The Concept of Supply Chain Agility: Conceptualization, Antecedents, and the Impact on Firm Performance
Agility has been identified as one of the most salient issues of contemporary supply chain management. Despite its importance, there has been limited theory development in the firm supply chain agility area. Elements and linkages among agility elements are underdeveloped, and it is uncommon for any two authors to adopt the same definition. A rigorously validated survey instrument is also needed to enable researchers to credibly build on theories regarding causal links among agility-related capabilities, practices and performance outcomes. The sports science and military science theoretical bases are investigated to better understand agility and identify its dimensions, and define it in a supply chain context. Further, a comprehensive measurement instrument that draws on the foundations of social and life science theory is developed and empirically validated so that researchers can rigorously expand agility theory
The antecedents of firm supply chain agility have been primarily addressed at an operational level. This dissertation expands on the work of Braunscheidel and Suresh (2009) who explored the role of different managerial orientations in achieving supply chain agility. Finally, scholars have issued research calls for an in-depth understanding of the performance outcomes of firm supply chain agility and accentuated the need to empirically examine such outcomes from an efficiency and effectiveness perspective. This dissertation responds to such calls, and further investigates the impact of firm supply chain agility on the firm’s financial performance using secondary, Compustat data. Thus, this research further contributes to theory development by providing a better understanding of how firm supply chain agility impacts firm performance. Relevant managerial implications are also presented.