Embracing supply chain agility : an investigation in the electronics industry

Tse, Ying Kei and Zhang, Minhao and Akhtar, Pervaiz and MacBryde, Jill (2016) Embracing supply chain agility : an investigation in the electronics industry. Supply Chain Management, 21 (1). pp. 140-156. ISSN 1359-8546

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    Purpose – This paper aims to identify the antecedents of firm’s supply chain agility (SC agility) and how SC agility impacts on firm’s performance. Design/methodology/approach – Based on a comprehensive literature review, a conceptual model was proposed, in which the interrelated hypotheses were tested by structural equation modelling methodology using a dataset collected from 266 Chinese electronics firms. Findings – Initially, it was found that SC integration and external learning positively influenced SC agility. Second, the results indicated that firm’s performance is positively impacted by SC agility. Moreover, SC agility also fully mediated the effect of SC integration on firm’s performance and the effect of external learning on firm’s performance. Research limitations/implications – The generalizability of this research sample might be the major limitation of this study. Therefore, future research can adopt other industry sectors samples, such as automobile manufacturing, or other country samples to validate the research model. Practical implications – This research outlines strategies for better preparedness to achieve SCs to be agile which is a core competency of electronic firms in emerging market. Findings reveal that the external coordination practices – external learning and SC integration – are important factors of SC agility. In addition, the findings contribute to understanding the important role of SC agility in improving firm’s performance. Originality/value – This research examines the impact of two antecedents (i.e. SC integration and external learning) on SC agility and is the first empirical research to analyze the mediation effect of SC agility on the relationship between SC integration and firm performance and the relationship between external learning and firm performance.