Designing and Managing a Supply Chain for Better Organizational Learnin
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The project seeks to investigate intangible (i.e., knowledge) and tangible (i.e., physical resources) bases of supply chain integration. The project will generate three research papers. Basic literature review was done during the spring semester of 2004 to produce the first paper (theory part). The data collection, leaded by the co-investigator, was started in July and finalized in December 2004 with three hundred fifty two usable returns from the U.S. companies. This data set has been analyzed to be used for the later two papers. In detail, the first paper examines the tangible part of the factors influencing supply chain integration. Prior research suggests that specific asset investment affects supply chain relationship. Build on prior research, the first paper discussed the impact of total and asymmetric specific asset investment on supply chain relationship and to propose hypotheses of the effect. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses. Consistent with the hypotheses, the empirical results showed that total specific asset investment is positively related to commitment and trust, while asymmetric specific asset investment is negatively related to trust, and positively related to conflict in a relationship. Decision-making uncertainty, positively influenced by asymmetric specific asset investment and negatively influenced by total specific asset investment, plays a mediating role on the relationships. Implications of this study and direction for further research were also discussed. The second paper studies the intangible part of the factors influencing supply chain integration. A structural equation model revealed that bilateral contribution and/or knowledge level between the firms significantly facilitates further organizational learning in a supply chain and asymmetric contribution and/or knowledge level between the firms significantly impedes organizational learning in a supply chain. Lastly, the third paper will develop a model to explain factors affecting an organization's learning in supply chain.