The Challenges Facing Supply Chain Management Commerce Essay

The supply concatenation direction ( SCM ) doctrine stresses supply concatenation integrating that links a house with its clients, providers and other channel members. A supply concatenation includes a web of connected and mutualist organisations reciprocally and hand in glove working together to command, manage and better the flow of stuffs and information from providers to stop users ( Aitken, 1998 ) . Scholars in the field of SCM have demonstrated that a major beginning of cost nest eggs and enhanced service public presentation in the supply concatenation is through increased coaction ( Sheth & A ; Sharma, 1997 ) and integrating among supply concatenation participants ( Morash & A ; Clinton, 1998 ) . In peculiar, research in organisational behaviour has demonstrated the good effects of organisational norms on organisational public presentation ( O’Leary-Kelly, Martocchio, & A ; Frink, 1994 ) . Literature on relationship selling and new merchandise development ( NPD ) has noted the benefits of both interfunctional coordination in NPD activities ( e.g. , Gupta, Raj, & A ; Welimon, 1986 ; Webster, 1992 ) , and behavioural norms for the success of cooperation ( Morgan & A ; Hunt, 1994 ; Noordeweir, John, & A ; Nevin, 1990 ) . Cross-functional coordination in SCM involves multiple concern maps that span departmental and steadfast boundaries. Organizational norms as a set of embedded values and beliefs have long been recognized in literature to supply norms that bind persons into collectivities ( Sherif, 1936 ; Thibaut & A ; Kelley, 1959 ) and guide behaviour in an organisation ( DeshpandeA? & A ; Webster, 1989 ) . There is acknowledgment of the importance of information flow, interaction and integrating in organizing different maps to accomplish SCM ends. Cross-functional coordination among mutualist maps reflects today ‘s turning complexness of managing planetary webs of supply ironss and progressively planetary SCM ( Narasimhan & A ; Mahapatra, 2004 ) , and hypercompetitive concern environments ( D’Aveni, 1995 ; Varadarajan & A ; Jayachandran, 1999 ) .

However, small is known about cross-functional coordination peculiarly as a go-between for the relationship between organisational norms and SCM public presentation. Conventional supply ironss of houses are organized on a functional footing with the accent on ownership of single maps and control of resources. This can be debatable for the execution of incorporate supply concatenation and logistics direction, whereby flows of information and stuff between beginning and user necessitate to be coordinated across maps. Besides, recent betterments in the Internet and information engineering applications have facilitated rapid flow of information for existent clip coordination to fit demand with comparatively small lag clip ( e.g. , Eng, 2004 ) .

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The purpose of this survey is to look into the mediating function of cross-functional coordination on the linkage between organisational norms and supply concatenation direction public presentation.

The research aims are to analyze ( 1 ) to what extent organisational norms influences cross-functional coordination ; ( 2 ) to what extent cross-functional coordination improves SCM public presentation ; ( 3 ) to what extent cross functional coordination provides incremental parts to SCM public presentation beyond that of organisational norms?


Cross-functional coordination in SCM can be defined as purposive coordination of supply concatenation activities and information flows across concern maps and between houses. The organisation of supply concatenation requires houses to work together and pull off integrated operations both within endeavors and between supply concatenation spouses. Cooperation between supply concatenation members is influenced by implicit and expressed organisational norms related to peculiar behavioural guidelines, which give rise to effectivity of future cooperation ( Xie, Song, & A ; Stringfellow, 2003 ) .

Organizational norms can be described as outlooks about behaviour or behavioural guidelines based on organisational civilization that are at least partly shared by a group of determination shapers ( Gibbs, 1981 ; Moch & A ; Seashore, 1981 ; Thibaut & A ; Kelley,1959 ) . Cross-functional coordination in SCM can be complex due to the desire of different functional members and supply concatenation participants to cultivate norms that facilitate active engagement in joint activities, information sharing and synthesis of expertness.

While it is by and large believed that increased coaction among supply concatenation participants leads to take down entire cost and enhanced service public presentation ( Andraski, 1998 ; Ellinger, Daugherty, & A ; Keller, 2000 ) , the focal point on making enhanced service reactivity and house public presentation requires coordinated attempt and shared organisational norms across maps in the supply concatenation. However, there is non yet published empirical grounds on how cross-functional coordination mediates the consequence of organisational norms on service reactivity and house public presentation in a SCM context.


The survey draws penetrations from the resource dependance theory and the relational selling position. The resource dependance theory suggests that the comparative influence of one fractional monetary unit is a map of the resources the fractional monetary unit contributes ( Pfeffer & A ; Salancik, 1978 ) . The presence of cross-functional coordination in the supply concatenation reflects mutualities of assorted maps ( Larson & A ; Rogers, 1998 ) , concerted interactions ( Deutsch, 1949 ) and coaction to cut down uncertainness and manage dependance ( Anderson, 1982 ) . Most of the literature on the relationships between cross-functional coordination and public presentation references interdepartmental integrating such as between selling and logistics ( Ellinger et al. , 2000 ) , integrating of distribution channels ( Johnson, 1999 ) or in NEW PRODUCT DEVELOP ( e.g. , Atuahene-Gima & A ; Evangelista, 2000 ) instead than on the influence of cross-functional coordination in SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT.

From the relational selling position, relational exchange norms may supply penetrations for cross-functional coordination in footings of cut downing struggle ( defined in footings of dissension over ends, spheres and maps ) and self-interest ( self-interest seeking craft, assumed to be a cardinal job in exchange ) . But old research on organisational norms focuses on administration of single exchange relationships ( Shapiro, 1987 ; Stinchcomber,1985 ) and on relationship continuity ( Dwyer, Schurr, & A ; Oh,1987 ; Morgan & A ; Hunt, 1994 ) . Norms have been found to differ significantly in the extent to which they prescribe behaviours directed toward corporate as opposed to single ends ( Macneil, 1980 ; Thibaut & A ; Kelley, 1959 ) . Therefore, the present survey examines organisational norms that facilitate corporate cross-functional coordination for the benefit of the full supply concatenation.

Bb Organizational Norms

Concerted norms


Information sharing


Knowledge sharing

Common trust

Participative civilization



Supply Chain reactivity

Firm public presentation









Fig. 1. Model constructs associating organisational norms of cross-functional coordination to provide concatenation reactivity and house public presentation

As shown in Fig. 1, five organisational norms have been specified for the survey: concerted norms, cross-functional information sharing, intraorganizational cognition sharing, participative civilization and common trust. They are erudite behaviour of coordination ensuing from outlooks and shared values and, hence, may function as placeholders for coordinating behaviours that influence the willingness of functional countries and supply concatenation members to work together. Organizational norms are to a big extent discernible action that can be verified internally for the intent of guaranting the dependability of self-reported informations. Inevitably, other factors that may act upon cross-functional coordination such as company repute in the industry and past experience with channel members that need to be verified externally or by foreigners have been excluded from the theoretical account. Concerted norms in SCM reflect outlooks of supply concatenation members have in set abouting voluntary coordinated action and working together to accomplish common and single ends ( Cannon & A ; Perreault, 1999 ) . Voluntary action is influenced by values and beliefs that can non be mandated, programmed or formalized ( Mintzberg, Dougherty, Jorgensen, & A ; Westley, 1997 ) , for illustration, supply concatenation members understand that they must work together to be successful ( californium. Anderson & A ; Narus, 1990 ) . Concerted norms can be identified across Macneil ‘s ( 1980 ) relational norms, Heide and John ‘s ( 1992 ) work on flexibleness in response to altering conditions, Kaufmann and Stern ‘s ( 1988 ) solidarity as the saving of the relationship, and Bradach and Eccles ‘s ( 1989 ) trust in commercial exchange. They encapsulate the impression of coordination ( Argote, 1982 ; Van de Ven, 1976 ) , coaction ( Trist, 1977 ) , cooperation ( Schermerhorn, 1975 ; Sherif & A ; Sherif, 1969 ) and integrating ( Gupta et al. , 1986 ; Lawrence & A ; Lorsch, 1967 ) but with an overlapping thought of joint behaviour towards some end of common involvement. Concerted norms are compatible with the interfunctional position of SCM ( Lancioni, 2000 ) , where cooperation is emphasized for the benefit of the full supply concatenation, and to keep from the usage of power, portion information and jointly work out jobs ( Heide & A ; Miner, 1992 ) . However, the extent to which concerted norms improve cross-functional coordination in SCM has non yet been examined. Therefore, there is theoretical support to speculate:

H1. Concerted norms are associated with increased cross-functional coordination in a SCM context.

H2. Cross-functional information sharing is associated with increased cross-functional coordination in a SCM context.

H3. Intra-organizational cognition sharing is associated with increased cross-functional coordination in a SCM context.

H4. Participative civilization is associated with increased cross-functional coordination in a SCM context.

H5. Mutual trust is associated with increased cross-functional coordination in a SCM context

H6. Cross-functional coordination in the supply concatenation is associated with increased supply concatenation reactivity.

H7. Cross-functional coordination in the supply concatenation is associated with increased house public presentation.

H8. Supply concatenation reactivity is associated with increased house public presentation.



The sampling frame will consist of high-technology houses in Saudi Arabia, which represents the largest bunchs of hi-tech houses. High-tech houses can be defined based on common features that they portion market uncertainness, engineering uncertainness and competitory volatility. They engaged in the design, development and debut of new merchandises and/or advanced fabrication processes through the systematic application of scientific and proficient cognition. Several standards will be used to develop a comparatively homogenous sample. First, all houses portion similar criterion industry categorization codifications for their chief hi-tech concern activities. Second, merely little and moderate-sized houses will be included in the sample. The sample consists of package, computing machine gross revenues and services, biotechnology, information engineering webs, electronics and telecommunications houses. Finally, hi-tech houses operate in competitory concern environments, which fit the demand for efficient coordination systems and antiphonal supply ironss. The trying standards yield a starting sample of 100 houses indiscriminately selected on a unvarying footing of chance distribution over all sample houses from a entire steadfast population of 500.

Data aggregation

The research collected informations from the provider ‘s position.

This position provided a relevant context for

measuring supply concatenation reactivity, and for analyzing

coordination across different functional countries to run into

client demand. Datas were collected following the

guideline for individual cardinal source technique utilizing a mail

study questionnaire ( Phillips, 1981 ) . The cardinal sources

of this survey were senior directors transporting rubrics of

Supply Chain Director, Vice President, President or Chief

Executive Officer ( CEO ) . This individual key source

attack was deemed sufficient for a figure of grounds.

High-tech houses tend to hold a level hierarchy where

maps could be organized around procedures instead than

based on sections. For illustration, undertaking squads working

across maps are established to defend new undertakings

but dissolved when undertakings come to an terminal. Besides,

concern activities of hi-tech houses are frequently carried

out by a little figure of forces working across

different maps as the nature of work depends on

specializer cognition and engineering peculiarly for little

houses. The focal point of the survey on organisational norms of

cross-functional coordination requires top direction

support favoring cross-functional coordination ( e.g. ,

Gupta et al. , 1986 ; Song & A ; Parry, 1993 ) . Therefore, senior

direction had the vantage point from which to supply

information on activities across maps in the supply

concatenation and between houses.



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