ارزیابی ریسک عملیاتی توسط افراد حرفه ای زنجیره تامین : فرآیند و عملکرد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|893||2012||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Operations Management, Available online 13 December 2012
We consider the “process-performance paradox” in the assessment of operational risks by professionals in the field of operations and supply chain management (OSCM). The paradox states that although professionals with more expertise tend to decide in different ways, they often do not make better assessments than those with less expertise. We first replicate that this paradox exists in a context of the assessment of operational supply risks, and then show how the paradox can be understood as the consequence of process characteristics mediating the relation between expertise and assessment performance. Using an experimental setup, we had 234 OSCM-professionals assess the operational risk in two series of different business cases, and measured several characteristics of their decision-making process. The strength of our approach lies in the fact that the business cases were real-life cases from our database of purchasing transactions in the area of IT-purchasing. This allows a comparison of the risk assessments of the professionals with the actual supply risk as was known from the survey database. Our findings show that, contrary to what is often assumed, the OSCM-professionals with more expertise do not use less information while assessing, nor are they faster. Instead, our results show that specialized expertise goes with increased certainty about the assessments, and general expertise goes with an increased use of intuitive judgment. However, the net effects of these expertise characteristics on assessment performance are zero. In the case of specialized expertise this is because specialized expertise is itself negatively related to performance. In the case of general expertise this is because the net effects of the use of intuition on performance are zero.
There are many reasons why careful management of the supply chain has become more important for contemporary firms. Demand is more volatile, competition is fiercer, and product life cycles have shortened, to name just a few. As Hendricks and Singhal (2005a: 36) have argued before, in response the emphasis in the management of supply chains is typically on lowering costs and increasing efficiency. This has lead to a reliance on outsourcing and partnering, which in turn has lead to a need for increased supply chain integration, growing interdependence, and increased complexity. The key insight is that this chain of events has caused supply chains to become more vulnerable to different kinds of risk. The number of different links in the chain is increasing, more of these links are occurring “further away” from the focal firm, and the consequences of inaccurate risk assessments can be severe.1 Management behavior as a response to risk is necessarily guided by subjective rather than completely objective assessments of these risks (Yates and Stone, 1992, Ellis et al., 2010, March and Shapira, 1987, Sitkin and Weingart, 1995 and Zsidisin, 2003b). The mostly implicit assumption in the literature is that these risk assessments and perceptions are generally accurate and therefore the subsequent management behavior effective and efficient (Shapira, 1995, Hallikas et al., 2002, Zsidisin et al., 2004, Dekay et al., 2009 and Ellis et al., 2010). However, there are good reasons to question this assumption (cf. Ghosh and Ray, 1997: 98). In several cases, serious errors in decision making such as the distortion of information and “bidirectional reasoning” have been observed (Brownstein, 2003, Dekay et al., 2009 and Ghosh and Ray, 1997), not to mention the host of well-documented general flaws in judgment and decision-making that all humans are prone to.2 Despite research emphasizing the importance of behavioral approaches to the assessment of supply risk, the process through which buyers approach these tasks has only recently been explored (Ellis et al., 2010 and Bendoly et al., 2006). Many professionals rely on their experience and intuition and quote it as an important reason for their achievements (Agor, 1984, Agor, 1986, Klein, 2003, Mitchell et al., 2005, Snijders and Tazelaar, 2009 and Hayashi, 2001). Especially in organizations that are embedded in turbulent environments, experience and the use of intuition are often seen as paramount (Khatri and Ng, 2000 and Dane and Pratt, 2007), but their role and usefulness is ill understood. We contribute to this literature by analyzing the risk assessments of professionals in operations and supply chain management (OSCM) in a controlled experiment. Our empirical approach is unique in the sense that we combine survey data with a directly linked experimental design. First, we executed a large-scale survey study among business managers on transactions between buyers and suppliers. The survey measured the whole purchasing process of a single transaction, starting from partner search and the selection procedure all the way up to the occurrence of problems and how they were solved. The survey questions asked for properties of the transaction and were based on established theoretical considerations.3 Then, we used the survey data to create (summarized) business cases that we presented in the experiment to a subset of the respondents of our survey. The strength of our multiple research method approach lies in the fact that the business cases we presented in the experiment are real, in the sense that they are reflecting actual business cases from our survey database, not just imaginary cases. This implies that we can compare the risk assessments of the participants in our experiments with the actual supply risk as is available from the field study. This kind of multiple method design is in line with suggestions by Hogarth (2005: 261) and Brunswik (1956) and, as far as we know, rare in the OSCM-field. Our design implies that we consider the role of the OSCM-professional in the spirit of transaction cost theory and agency theory. In this approach, professionals are seen as the ones having to decide ex ante on whether and how much to invest in safeguarding a transaction. If necessary, they can for instance choose for more extensive search for a supplier, for the writing of more elaborate contracts, or for larger investments in negotiating. The strategic and operational supply risks we consider are the risks of having (different types of) problems with the supplier during and after the delivery. The sources of these supply risks may arise from individual supplier failures or from market factors (cf. Zsidisin, 2003a: 220), but also from a buyer's lack of monitoring or governance capabilities (David and Han, 2004, Rooks et al., 2006 and Rooks et al., 2011). The professional's subjective assessment of risk in this approach is assumed to be based on characteristics of the transaction, the supplier, the relation between buyer and supplier, the context in which the transaction takes place, and the characteristics of the buyer and the OSCM-professional in particular (cf. Williamson, 1999, Grover and Malhotra, 2003 and Choi and Krause, 2006). From the literature on behavioral decision-making it is a well-known fact that the empirical findings on the assessments of professionals often go counter to the general intuition. For many assessments in a given profession, individuals with a moderate amount of training (novices) outperform laymen, but seasoned professionals do only just as well as novices (Camerer and Johnson, 1991). What is found in addition is often referred to as the “process-performance paradox”: although seasoned professionals do not outperform novices they do make their assessments in different ways. Stated otherwise, there is no relation between expertise on the one hand and assessment performance on the other, even though there is often a relation between expertise and the process characteristics of the assessment process. We contribute to the literature on supply chain decision-making in two ways. First, we replicate that the process-performance paradox exists in a context of the assessment of operational risks, in line with previous research where we employed a similar mixed design on a different group of participants (cf. Tazelaar and Snijders, 2004). Second, and more importantly, we show how the process-performance paradox in OSCM risk assessment can be understood as the consequence of process characteristics mediating the relation between expertise and assessment performance. The remainder of the paper is structured as follows. In Sections 2 and 3 we present the theoretical background and hypotheses on the relation between expertise, process characteristics, and assessment performance. In Section 4 we describe the design of the survey and the design of our experiment. In Section 5 we discuss our methodology, statistical analyses, and findings. In Section 6 we present our conclusions, together with a brief discussion on the weaknesses of the study and suggestions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
While the impact of having to rely on humans instead of the perfect homo economicus in economic activity has been studied extensively in disciplines such as economics, economic sociology and psychology, its study in operations and supply chain management is still relatively scarce (Bendoly et al., 2006: 738). Usually, managers’ perceptions of supply risk are assumed to be not only critical but also adequate for subsequent actions (Ellis et al., 2010: 35). To assess the way in which OSCM-professionals evaluate and decide, we chose a design that made use of conjoint analysis. This type of behavioral (quasi-)experiment is a well-established research methodology in sociology, behavioral economics, and marketing, but still rare in OSCM-research (cf. Gattiker and Parente, 2007 and Tangpong, 2011). The professionals in our experiment were asked to assess the extent to which a given transaction would turn out to be problematic in two series of real life business cases. Three issues are crucial to our approach. First, we based the content of our experiment on a separate large-scale online survey in which IT-transactions between buyers and suppliers have been investigated in great detail, so that the OSCM-professionals in the experiment were confronted with real business cases. Second, from the survey data we established how problematic these real life cases had turned out to be so that we had a gold standard against which we could compare the assessments of the professionals. Third, besides the professionals’ assessments we also measured several characteristics related to the professionals’ process of decision-making. As a first result we replicate the “process-performance” paradox in a context of strategic and operational risk assessments, in the sense that there is no relation between expertise and assessment performance. This is in line with the literature on expertise (Kahneman and Klein, 2009) and our own previous findings based on using a similar design on another survey and sample group (Tazelaar and Snijders, 2004). The process data that we collected allow us to explain the lack of relation between expertise and performance. First, two of the often-mentioned process characteristics do not play an important role in our experiment at all. The experts do not appear to use less information, nor are they faster. In fact, in our experiment the use of information and the assessment time are also not related to performance. In addition, three of the five expertise characteristics show no (or hardly any) relation with both the process and the performance characteristics: functional level, credentials in purchasing, and educational level. Instead, we found that experience in IT-purchasing goes with a higher certainty of the assessments, which in turn goes with a higher performance. However, the effect is small, and the net effect of specialized expertise is actually zero because it has an unexpected direct negative effect on performance. Something similar holds for experience in general purchasing. Experience in general purchasing goes with an increase in the use of intuitive judgment, which goes with increased certainty, which in turn goes with increased performance. However, because the use of intuitive judgment also has a direct negative effect on performance, the net effect of general expertise is also close to zero. In this sense, our results help explain the process-performance paradox better. First, in our risk assessment experiment, general and specific experiences are the only two indicators of expertise that are related to different process characteristics. The only two process characteristics that are different are the use of intuitive judgment and the assessment certainty. Only certainty is positively related to increased performance but because experience in IT-purchasing (which goes with increased certainty) has itself a negative effect on performance, the net effect of experience in IT-purchasing is close to zero.