Title: An empirical study on supply chain flexibility: based on inter-organisational trust and relational assets

Authors: Fuchun Zhao; Hong Ling; Zhengchuan Xu

Addresses: Institute of Information, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai, 200235, China. ' School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, China. ' School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, China

Abstract: Supply chain flexibility is of paramount significance in present hypercompetitive market. Whereas the role of inter-organisational trust remains a major concern for organisations, few attentions have been given its effect on supply chain flexibility. Based on the relational view of the firm, the study examines the mediated role of three relational assets, i.e., IT infrastructure integration, process modularity and knowledge sharing, between inter-organisational trust and supply chain flexibility, and hence an approach model of supply chain flexibility is established and tested by data from Chinese firms empirically. The results reveal that inter-organisational trust is associated with three kinds of relational assets. Among them, knowledge sharing and IT infrastructure integration are conducive to supply chain flexibility. Contrary to our expectation, however, there is no link between process modularity and supply chain flexibility, and environment turbulence negatively, rather than positively, moderates the relationship between IT infrastructure integration and supply chain flexibility. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Keywords: supply chain flexibility; information technology; IT infrastructure integration; process modularity; knowledge sharing; relation-specific assets; supply chain management; SCM; inter-organisational trust.

DOI: 10.1504/IJITST.2011.043135

International Journal of Internet Technology and Secured Transactions, 2011 Vol.3 No.4, pp.373 - 385

Available online: 17 Oct 2011

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article