ارتباط اعتماد درون سازمانی با یکپارچه سازی اطلاعات لجستیک و همکاری شریک تحت عدم قطعیت محیطی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|1449||2012||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9420 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 139, Issue 2, October 2012, Pages 642–653
Many organizations have undertaken information integration to coordinate their logistics activities. Such logistics information integration serves to enhance the transactional and relational mechanisms which are instrumental for buyer and supplier firms in the logistics chain to gain performance. Based on the transaction cost economics and social exchange theory, we propose and empirically test the link between logistics information integration and inter-organizational trust and their effects on partner cooperation and buyer and supplier performance, and if so, whether these effects are contingent on environmental uncertainty. Our test results with survey data collected from 154 manufacturing firms indicate the value of logistics information integration and inter-organizational trust on buyer and supplier performance particularly when they encounter unforeseen market changes. Regardless of the environmental uncertainty relating to the difficulty in predicting product demand, rate of cannibalization, and technological advancement, logistics information integration and inter-organizational trust are shown to provide transactional and relational mechanisms helpful for improving performance in the logistics chain.
Information integration is considered key to managing the physical flows of goods for improving cost and service performance of logistics operations (Gustin et al., 1995 and Kulp et al., 2004). An increasing number of firms have established logistics information integration with their partner organizations for coordinated logistics management (Ngai et al., 2008). Examples of such coordination include collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR), concurrent and parallel processing, and vendor managed inventory (VMI) (Kulp et al., 2004). This integration also serves to enhance the visibility of the logistics chain by sharing related information such as order status and shipment notice in a timely manner, with the potential of speeding up economic transactions and enabling quick organizational response to satisfy market needs fully (Stefansson, 2002, Wong et al., 2011 and Wong et al., 2011). Some studies found that information integration is unrelated to effective coordination of logistics activities across firms (Lai et al., 2008, Sanders, 2008 and Wong et al., 2009a). Relational mechanisms (e.g., trust and long-term orientation) are needed to reinforce partner cooperation and mitigate the risks arising from unanticipated events for a logistics chain to perform (Fiala, 2005, Lee et al., 1997, Malhotra et al., 2007 and Yang et al., 2008). To leverage the business value of relationship-specific investment such as logistics information integration with partner firms, relational mechanisms should be devised in order to curtail opportunism (i.e., seeking self-interest at the expense of other partners) and enhance mutual benefits in the logistics chain (Heide and John, 1992). Relational mechanisms in the form of inter-organizational trust and partner cooperation are particularly important to allow flexibility in cross-firm logistics operations such as stock replenishment and shipment scheduling which are difficult to arrange under environmental uncertainty (Pilling et al., 1994 and Wong et al., 2009b). Inter-organizational trust refers to the extent to which organizational members have a held trust orientation towards partner firms (Gulati and Nickerson, 2008). It represents the confidence of goodwill of partner firms (Ring and Van de Ven, 1994) and belief that their partners will perform in a manner that is beneficial to the exchange relationship (Smith et al., 1995), improving the ability of a focal firm to predict the behavior of its partners. Partner cooperation emphasizes the interdependency of partner firms where they cooperate when they depend on each other for businesses (Heide and Miner, 1992). It reflects their willingness to maintain flexibility in providing service beyond what has been specified in prior contractual agreement (Johnston et al., 2004), such that the partners are willing to pursue mutually compatible interests with reduced opportunistic actions (Das and Teng, 1998). Recognizing the importance of information sharing for coordinating logistics activities, the factors influencing effective logistics management have been explored from different theoretical perspectives pertaining to social relationships (Cousins et al., 2006 and Johnston et al., 2004), transactional oriented relationship (Poppo and Zenger, 2002), and interdependence of partners (Heide and Miner, 1992 and Luo, 2008b). However, there is a paucity of empirical evidence that collectively consider these theoretical perspectives to examine the associations between logistics information integration, inter-organizational trust, partner cooperation, and their performance implications. Such omission is highly undesirable, particularly for logistics management where both information sharing and partner cooperation are required to execute the logistical coordination and respond to the fast evolving market needs (Fink et al., 2006). While information transparency in an exchange relationship can serve to control opportunistic behaviors (Williamson, 1975), inter-organizational trust is helpful for generating joint benefits for socially embedded, repeated economic exchange (Gulati, 1995), particularly in logistics operations where imperfect information can be adversarial to cross-firm activities coordination. Indeed, complete, fully contingent, and costless contractual agreement to guide partner cooperation is impossible under environmental uncertainty (Williamson, 1991), which is concerned with an inability of firms to predict the outcomes of their decisions accurately due to unanticipated changes in the business environment surrounding the exchange (Hickson et al., 1971 and Schmidt and Cummings, 1976). These business contingencies highlight the importance of examining how environmental uncertainty influences the links between logistics information integration, inter-organizational trust, and partner cooperation. Our study makes two key contributions to the management information systems literature and practice. First, this study extends the information integration research with a focus on logistics operations. We advance knowledge on how firms can improve partner cooperation and performance in logistics management through development of information integration and inter-organizational trust. Second, our findings provide useful references for firms to design and develop appropriate exchange (both transaction and relational) mechanisms to foster partner cooperation and gain performance in their logistics management under environmental uncertainty. Our systematic investigation on the links of logistics information integration and inter-organizational trust with partner cooperation provides an integrated framework for contemporary logistics management which is increasingly required to tackle environmental uncertainty due to fast changing market needs. The framework can be employed to develop a responsive supply chain in the networked global economy in which customized products/services are exchanged using e-commerce where inter-organizational trust and partner cooperation is essential for this initiative to succeed (Gunasekaran et al., 2008 and Yang et al., 2008).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Based on TCE and social exchange theory, we develop and empirically examine an integrated model incorporating both transactional (i.e., logistics information integration) and relational (i.e., partner cooperation and inter-organizational trust) mechanisms in explaining buyer and supplier performance in the logistics chain. Consistent with our theoretical model, the results suggest that logistics information integration and inter-organizational trust are positively associated with partner cooperation in the exchange relationship. Logistics information integration facilitates inter-organizational trust building and the development of common goals for partner cooperation. Both of these mechanisms characterizing the exchange relationship enhance partner cooperation by better information sharing and entrusted confidence, where the risk of opportunism on both sides is reduced and the ability of firms to predict the behavior of their partners is improved, which is favorable for improving performance in logistics management (Rowley et al., 2000). Logistics information integration supports physical product flows across the logistics chain due to its long-term orientation and establishment of common goals by partner firms. Our findings suggest that logistics information integration in the form of coordinating production plan, updating inventory status, and sharing shipping schedule and ordering information across firms for logistics management can ease the problems relating to information asymmetry between partners, enhancing the development of inter-organizational trust. Similarly, such improved information sharing fosters partner cooperation to maintain flexibility for quick response to market changes. In line with the social exchange theory, our findings indicate that partner cooperation improves buyer and supplier performance by enhancing their ability for logistical coordination because of mutual respect and need recognition by partners. Corroborating this explanation, partner cooperation involves interactions between the partner firms that progressively entail mutual understanding of one anothers needs. Such social exchange relationships are not bound by any specified terms, e.g., contractual agreement or detailed policy, allowing flexibility for partner firms to adjust for unforeseen business situations. The results highlight the importance of logistics information integration to nurture inter-organizational trust particularly when firms operate under a high level of environmental uncertainty. An increase in environmental uncertainty suggests the need for firms to obtain and process larger amounts of information in order to better predict the outcome of their actions (Galbraith, 1973). Due to the difficulty in predicting market demand, product obsolesce rate, sales performance of new products, and changes in product technology, logistics information integration facilitates economic transactions promoting the development of common goals and long-term relationship orientation via structured information sharing in the logistics chain. It ensures the timeliness as well as accuracy and integrity of information exchanged amongst the partners, enabling them to coordinate their logistics activities collaboratively. The development of such integration represents a long-term arrangement for logistical coordination, instilling inter-organizational trust in the exchange relationship. While most of the findings show support for our theoretical expectations, there were two findings that are not supportive of our hypotheses. When firms are presented with environmental uncertainty, both logistics information integration and inter-organizational trust are not associated with partner cooperation. These unexpected findings can be explained as logistics information integration and inter-organizational trust bring about partner cooperation irrespective of environmental uncertainty in the logistics chain because the logistical coordination is supported by structured information sharing and entrusted exchange relationship. They improve the ability of partners to predict the outcomes of their logistical coordination by informed decision-making, hence strengthening the ties between the partners and their cooperation regardless of environmental conditions in the logistics chain. Lastly, the findings suggest that purchase amount has a positive impact on supplier performance. One possible explanation is that the increased purchase amount allows suppliers to achieve scale economy, enabling them to coordinate a large purchase amount from buyers in one bigger order that improves their operations efficiency and reduces the chance of errors in many smaller orders to occur in their delivery and service quality.