The role of social relationships in the virtually integrated supply chain
by Ednilson Santos Bernardes, Jaime Evaldo Fensterseifer
International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management (IJLSM), Vol. 1, No. 1, 2004

Abstract: Organisations have increasingly relied on technology-enabled connections to cope with uncertainty and customer responsiveness. This has led to the virtualisation of the supply chain, which implies far-reaching involvement of trade partners as and the deployment of sophisticated technology to assure appropriate coordination. However, disruptive problems or under-exploitation of the technology potential has been all too frequent as managers, not uncommonly, overlook the role of social relationships. The dominant theory base adopted by the extant literature on electronic connection restricts the analysis to the role of transaction costs on decision-making issues. In this paper, we draw on the social network body of literature to examine the role of social relations on the virtualisation of the supply chain. We argue that social relations not only have a positive impact on the quality of information exchanged through information technology, but also may be responsible for the ultimate exploitation of its full potential.

Online publication date: Tue, 19-Oct-2004

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