Supply Chain Management
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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This paper aims to explore whether firms that integrate only with partners adjacent to them in the supply chain exhibit different patterns of supply chain practice and performance than those that also integrate with partners more distant in the supply chain.
Cluster analysis of survey data is used to partition firms based on the span of the supply chain involved in their integration efforts.
Firms with a broad span of integration have a greater focus on alignment with suppliers and customers, and have more of a supply chain focus than those with a narrow span. They also demonstrate higher levels of performance attributable to supply chain relationships.
Results highlight the importance to supply chain professionals of taking a broad view of the supply chain rather than focusing only on first tier suppliers and customers. They also suggest the importance of exploring opportunities to facilitate broader participation in supply chain integration efforts.
Past research has identified the importance of supply chain integration without addressing the importance of how much of the supply chain should be involved in such efforts. This study provides empirical support for the need to involve partners across the supply chain.
V.R. Kannan, K.C. Tan, ‘Supply Chain Integration: Cluster Analysis of the Impact of Span of Integration’, Supply Chain Management, 15 (3), 2010