Title: An examination of the dynamics of operating efficiency of wholesale and retail firms

Authors: Xun Xu; Yinfei Chen; Wenhui Liu

Addresses: Department of Management, Operations, and Marketing, College of Business Administration, California State University, Stanislaus, One University Circle, Turlock, CA, 95382, USA ' Department of Finance and Marketing, College of Business, California State University Chico, 400 West First Street, Chico, CA, 95929, USA ' College of Business Administration, California State University, Stanislaus, One University Circle, Turlock, CA, 95382, USA

Abstract: This study investigates whether a firm's competitive advantage, measured by its relative operating efficiency, can be maintained in the long run. Based on a sample of US listing firms in the wholesale and the retail industries from 1995 to 2015, we examine the dynamics of the trend and stability of firms' operating efficiency in the long run. We find that companies that are moving ahead in the short run cannot guarantee their operating efficiency status in the long run. In the long run, operating efficiency can trend upwards, downwards, fluctuate, or remain flat. The findings are consistent to both industries, except that in the retail industry, there are more firms that consistently fall behind than firms that are in other categories of efficiency. This study provides implications for firms to measure and improve their operating efficiency dynamically over the short and long horizons to win the competitive market.

Keywords: dynamics of operating efficiency; wholesale firms; retail firms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2021.113026

International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 2021 Vol.38 No.2, pp.188 - 200

Received: 10 Oct 2018
Accepted: 04 Dec 2018

Published online: 09 Feb 2021 *

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