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Spotlight: Supply Chain Personnel as Knowledge Resources for Innovation—A Contingency View

Previously on Spotlight we talked to Dr. Virpi Turkulainen about the paper she co-authored with Prof. Morgan Swink. This week we talked to Prof. Morgan Swink about their research.

The aim of this study was to assess contextualized operational effectiveness of involving internal supply chain personnel, referring to logistics and supply management, in a firm's product innovation activities. Building on the classical contingency theory argument, this study presents a careful contextualization of the performance effects of involving internal supply chain personnel in innovation activities (SCPII). Specifically, the authors argue that the effect of SCPII on operational effectiveness is moderated by the organization's technology context, the level of operational supplier integration, and the interaction of these two factors. These arguments are tested with survey responses from 203 firms. The results indicate that organizations' internal supply chain personnel are either sources or conduits of valuable innovation-related knowledge when complemented with supplier integration, especially in high-technology environments. Moreover, the results further support the argument for disaggregating operational performance as the complementary effects are highly dependent on the operational performance dimension. Although research has encouraged involving supply chain personnel in exploration-oriented activities, an investigation of the actual performance benefits of such activities is needed. This study addresses the operational effectiveness of involving supply chain personnel in product innovation activities and establishes that the relationship is fundamentally context dependent by elaborating the mechanisms that link SCPII and performance.

If you enjoyed this and would like to read the full article, access details can be found here

  • First published: 27 December 2016
  • DOI: 10.1111/jscm.12133