Understanding the Antecedents and Consequence of Internet-enabled Supply Chain Integration

Project: Research

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Understanding the antecedents and consequence of Internet-enabled Supply Chain Integration (IeSCI) is an important concern to supply chain management researchers and practitioners. Although the existing research has identified economic and legitimacy-oriented motives that lead organizations to adopt IeSCI, there is a lack of research investigating how these motives are interrelated. On the other hand, the findings of previous studies on the consequence of IeSCI adoption have been mixed and even controversial. As such, little is known about the confluence of economic and institutional factors on IeSCI adoption and the true value of IeSCI adoption remains unclear. Practitioners are left with little guidance on whether they should focus more on economic or legitimacy-oriented factors in promoting IeSCI adoption and whether the purported benefits of IeSCI can be materialized.To address these pending research questions, our proposed study aims to reveal (1) how the economic and legitimacy-oriented motives are interrelated to influence IeSCI adoption, (2) how the effects of these antecedents vary across different dimensions of IeSCI (3) how the different dimensions of IeSCI influence different aspects of performance. Drawing upon transactional cost economics (TCE) and institutional theory, we develop a research model. Specifically, we argue that economic and legitimacy-oriented motives are not independent of each other, as is implicitly assumed by previous studies; rather, they are interrelated. In addition, we propose that different motives have differential impact on the adoption of the escalating dimensions of IeSCI, which subsequently affect substantive and symbolic performance.To examine the proposed relationships among motives, adoption of IeSCI dimensions, and organizational performance, we will conduct case studies with at least 10 companies in China and then a longitudinal survey study over a 16-month period using a sample frame of approximately 500 companies in China.The results obtained will have significant theoretical and practical implications. It will contribute to the innovation adoption literature by offering a more complete picture of how economic and legitimacy-oriented motives co-influence the adoption of IeSCI, the core of current supply chain management. It will extend our understanding of the differential effects of economic and legitimacy-oriented motives on the adoption of innovative practices. Furthermore, this study may be among the first to investigate how the adoption of different IeSCI dimensions differentially affect an organization’s substantive and symbolic performance. The findings of this proposed research will contribute to the practice by offering guidelines regarding tactics for promoting IeSCI and adopting the right IeSCI dimensions.


Project number9041614
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/117/03/14