Supply chain integration patterns and operational performance: a plant-level survey-based analysis

Pamela Danese, Thomas Bortolotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Though most scholars recognise that supply chain integration (SCI) can contribute to improving operational performance, previous studies on the SCI-performance link showed mixed results and several questions on this issue remain still open. In line with a configurational perspective, this study investigates whether plants adopting multiple integration practices (i.e. full SCI adopters) perform better than plants implementing only some selected SCI practices (i.e. partial adopters) and plants which do not implement any SCI practice (i.e. non-adopters). In addition, it analyses whether partial adopters show a superior performance compared to non-adopters. Analyses based on a sample of 317 manufacturing plants reveal that full adopters perform better than non-adopters, in terms of quality, delivery, flexibility and efficiency. Among partial adopters, a particular SCI pattern, characterised by a high level of internal integration and supply chain planning, differs from non-adopters in terms of delivery, and shows results similar to full adopters in terms of quality and efficiency. More surprisingly, the other patterns of partial adopters do not significantly differ from non-adopters in any performance dimensions, and underperform full adopters in each performance. This suggests that in order to maximise SCI benefits companies should lever on multiple integration practices, and that in some cases focusing only on selected integration activities can be useless. A further interesting implication is that companies can cumulatively increase their operational performance towards a full exploitation of SCI benefits by following a certain sequence of SCI practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7062-7083
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Volume52
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2-Dec-2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CROSS-FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION
  • VIEW
  • CUSTOMER
  • INVENTORY
  • INFORMATION
  • MANAGEMENT
  • IMPACT
  • COMPANY PERFORMANCE; PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
  • FIRM PERFORMANCE

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