Date of Award

12-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Business Administration

Major Professor

John T. Mentzer

Committee Members

Ernest R. Cadotte, Robert T. Ladd, Mark A. Moon

Abstract

As firms increasingly outsource functions to focus on core competencies, access to resources from trading partners to accomplish goals becomes more important. As such, supply chain management is recognized as critical to creating and sustaining competitive advantage by integrating activities across trading partners that can produce a unique and valuable offering. This dissertation suggests the role of marketing is well positioned to oversee and manage integration of supply and demand activities that have traditionally been practiced separately both within and across firms in a supply chain. The research fills a gap in the literature by presenting a comprehensive model of Interfirm Demand Integration (IDI) that fully explored the structures and processes involved in supply chain relationships, the antecedents to integration, and the resultant performance outcomes. Results provide prescriptive insights to development and maintenance of supply chain relationships.

A multiple method approach was used to explore the IDI phenomenon. First, a grounded theory approach was employed to gain an understanding of the mechanisms involved in integration across firms in a supply chain. To that end, depth interviews were conducted with 26 executives representing several different industries at different tiers in the supply chain. Qualitative data analysis resulted in development of a theoretical model and six hypotheses that were tested in the quantitative phase of the research. A survey methodology was used for data collection, and structural equation modeling was used for data analysis.

Results revealed that IDI infrastructure and IDI process are complex second order constructs, each comprised of multiple first order constructs. The absolute fit of the second order structural model was good (RMSEA .052), and four of the six hypotheses tested were supported.

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