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Implementation of a responsive supply chain strategy in global complexity: The case of manufacturing firms


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  • Roh, James
  • Hong, Paul
  • Min, Hokey
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    Although a responsive supply chain is an integral part of order-winning manufacturing strategies, it has not been clear how firms build a responsive supply chain in global manufacturing environments. Built upon a synthesis of the existing literature and relevant theories, this paper presents a research model that defines the drivers, strategy, and practices of a responsive supply chain and the performance outcomes. This paper is one of the rare empirical studies that identify key variables relevant to the implementation of a successful responsive supply chain. The effective implementation of a responsive supply chain requires a careful definition of a responsive supply chain strategy in terms of the product range, and the frequency and innovativeness of the product offerings. Firms also need to provide key implementation practices (i.e., sharing of information with customers, collaboration with suppliers, use of advanced manufacturing technology) to achieve pull production to achieve responsiveness to the market. This study also suggests that the key contextual factors that influence the extent of implementation of a responsive supply chain strategy are mostly the size of firms, industry characteristics, and customer and supplier bases, rather than the location of manufacturing firms. This paper shows that the effective implementation of a responsive supply chain strategy involves the integration of inter-organizational resources (i.e., socio-relational and techno-process integration) across the global supply chain to enhance pull production capabilities.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Production Economics.

    Volume (Year): 147 (2014)
    Issue (Month): PB ()
    Pages: 198-210

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:147:y:2014:i:pb:p:198-210

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    Keywords: Responsive supply chain; Global manufacturing strategy; Pull production; Resource-based theory; Structural equation modeling;


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    1. Wong, Chee Yew & Stentoft Arlbjorn, Jan & Hvolby, Hans-Henrik & Johansen, John, 2006. "Assessing responsiveness of a volatile and seasonal supply chain: A case study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 709-721, December.
    2. Koufteros, Xenophon A. & Nahm, Abraham Y. & Edwin Cheng, T.C. & Lai, Kee-hung, 2007. "An empirical assessment of a nomological network of organizational design constructs: From culture to structure to pull production to performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 468-492, April.
    3. Tomino, Takahiro & Park, Youngwon & Hong, Paul & Roh, James Jungbae, 2009. "Market flexible customizing system (MFCS) of Japanese vehicle manufacturers: An analysis of Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 375-386, April.
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    7. Holweg, Matthias & Disney, Stephen & Holmström, Jan & Småros, Johanna, 2005. "Supply Chain Collaboration:: Making Sense of the Strategy Continuum," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 170-181, April.
    8. Billie Jo Zirger & Modesto A. Maidique, 1990. "A Model of New Product Development: An Empirical Test," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(7), pages 867-883, July.
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    10. Lee Cronbach, 1951. "Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 297-334, September.
    11. Donald Gerwin, 1993. "Manufacturing Flexibility: A Strategic Perspective," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(4), pages 395-410, April.
    12. Gunasekaran, Angappa & Lai, Kee-hung & Edwin Cheng, T.C., 2008. "Responsive supply chain: A competitive strategy in a networked economy," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 549-564, August.
    13. Wallace J. Hopp & Mark L. Spearman, 2004. "To Pull or Not to Pull: What Is the Question?," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 6(2), pages 133-148, August.
    14. Vonderembse, Mark A. & Uppal, Mohit & Huang, Samuel H. & Dismukes, John P., 2006. "Designing supply chains: Towards theory development," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 223-238, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. Nakano, Mikihisa & Akikawa, Takuya, 2014. "Literature review of empirical studies on SCM using the SSPP paradigm," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 35-45.
    2. Chong, You Quan & Wang, Bin & Yue Tan, Gladys Li & Cheong, Siew Ann, 2014. "Diversified firms on dynamical supply chain cope with financial crisis better," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 239-245.


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