Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Major Professor

Theodore P. Stank

Committee Members

John T. Mentzer, Terry L. Esper, Kenneth J. Levine


The complexity found in supply chains draws on the combined capabilities of multiple firms. Success in this environment requires the coordinated efforts of both a supply chain leader organization, and one or more supply chain follower organizations. Supply chain leadership has traditionally been ascribed to the most powerful, dominant organization in the supply chain. The theory of supply chain leadership presented in this dissertation redefines leadership in the supply chain context as a relationship between leader and followers described by the behaviors exhibited through each organization’s actions. The theoretical model was developed from literature in the leadership, logistics, and strategic management disciplines. The nomological network is derived from five constructs: supply chain leadership, supply chain followership, information availability, communications, and rewards. Empirical testing was facilitated by data collected through an interactive simulation.

Findings were evaluated across two distinct environments: transactional networks and transformational networks. The results suggest supply chain leadership and followership both have a significant effect in transactional networks. Interestingly, supply chain followership was discovered to make a greater contribution to overall supply chain structural development and performance than supply chain leadership in transformational environments. The structural model demonstrated good fit and all six hypotheses were at least partially supported.

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