capabilities. Global competence, then, builds on the Bartlett and Ghoshal (1989) conceptual typology of transnational organizations and their evolutionary path to transnationality; upon the insights on global manufacturing strategies given by Ferdows (1997), Flaherty (1996), Hayes et al. (2005); and upon the stream of prior related empirical work where reliable and valid measures of the global competence dimensions were developed (Cattani et al., 2001 and Roth, 1998). We posit that high-performing transnational manufacturers enjoy success because they have developed a more holistic set of global capabilities that go beyond seeking low costs (i.e., global competence). Thus, for American transnational companies, like Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, and General Electric, increasing global competence expands their exposure to foreign competition and fosters a culture of cross-border learning and integration. Global competence also draws theoretically upon Cohen and Levinthal's (1990) theory of absorptive capacity, or the firm's ability and willingness to recognize, value, assimilate, and integrate new knowledge into its products and processes. We empirically demonstrate that companies with high global competence have superior business outcomes. We evaluate the influence of two key antecedents of global competence: (1) commitment to supply chain management practices (CSCM) and (2) relative experience with information technology (IT). Conventional wisdom posits that leveraging information technologies and supply chains for competitive advantage is of increasing importance to companies competing globally. Firms seek to achieve such leverage in order to gain market share and a higher return on assets. The alternative is lost market share, declining stock prices, and significant restructuring. In the personal computer industry, for example, Dell Computer is cited frequently as a global exemplar that has leveraged supply chain management competencies to grow market share and profitability, and in turn, has risen to become the world's largest personal computer manufacturer. In the 1990s, Dell's stock rose roughly a thousand-fold. In contrast, Compaq lost market share in that same time period and its stock rose only about six-fold. Compaq eventually merged with Hewlett-Packard in 2002. These anecdotal examples highlight the challenge of understanding the complex interplay of technology and supply chain management practices. The dynamism of the global marketplace provides a wellspring of new opportunities for those firms that can best leverage their supply chains and IT infrastructure. During the past decade, the emphasis on supply chain management in operations management research has exploded, yet its roots in the literature extend much further back in the history of manufacturing strategy. The evolution of modern supply chain management started with Ford's highly integrated River Rouge plant, where raw materials, coordinated with suppliers, would enter the plant from one end and a fully assembled Model T would exit and be placed into the distribution system (Boyer et al., 2005). The idea that supply chains should be viewed as integrated systems dates back to the 1950s and became prominent with Forrester's industrial dynamics (Johnson and Pyke, 2000). Later, Toyota, Dell, and Wal-Mart demonstrated the powerful competitive advantage of integrated supply chain management to support globalization. Technological progress in IT and digital commerce has provided an electronic backbone for globalization. Sophisticated information networks shave time and costs in the transactions, fulfillment, and collaboration processes, both within the enterprise and across partners in the supply chain. Porter and Millar (1985) argue that “every value activity has both a physical and an information-processing component. The physical component includes all the physical tasks required to perform the activity. The information-processing component encompasses the steps required to capture, manipulate, and channel the data necessary to perform the activity” (page 152). Furthermore, they observe that “there is an unmistakable trend toward expanding the information content in products…information technology creates new businesses within old ones” (pages 154, 158). It is no wonder that IT has become an increasingly critical component of an operations management (OM) and supply chain strategy. More recently, Hayes et al. (2005, p. 169) stated: “While many technologies may be widely available to all, it is the way those technologies are combined and exploited that provides them with the potential to deliver a powerful, and ongoing, competitive advantage.” To our knowledge, no empirical study of global manufacturing strategy has yet reported on the ways that IT experience and supply chain management jointly and systematically act to support global capabilities. In general, rigorous empirical research on strategic roles of supply chain management and IT as catalysts of global competence is scant, as OM-based empirical studies of globalization are in relatively early stages of development. Given the potential opportunities from leveraging the synergies of information technologies and supply chain relationships (Madhok and Tallman, 1998), we believe this research provides a timely and important empirical extension to existing theoretical work on technology, globalization, and supply chain management and offers intriguing managerial and policy insights.