10.1108/SCM-01-2013-0015">
 

Title

Lean and agile supply chain strategies and supply chain responsiveness: The role of strategic supplier partnership and postponement

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Department

Computer Information Systems

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of strategic supplier partnership and postponement respectively, on the relation between lean and agile supply chain strategy and supply chain responsiveness. Also, the authors look at the relation between supply chain responsiveness and firm performance. Design/methodology/approach - Applying the strategic-choice theory and the resource-based view of firms to the supply chain, the authors develop a research model to demonstrate the premise that implementing proper supply chain practices to support and execute supply chain strategy will enhance the responsiveness of the supply chain and the performance of the focal firm. The study utilizes survey data from 205 senior executives and managers in the purchasing and supply chain functions from manufacturing firms in the USA. The results are based on covariance-based analysis and structural equation modeling using AMOS software. Findings - The study finds that strategic supplier partnership fully mediates the relationship between a lean supply chain strategy and supply chain responsiveness, and that postponement partially mediates the relationship between an agile supply chain strategy and supply chain responsiveness. It is also shown that supply chain responsiveness is associated with enhanced firm performance. Practical implications - For supply chain practitioners, the results indicate that firms benefit greatly if they consider the resources of their supply chain, such as postponement and strategic supplier partnership in conjunction with their supply chain strategy and that such a matching yields improved supply chain responsiveness and firm performance. Originality/value - The paper theoretically develops logic for and empirically shows that strategic supplier partnership and postponement are appropriate practices for mediating the impact of lean and agile supply chain strategies, respectively, on supply chain responsiveness. Considered at a higher level of abstraction, these relationships indicate a contribution to theory that explains how supply chain strategy can beget supply chain responsiveness, through the concurrent deployment of appropriately matched supply chain practices.