Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Business Administration

Major Professor

Theodore P. Stank

Committee Members

Terry L. Esper, Robert T. Ladd, David W. Schumann

Abstract

In today’s evolving business environment, firms must increasingly focus on rapid adaptation, quick response, and time-based performance (Wisner et al., 2008; Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000; Barney et al., 2001). In order to remain competitive, firms are becoming time-based competitors because consumers have become more demanding. Firms now must quickly adapt, innovate, and implement new ways of serving the ever-changing preferences of customers (Dickson 1992). These changing consumer demands require firms to seek time-based sources of competitive advantage such as speed and flexibility in order to survive in hypercompetitive global markets (D'Aveni 1994; D'Aveni 1998).

Time-based competition (TBC) theory formally recognizes the strategic role of time and proposes that a strategy of intense focus on shrinking the time requirements of key supply chain activities can yield a competitive advantage (Stalk Jr. and Hout 1990). One approach to becoming a time-based competitor is relational (Droge, Jayaram, and Vickery 2004). However, with the relational approach, the TBC literature provides little explanation as to how interfirm supply chain relationships are used to achieve time-based performance. Although the interfirm relationship literature is vast, it does not address relationships in an environment with an intense pressure to focus on time. At its very essence, the continuous pursuit of time-based competitive advantage may mandate increasing pressure to perform more quickly. In the pursuit of such quick response, firms may place other supply chain members under time pressure (Thomas 2008). Therefore, the purpose of this mixed methods research is to begin to explore the phenomenon of time pressure in supply chain relationships.

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