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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Volume 45, Issue 6, November 2009, Pages 937–945
We model the strategic as well as the operational dimension of performance of supplier–retailer partnerships in terms of five factors: (1) information exchange; (2) trust; (3) joint partnership management; (4) relationship-specific assets; and (5) partner asymmetry. Our paired data are from 74 supplier–retailer partnerships in the consumer-packaged goods industry. As a result we found that the factors that best model strategic performance are different from those that best model operational performance. All companies are in Korea and the retailers include international companies like Carrefour, Tesco, and Wal-Mart while suppliers include Coca-Cola, Kimberley-Clark, and Nestlé.
Supply-chain partnerships can significantly impact a firm’s financial performance (Carr and Pearson, 1999). Using paired data from suppliers and retailers in partnerships, we seek ways to improve the performance of supplier–retailer partnerships. To do so, we model the strategic (enhancing the companies’ competitive position) as well as the operational (enhancing companies’ operational efficiency) dimension of partnership performance in terms of various factors for partnership performance identified in the literature: information exchange; trust; joint partnership; partnership-specific assets; and partner asymmetry (or symmetry). Research on the performance of a partnership between companies has focused on joint ventures and strategic alliances that are well structured and, in many cases, involve equity relationships (e.g. Geringer and Herbert, 1991, Parkhe, 1991, Parkhe, 1998, Dyer and Ouchi, 1993, Park and Ungson, 1997, Glaister and Buckley, 1998 and Zaheer et al., 1998). Even where there has been research on “supply-chain partnerships”, such research has focused on industries like automotive that have suppliers who are dependent on highly concentrated buyers, thereby raising questions about generalization to other industries (McCutcheon and Stuart, 2000). By contrast, industries like retail have been involved in looser forms of partnership focused more on transactional gains of partnership. As such, we focus on supplier–retailer partnerships in the consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) retail industry that has actively implemented supply-chain partnerships initiatives such as Effective Consumer Response (ECR) (Harris et al., 1999) and Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) (Barratt and Oliveira, 2001). Our analysis uses paired data collected from 74 supplier–retailer dyads with 12 retailers (with 28 purchasing managers responsible for working with suppliers) and 70 suppliers. All the companies are in Korea and include international retailers like UK-based Tesco, US-based Wal-Mart, and the French retailer Carrefour as well as international suppliers like Coca-Cola, Kimberley-Clark, and Nestlé. We use stepwise regression to model strategic and operational dimension of partnerships performance against the performance factors across all the partnerships in our sample. Our results indicate that factors that best model strategic performance may be different from those that best model operational performance: strategic performance depends on joint partnership management and partnership-specific assets while operational performance depends on information exchange and trust. Our contribution is twofold. First, we have conducted a study of partnership performance in a sector that is marked by loose forms of supplier–retailer partnerships rather than strategic alliances. Moreover, we have done so using supplier–retailer dyad data. Second, by studying two dimensions of partnership performance – strategic and operational – we have considered both long term (strategic) and short-term (operational) dimensions of partnerships. Our results suggesting that factors impacting the operational dimension being different from those impacting the strategic dimension could be the basis for further research to extend existing theory.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Given the importance of supply-chain partnerships and the need to improve their performance, we sought to model performance in terms of five factors we identified from the literature: (1) information exchange; (2) trust; (3) joint partnership management; (4) partnership-specific assets, and (5) partner asymmetry (or rather, its reverse as partner symmetry). We considered performance as having two dimensions: strategic and operational and sought to model these separately. We focused on supplier–retailer partnerships in the CPG industry that has been a leader in supply-chain partnerships and collected paired data from 74 supplier–retailer partnerships. Our results suggest that the factors that best model strategic performance are different from those that best model operational performance. Having joint partnership management and relation-specific assets goes hand-in-hand with enhancing the company’s competitive position, and is therefore of strategic importance to the partners. On the other hand, trust and information exchange can best meet the partners’ goals of increased operational efficacy. This finding underscores the contribution of this paper in suggesting that the two dimensions of performance need to be studied separately for collaborative arrangements that are different from strategic alliances and pertain instead to looser forms of partnerships such as those between retailers and their suppliers. The managerial significance of our works is that managers need to understand that improving operations-focused factors alone may not necessarily help much in achieving strategic, i.e., long-term goals for the partnership. As such, they need to differentiate between their strategic and operational goals for the partnership and, depending on the respective priorities, seek to improve these on different tracks. As regards further research, we need to test the “spillover” effect of a few retailers being in many partnerships. There were only 12 retailers in our sample, raising the issue of whether or not the 74 paired observations can be treated as being independent. The effect of spillover effects were mitigated in some degree by the fact 28 purchasing managers from these retailers filled in the questionnaires and each observation comprises the average scores of the retailer and the supplier (70 independent suppliers) at the ends of each partnership. Future research could also study the relationships between the five factors themselves using structural equation modeling by using a larger sample than the one we used. Recall that our data rely on subjective performance measures and therefore are results are potentially vulnerable to “common methods bias” (Ketokivi and Schroeder, 2004). So we need to identify objective measures of partnership performance and tie them to the subjective measures as well as to objective measures of company performance – eventually, it is the individual partner’s financial performance that matters.