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Agency theory and supply chain management: a structured literature review

Agency theory and supply chain management: a structured literature review Purpose – The paper aims to explain how agency theory can be used to inform our understanding of the dynamics surrounding supply chain behaviours and relationships. Design/methodology/approach – A structured review of the literature using a three‐stage refinement process is used. The articles were sourced through online databases and keyword classifications, such as “agency theory”, “principal‐agent relationships” and “supply chain management”. The search initially identified over 86 articles. After further screening these were reduced to 19 for final assessment and comparison. Findings – Despite agency theory's prevailing descriptive and predictive qualities there is scarcity in its application to the SCM discipline. The authors posit that agency theory provides valuable insights for relationship engineering within supply chains where social, political, legal and behavioural dynamics dominate. Practical implications – It is a critical task for managers to understand and mitigate abnormal behaviours across the supply chain. Agency theory serves this need by providing them with a useful tool to respond to transaction cost dilemmas through contractual and non‐contractual remedies. Originality/value – This is one of the first studies that examines the current state of agency theory application in the SCM literature and suggests potential avenues for future research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Supply Chain Management: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Agency theory and supply chain management: a structured literature review

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1359-8546
DOI
10.1108/13598541211258618
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The paper aims to explain how agency theory can be used to inform our understanding of the dynamics surrounding supply chain behaviours and relationships. Design/methodology/approach – A structured review of the literature using a three‐stage refinement process is used. The articles were sourced through online databases and keyword classifications, such as “agency theory”, “principal‐agent relationships” and “supply chain management”. The search initially identified over 86 articles. After further screening these were reduced to 19 for final assessment and comparison. Findings – Despite agency theory's prevailing descriptive and predictive qualities there is scarcity in its application to the SCM discipline. The authors posit that agency theory provides valuable insights for relationship engineering within supply chains where social, political, legal and behavioural dynamics dominate. Practical implications – It is a critical task for managers to understand and mitigate abnormal behaviours across the supply chain. Agency theory serves this need by providing them with a useful tool to respond to transaction cost dilemmas through contractual and non‐contractual remedies. Originality/value – This is one of the first studies that examines the current state of agency theory application in the SCM literature and suggests potential avenues for future research.

Journal

Supply Chain Management: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 3, 2012

Keywords: Agency theory; Supply chain management; Behaviour uncertainty; Relationship management; Collaboration; Literature review; Research results; Uncertainty management

References