Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the extent to which a firm's customer focus drives several interlinked facets of supply chain management and their relationships to customer service and financial performance. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on diverse streams of research, the authors develop and test an integrated model in which customer focus is proposed to foster supply‐chain relational capabilities, leading to beneficial performance outcomes. This study's empirical validity is enhanced by collecting data from over 200 US manufacturing firms and testing the model using SEM. Findings – This empirical investigation documents significant positive relationships between (a) customer focus and supply‐chain relational capabilities, (b) customer focus and customer service, (c) supply‐chain relational capabilities and customer service, and (d) customer service and financial performance. Practical implications – This study holds the important implication for managers that, in order to be effective, supply chain partners must reconfigure their supply chains to be more customer oriented and continually develop and leverage the relational competencies in order to enhance firm competitiveness. Originality/value – Interdisciplinary in nature, this study is one of the first to conduct empirical supply chain management research using multiple and complementary theoretical perspectives, including strategic management and relationship marketing in order to gain a better understanding of the nuances involved in fostering strategic collaboration among supply chain partners.
The International Journal of Logistics Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 16, 2011
Keywords: Supply chain management; Customer focus; Relational capabilities; Financial performance
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