Spotlight: Supply Chain and Marketing Integration: Tension in Frontline Social Networks
"Supply chain integration, social network research and network theories have proliferated over the last 10 years in supply chain research. Network theories provide a broad base for understanding how firms, functions, and teams work together but at the foundation of all networks are individuals and their connections (ties). This research elaborates on supply chain integration through the lens of network theory, focusing on front‐line individuals’ decision‐making and behaviors as the foundation for understanding cross‐functional integration and firm‐level outcomes. Two studies, utilizing social network and inductive qualitative methods drawing on grounded theory and ethnography, show that the execution of marketing and supply chain strategies is dependent on the empowerment and integration of a manufacturer's frontline employees in retail supply chains. Empowerment is found to be the result of a network of multiple relationships. Tension mounts when frontline employees are disconnected from cross‐functional management sources in their organization and instead turn to each other to solve problems that arise in their retail channels. The results highlight the importance of relational embeddedness and empowerment in affecting internal supply chain integration."
Full article can be found here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jscm.12169