Management Faculty Publications

Exploring supply management status, internal collaboration and operating performance

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An important internal link in the supply chain is between supply managers and their internal customers. These individuals must collaborate to determine purchase specifications, develop sourcing strategies, ensure supplier performance, and maintain effective supplier relationships. Using power and social networking as the theoretical lenses, we develop and test a conceptual model examining the supply management function's status, supply manager's networking behavior, collaboration with the internal customer, and operating performance (lower cost, better quality, faster delivery, and consistent delivery). We also examine the mediating effect of collaboration and networking behavior on the positive effect of status and operating performance. Data gathered in an online survey of supply management professionals are examined using path analysis. Results show that without including the mediators, supply management status is directly related to all four operating performance measures. It is also positively related to collaboration with the internal customer and networking behavior. Contrary to expectations, the supply manager's networking behavior is not related to collaboration with the internal customer. Collaboration is positively related to all four operating performance measures. However, the supply manager's networking behavior is only related to one operating performance measure, better quality. Mediation analysis shows that supply management status has a direct effect on faster delivery performance beyond what is explained by collaboration and the supply manager's networking behavior. The findings suggest that organizations should look for ways to elevate the status of the supply management function to improve internal collaboration and operating performance.

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Operations Management Research


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