توسعه شبکه های تامین کننده استراتژیک: چشم انداز سازمانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21252||2013||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9722 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 66, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 506–515
This study examines the exposure of the members of supplier networks to two layers of social influences. First, as the network connects an actor to a foreign constellation, the actor faces influences of a global character. Second, each individual actor experiences different forces emanating from its indigenous institutional environment. The exposure to two institutional practices presents a conundrum for each network member. In this duality they alter their behavior in order to resolve the contrast and clashes of layered forces. By drawing upon institutional theory and in-depth study of a global retailer, IKEA, this study shows how the retailer handles this duality. The study increases understanding of how a supplier network can be socially transformed into an idiosyncratic asset which is costly to imitate for rivals and thus offers a unique competitive advantage to the firm. The framing which is used for IKEA's strategy under institutional theory in this article underscores the regulative, cognitive, and normative socialization as part of a company's strategic process to align relationships with its partners.
Many studies stress the role of inter-firm relationships and sourcing networks in global competition (Andersen and Christensen, 2005 and Buckley and Ghauri, 2004). With the increased importance of an international supplier base, global suppliers play a critical role in the internal institutional system (indigenous system) embedded in a foreign one (international system). Such a role requires special relationships that are based upon commitment and in-depth understanding of the duality in practice. In this respect, legal requirements and the economic environment influence the nature of relationships in the local setting, parallel to the consideration of actors and forces in the international setting (Dacin, Kostova, & Roth, 2008). This study focuses on how a global supply chain can manage these multi-tier forces to institute a balance by using social transformation as a strategic lever. The balance is particularly curious given the conclusion by Garud, Jain, and Kumaraswamy (2002, p. 210) that institutionalization is “messy, manipulative, instrumental, conscious, and devious.” In this article, the institutional perspective is deliberately chosen and further developed to allow us to analyze the mechanisms and forces that shape the mutual understanding and commitment to relationships for all members in the IKEA's network. At the global scale, a supply chain network connects a player to foreign constellations outside of its indigenous institutional environment. The exposure to two institutional contexts – familiar and unfamiliar – presents a compliance challenge for each network member (Spekman, Isabella, & MacAvoy, 2000). Each actor in the network operates with other's rules, while subjected to rules of its own. The duality of expediency to two sets of requirements creates power struggles and clashes of accepted practices (Brito, 2001) and often strains the relationship in a network. At the face of this complexity, the key question is how a firm aligns its global supplier network in an integrated and consistent strategy. By focusing on social adaptation as a unique competitive asset, this study examines how such transformation can be proactively built and maintained on an institutional infrastructure while the company marshals its suppliers in a particular direction. IKEA provides a rigorous working laboratory to this end as an integrated home products company which sells flat pack furniture and accessories around the world (e.g., Baraldi, 2008, Baraldi and Waluszewski, 2007 and Torekull, 1996). Previous research on distribution channels (Coughlan et al., 2006, Frazier, 1999, Gaski, 1984 and Pelton et al., 1997) and the network perspective (Ford, 1998 and Hadjikhani et al., 2008) discuss the operational performance of inter-firm relationships regarding norms, power and social exchange. Furthermore, Barney (1986) discusses how a firm creates a competitive advantage through control of its strategic factor markets. However, lacking in this stream of research are investigations of structure and processes where norms and values come to fruition to actively support a company's strategy for bridging the social and cultural inconsistencies. An institutional approach can serve this purpose by offering a framework that an integrated supply chain balances various institutional forces and turns them into a powerful asset to sustain competitive advantage, which is difficult for rivals to imitate (Oliver, 1997). The present study contributes to existing literature by applying a unique perspective in explaining how supplier relationships can support a firm's global strategy. With the institutional approach, this study fills the gap in earlier works that emphasize the functional and operational aspects and thereby downplay the role of supplier constellation in institutional compatibility. Specifically, scholars tend to emphasize supplier relationship under purchasing strategies and not under competitive strategies (Crespin-Mazet & Ghauri, 2007). With the exclusion of the strategic perspective, the institutional forces often vanish or at best become stylized to a simple problem of control in operational context. Instead, this study presents a model where the supplier network engages in both development and sustainability of competitive strategy under challenges that are beyond the operational level. The operational control structures address efficiency issues but as Grewal and Dharwadkar (2002) state they miss the significance of socio-political processes, conflicts and commitments in influencing partner attitudes. Especially worthy of note is that these authors underscore the incomplete examination in alternative streams of research, where the analysis is typically limited to a relational economy with decision-analytic focus. In contrast, our investigation, by bringing a social developmental view, frames IKEA's strategy and market positioning as not only an economic issue, but also a social orientation with long term commitments. This study shows how supplier relationships develop in order to provide a sustainable strategic advantage. The discussion here identifies a set of critical factors that explain this process and present a theoretical framework (Greenwood and Hinings, 1996, Kraatz and Zajac, 1996 and Scott, 2001). In addition to an in-depth study of IKEA and its supplier relationships with selected companies in Poland and Russia, our presentation, utilizing IKEA, looks into a hub-and-spoke framework of relationships where two organizational fields – domestic and international – are coordinated at the hub (IKEA's headquarters). IKEA is an appropriate firm to study as it is widely considered a successful global benchmark with its unique integration and successful adaptation of its internal market to external players over the firm's unique business system (Elg et al., 2008, Jaworski et al., 2000 and Kumar, 1997). For this study we conducted face-to-face interviews with IKEA executives and with suppliers in Russia and Poland. The choice of IKEA is deliberate since the firm represents one unique case of successful social transformation examples in the global network scene. By selecting IKEA and putting its strategic supplier network under a qualitative lens, this article addresses IKEA's special business practice and delves its useful idiosyncratic details that are important for its success.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Research evidence presented here advances our understanding of the social mechanisms behind developing strategic supplier relationships. The firm's supplier network should be regarded as an asset deserving long term commitment and worthy of difficult-to-reverse investments. This appears to be especially reasonable considering that today competition is often regarded as taking place between well run inter-firm constellations (Achrol, 1997, Day, 1994, Elg, 2000, Ford, 1998 and Morgan and Hunt, 1994). Fig. 1 stresses that institutional factors matter; better performance will follow when an institutional base is established and functionalities are adjusted to external markets and the realities of the constellation of partners. The provided empirical evidence illustrates how different dimensions of supplier relationships can be managed in order to transform them into a strategic force. It also shows that institutionalization is a long term process, where these dimensions support and reinforce each other. Moreover, joint activities and personal bonding can lead to shared values and goals, and an efficient coordination of the different tasks. At the individual level, empowerment of managers and employees is also a crucial part of the institutionalization process. All parties involved need to further demonstrate their commitment and dedication to the goals and values. The study stresses the importance of understanding and managing the interaction among the individuals, firms, and constellation of partners consistently. For example, if suppliers experience that the personal relationships are not supportive enough, it may jeopardize the whole strategic approach and make the partners question the basic values that the firm represents. A systematic and skillful network orchestration is thus required. The study demonstrates that if a firm's basic competitive strategy is to be logically integrated with the strategic supplier approach, it is necessary to ensure the consistency of social and economic elements. Consistent with Grewal and Dharwadkar (2002), the findings affirm that organizations strive for economic fitness, which considers the scarce resources and underscores the importance of the task environment, along with social fitness which emphasizes the pursuit of legitimacy accentuates the significance of the institutional environment. We also stress that in order to successfully drive the institutionalization process within the supplier network, the firm must match functional aspects and tangible incentives with constitutive and intangible elements. The interplay between these dimensions has been neglected in previous research. This qualitative study finds many interesting features in IKEA that may advance the theoretical grounding of institutional influence. Compliance: The socialization starts from explicit rules of the institution. This regulatory system establishes the first step to compliance. As the partnerships evolve, the compliance base shifts from expedience to social obligation. Mechanism: At the onset the mechanism of developing influence is regulatory (coercive), then it shifts to normative by giving identity to members, knowledge sharing(c.f. Möller & Svahn, 2006) and developing goal alignment, and finally after internalization of the institutional influence, members' behavioral consistency sustains itself by imitation of peers (mimetic tendency). Logic: The regulatory base for influence is established by contractual provisions in which rules, laws and sanctions are put in place for instrumentality of the influence. Normatively, on the other hand, the system is governed by a moral code, a silent acceptance of social order which is implemented in certification and accreditation of members. Cognitively, an embracing culture is instilled which endorses isomorphic behavior of members. Legitimacy: At the onset, the acceptance of the partner as part of the institution is sanctioned by contractual specifications. Second, the moral and social acceptance emerges in the normative venue by interaction, training and social governance. At the end, cognitive mechanism dominates and the legitimacy emerges in the process by creating a common understanding of what is understood as normal in the system. This is a qualitative examination of a single firm and its supplier relationships. One of the strengths of this study is the offering of a rich, in-depth understanding of the mechanisms at work and development of a theoretical framework. On the other hand, the study does not provide a basis for statistical generalization and it remains to be seen whether the proposed framework applies to global firms in general. A large number of important international firms may not share many of IKEA's characteristics or business format. All in all, however, the framework and propositions in this article offer a rich basis for future studies on a broader sample of firms representing different industries and characteristics.