یکپارچه سازی تامین کننده؛یافتن یک پیکربندی بهینه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21319||2006||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||12946 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Volume 24, Issue 5, September 2006, Pages 563–582
There has been increased interest in supplier integration in recent years, much of it supporting such initiatives in organizations. We operationalize supplier integration as a bundle of practices that include a set of “internal” and “external” practices. We hypothesize that such practices in specific configurations can be as important a source of performance differentials as the adoption of individual practices themselves. We theorize the existence of a level of integration that results in optimal performance. The paper uses data from a cross-section of more than 300 US manufacturing companies to test the notion of an optimal level of supplier integration, and examine the conditions surrounding its development. The results provide empirical support for the concept of an optimal set of supplier integration practices. We show that deviations from the optimal profile are associated with performance deterioration, and that indiscriminate and continued investments in integration may not yield commensurate improvements in performance.
Companies that pursue supplier integration have a common question to ask. How do some companies obtain better performance returns than others from similar investments in supplier integration? We hypothesize that some of that success is attributable to the way in which integration practices are combined and organized, rather than just the nature of the practices themselves. We define supplier integration as a state of synergy accomplished through a variety of integration practices among the supplier, purchasing and manufacturing constituents of an organization. We define performance in conventional manufacturing (cost, quality, delivery) and firm level metrics (profits, ROA, sales growth), from the perspective of the buying firm. A growing body of research has reported positive associations between firm level measures of integration and organizational performance ( Kulp et al., 2004, Sherman et al., 2000, Lambert and Cooper, 2000 and Bernard, 1996). Considerable ambiguity remains, however, as to how integration as a generic strategy affects performance, whether some integration practices are more central to performance than others, the returns from integration, and whether complementarities among integration practices benefit performance ( Kulp et al., 2004, O’Leary-Kelly and Flores, 2002, Song and Montoya-Weiss, 2001, Wei and Krajewski, 2000, Song et al., 1998, Karisson and Ahlstrom, 1996 and Workman, 1995). While studies have established the salience of integration in rent creation and appropriation, including facilitating successful diversification strategies, process development, and improved business performance ( Narasimhan and Kim, 2002, Pisano, 1994 and Rosenzweig et al., 2003), little attention has been directed to its potential for rent destruction. Even so, studies such as Song et al. (1998) examination of integration returns have found that promoting integration indiscriminately may actually decrease performance. Similar to other types of investments, investments in integration are subject to diminishing returns that may eventually deteriorate into negative returns when carried to excess. If a relentless pursuit of integration is not beneficial, ignoring integration entirely is obviously not in a firm's best interests either. The issue is interesting and important—how much integration is optimal? We argue that the relationship between integration and manufacturing performance is of multivariate nature with a curvilinear shape, where unique configurations of integration practices will yield superior rent. Thus, the organization of integration initiatives may be as important a basis for manufacturing performance heterogeneity as the initiatives themselves. We further suggest that conditions may demand a reduction in initiatives, contrary to the ‘more is better’ belief driving organizational investments today ( Falah et al., 2003). We draw on several theoretical bases to examine these issues. First, the resource-based perspective is used to build support for a configurational view of integration, suggesting that it is not the impact of isolated practices that matters but the performance synergies that emerge from specific arrangements of practices. Second, transaction cost analysis (TCA) tenets are utilized to explain from a theoretical perspective the process through which integration promotes performance heterogeneity. TCA suggests a positive role for integration in reducing cost and improving performance. Finally, we turn to institutional isomorphism theory to explain why integration may lead to negative consequences for a firm. Based on these theoretical frameworks, the paper proposes an intermediate position in integration initiatives, explaining why curvilinear returns can be anticipated in the relationship between integration and performance. The study breaks new ground in that it investigates whether an excess of investment in integration practices can be harmful. This raises the issue of what is an ‘ideal profile’ of investments in integration practices. We explore this in detail using industry data, following well-established procedures in prior research. This study contributes to the body of knowledge in supplier integration in significant measure. We advance and test the notion that performance heterogeneity derives as much from the choice of particular configurations of supplier integration practices, as from the nature of a particular supplier integration practice. Our primary focus is to verify if such patterns in supplier integration practices do indeed exist and generate performance heterogeneity. In doing so, we develop an initial set of supplier integration practices and raise issues of sequence and synergy among these practices, both for current consideration as well as for future research. We further examine the conditions surrounding the development of such optimal arrangements of practices. Finally, we discuss the new application of a methodology to integration research that offers some important advantages over conventional approaches. The empirical setting for our inquiries is the discrete manufacturing industry.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We have attempted to answer two important questions relating to supplier integration: How do some companies obtain better returns from supplier integration than others? Can some of their success be attributed to the way in which integration initiatives are combined and organized, rather than the nature of the practices themselves? We emerged with some generic answers. Performance heterogeneity, we found, springs from both organization and content. Effective supplier integration can be realized from (a) distinguishing individual integration practices that associate with performance, and (b) finding and deploying a configuration(s) of such practices that is (are) uniquely associated with optimum performance. The latter observation is more intriguing for its contribution to theory. Not much has been said about the effects of over-investing in supplier integration. Our research indicates that a balanced approach to supplier integration is the preferred route to performance. It is beneficial to invest in supplier integration. It may be unwise though, to continue with such investments in an indiscriminate fashion. Conceptually (and empirically), a mid-range position exists, the ‘ideal’ profile of integration investments that synergize for maximum performance. No doubt, such ‘ideal’ configurations may not be unique, as the logic of equi-finality tells, but our findings suggest they do exist, probably in differing shapes according to specific industry and market environment. The ‘ideal’ profile concept offers clarity on synergies to be had in integration choice decisions. It provides a composite, multivariate benchmarking tool to decision-makers. The non-linear relationship between ‘MisFit’ and performance, underscores the need to recognize patterns in integration investments for competitive benchmarking and analysis. Theoretically, the notion of ideal profiles animates the concept of ‘domain navigation’ by companies—designing operational strategies to match environmental conditions (Venkatraman and Prescott, 1990). Caveats and limitations apply to the study. Responses to our survey focused on a key supplier(s), and the results are therefore atypical of routine engagements with less important elements of the supply-base. We do not make the claim that the set of practices shown as the ‘ideal profile’ in the study is generalizable beyond the sample frame of the study. A larger sample would have enabled us to create a hold out sample for cross-validation. Replication in other environments would serve to strengthen the conceptual validity of the notion of ‘ideal’ profiles. In addition, our treatment of purchasing integration practices is not exhaustive. Cumulatively, over several studies, a set of integration practices may emerge that can be said to formatively represent the ‘arrow core’ of supplier integration practices, robust to differences in product and industry. We essentially show that the idea of an ‘ideal’ supplier integration level possesses conceptual merit, and is empirically supported by data. This finding can seed future research into the linkages between supplier integration and the larger notion of supply chain integration, and the possibility of finding and designing ‘ideal’ supply chain profiles for sustainable competitive advantage.