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The impact of information technology on supply chain performance: A knowledge management perspective

Dissertation
Author: Yuan Niu
Abstract:
Supply chain management has become an increasingly important management tool to help organizations improve their business operations. Although information and communication technologies have been used extensively in supply chains, there is a lack of systematic evidence regarding the mechanisms through which IT creates value. Furthermore, as supply chain objectives are going beyond operational efficiency towards pursuing higher-order goals, such as understanding the market dynamics and discovering new partnering arrangements to provide greater customer value, the capabilities that are needed for supply chains to sustain their competitive advantages need to be well understood by researchers and practitioners. To fill this gap, this research investigates the effects of the supply chain's collective knowledge management capability on the supply chain performance. Drawing from the resource-based view of the firm and the relational view of firm's competitive advantage, this dissertation proposes a framework of supply chain IT capability as facilitating/inhibiting the supply chain's knowledge management capability. First, an empirical study using survey-based data collection was conducted. Second, a simulation model was built to investigate the mechanisms through which IT-enabled knowledge management activities affect firms' long-term knowledge outcome.

vi TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES ix

LIST OF FIGURES xi

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1

1.1 Background 1 1.2 Research Objectives and Research Questions 4 1.3 Contributions 5 1.4 Organization of the Dissertation 7 1.5 Dissemination Plan 7 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 10

2.1 IT Business Value 10 2.1.1 Three Research Streams 11 2.1.2 The Resource-based View of the Firm and Its Application in the IT Value Research 13

2.2 Supply Chain Management and Interorganizational Information Systems 17 2.2.1 IT and Supply Chain Management 19 2.2.2 Research on Interorganizational Information Systems 21 2.2.3 The Relational View 24 2.3 Knowledge Management 26 2.3.1 Knowledge and Knowledge Management 26 2.3.2 Knowledge Management Capability and Firm Performance 28 2.3.3 Knowledge Management in Supply Chains 32

vii CHAPTER 3: THE ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SUPPLY CHAIN IT CAPABILITY AND SUPPLY CHAIN PERFORMANCE 36

3.1 Background 36 3.2 Research Model and Hypotheses 38 3.2.1 Supply Chain Knowledge Management Capability and Its Impacts on Supply Chain Performance 40

3.2.2 SC IT Infrastructure Capability 52 3.2.3 SC Relational Capability 65 3.2.4 Moderating Effects of Buyer-supplier Dependence 73 3.2.5 Control Variables 76 3.3 Methodology 78 3.3.1 Instrument Development 79 3.3.2 Measures 80 3.3.3 Sample 90 3.4 Data Analysis and Results 94 3.4.1 Measurement Model 94 3.4.2 Test of Hypotheses 102 3.5 Discussion 113 3.6 Limitations and Future Research 118 CHAPTER 4: UNDERSTANDING THE MECHANISMS OF IT-ENABLED KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN SUPPLY CHAINS– A COMPUTATIONAL SIMULATION APPROACH 119

4.1 Background 119 4.2 March‟s Model and Its Extension 122 4.3 Research Setting and Model 127

viii 4.3.1. Model Setup 129 4.3.2 IT-enabled KM Mechanisms 133 4.4 Experiment Design 138 4.4.1 Contexts for Experiments 139 4.4.2 Treatments 142 4.5 Results 144 4.5.1 Effects of OL Strategies and IT Use for Firms in Symmetric Supply Chain Relationships 144

4.5.2 Effects of OL Strategies and IT Use for Larger Firms in Asymmetric Supply Chain Relationships 153

4.5.3 Effects of OL Strategies and IT Use for Smaller Firms in Asymmetric Supply Chain Relationships 156

4.6 Discussion 163 4.6.1 Choice of IT for Organizational Learning in Supply Chains 163 4.6.2 Choice of External Learning Strategies 165 4.7 Limitations and Future Research 167 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION 170

REFERENCES 174

APPENDIX A: KM-RELATED CONSTRUCTS AND MEASURES 190

APPENDIX B: SURVEY INSTRUMENT 198

APPENDIX C: SIMULATION FLOWCHARTS 204

APPENDIX D: RESULTS OF POST HOC TESTS COMPARING EMPLOYEE KNOWLEDGE LEVELS ACROSS FOUR EXTOL TYPES AT EACH KRP LEVEL 207

ix LIST OF TABLES

TABLE 1-1. Publication Plan 9

TABLE 3-1. KM Processes in Firms 41

TABLE 3-2. Constructs Related to KM Processes in SC Contexts (Empirically Tested) 43

TABLE 3-3. SC IT Infrastructure Capability Studied by Prior IS Research 54

TABLE 3-4. Summary of Hypotheses 76

TABLE 3-5. Measure Development 81

TABLE 3-6. ANOVA Tests Comparing Responses From APICS Sample and ISM Sample 92

TABLE 3-7. ANOVA Tests Comparing the Supplier Responses and Customer Responses 93

TABLE 3-8. Frequencies of Relationship Time and Respondent‟s Years of SCM Experience 94

TABLE 3-9. Test of Measurement Reliability 95

TABLE 3-10. Factor Analysis Results 97

TABLE 3-11. Descriptive Statistics and Correlations 99

TABLE 3-12. Outer Model Loadings 100

TABLE 3-13. Outer Model Weights 101

TABLE 3-14. Path Analysis Results 104

TABLE 3-15. Comparison of Nested Models 109

TABLE 3-16. Significance of Mediated Paths 109

TABLE 3-17. Classifications of Responses Based on Dependence Structure 110

TABLE 3-18. Path Analysis Results for High SYMTOT Group and Low SYSMTOT Group 111

TABLE 4-1. Summary of Parameters Used in OL Models 126

x TABLE 4-2. Summary of IT-enabled KM Mechanisms Used in Supply Chains 128

TABLE 4-3. Methods of Learning in a Supply Chain 129

TABLE 4-4. Experiment Contexts Based on Relationship Symmetry Characteristics 141

TABLE 4-5. Parameters Fixed Across Three Experiments 142

TABLE 4-6. 4x4x3 Factorial Design 143

TABLE 4-7. Three-way ANOVA Results (SYM) 144

TABLE 4-8. Effects of EXTOL and KRP under Each INTOL Type (SYM) 145

TABLE 4-9. Overview of Interactions Between EXTOL and KRP Under Each INTOL Type 146

TABLE 4-10. Three-way ANOVA Results (ASYMLarge) 153

TABLE 4-11. Effects of EXTOL and KRP Under Each INTOL Type (ASYMLarge) 154

TABLE 4-12. Three-way ANOVA Results (ASYMSmall) 157

TABLE 4-13. Effects of EXTOL and KRP Under Each INTOL Type (ASYMSmall) 158

TABLE 4-14. Summary of Effects of External OL Strategies and KRP Use on Long- Term Average Employee Knowledge Level 162

TABLE 5-1. Summary of Research Questions and Findings 172

TABLE A-1. KM Constructs Empirically Examined By the Literature 190

TABLE A-2. Classifications of KM Measurement Items 193

xi LIST OF FIGURES

FIGURE 3-1. Research Model 39

FIGURE 3-2. Path Model Results 103

FIGURE 3-3. Path Model Results (Two Performance Constructs) 106

FIGURE 4-1. Simulation Model Illustration 133

FIGURE 4-2. Effect of Individual Learning Rates on Equilibrium Knowledge Level When Organizational Code‟s Learning Rate is High 139

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background Supply chain management (SCM) has been noted as an increasingly important management field to help enterprises improve supply chain operations (Markus 2000). SCM involves the flows of material, information, and finance in a network consisting of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and customers. In the past decade, we have witnessed a shift in interorganizational relationships away from traditional market-based arm‟s-length relationships to strategic partnership-like relationships (Bensaou 1997; Scott 2000). In fact, both the academic literature and the practitioner literature have noted that business competitions in a number of industries are no longer between individual firms, but rather between supply chains (e.g., Lambert and Cooper 2000; Oh and Rhee 2008; Straub et al. 2004). One of the fundamental reasons that cause the paradigm shift in supply chain (SC) relationships is the advent of a knowledge-intensive economy. The value of most products and services in a knowledge-intensive economy depends primarily on the development of knowledge-based intangibles, like technological know- how, product design, marketing, preferences of customers, and understanding of value- added networks. As new product development becomes more complex and market environments become more dynamic and competitive, it is likely that the knowledge and information needed to deliver value to the end customers are no longer confined in a single firm (Hult et al. 2004; Inkpen and Dinur 1998; Lincoln et al. 1998). Firms that

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develop the competency of managing knowledge resources transcending organizational borders will be rewarded with higher economic benefits (Van de Ven 2005). For example, Motorola effectively reduced the stock-out rate of its inventory of mobile phone handsets by collaborating with its retailers to share and utilize the knowledge on product plans, exceptions, and forecasts (Cederlund et al. 2007). Researchers who study the strategic impacts of knowledge management have noted the criticality of knowledge and knowledge management in building an effective supply chain relationship and in achieving positive supply chain performance. For instance, Jarvenpaa and Tanriverdi (2003) propose that knowledge creation is a key to a firm‟s survival and to its value chain‟s competitiveness. Hult et al. (2004) conclude that the knowledge development process in a strategic supply chain, which consists of knowledge acquisition activities, knowledge distribution activities, and formation of shared meaning, is an important predecessor to supply chain efficiency as measured by cycle time. Despite the emphasis on the role of knowledge in supply chains, there has been a lack of systematic understanding of what constitutes a supply chain‟s knowledge management capability and how to build knowledge management capability in supply chains (Gunasekaran and Ngai 2007). Developing supply chain knowledge management capability that is difficult to imitate by other supply chain partnerships requires supply chain firms to take a relationship-oriented view toward their supply chain operations, such as aligning goals and activities involved in the supply chain (Im and Rai 2008). However, due to the amalgamation of skills and interests of multiple enterprises in a supply chain, combining and exchanging knowledge can be difficult and politically demanding for the supply

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chain companies involved (Van de Ven 2005). One of the difficulties in managing knowledge in supply chains can be ascribed to the competing, and sometimes conflicting, goals of firms. Firms forming knowledge-based networks can be heterogeneous in terms of size, industry, and organizational structures. These differences lead to discrepancies in the results that partnering firms expect from the supply chain. For example, a small supplier whose primary focus is operational excellence may be more likely to improve its order-interface related knowledge and may not be interested in accumulating product knowledge or customer knowledge. Therefore, it is essential for the supply chain partners to create effective underlying organizational and technological infrastructures to support the exploitation of the knowledge management capability of the supply chain. In supply chains, the use of information and communication technologies has been shown to exert great impact on SC operational efficiency (Lee 2000) and to sustain the network of relationships (Saraf et al. 2007). Information technologies (IT) used for SCM, including supply chain management systems (SCMS), Internet/Web, electronic data interchange (EDI), ratio frequency identification (RFID), and mobile technologies, allow firms to exchange timely information, carry out plans precisely and perform various SC functions and activities efficiently. For example, EDI technologies, which have been used in supply chain management for many decades, automate transactions between two trading partners. Nonetheless, the theoretical and empirical research regarding the role of supply chain IT in facilitating/inhibiting a supply chain‟s ability to manage knowledge is scarce (Malhotra et al. 2005). As supply chain relationships are going beyond price-focused, arm‟s-length relationships and becoming knowledge-driven,

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collaborative relationships (Van de Ven 2005), it is important to understand how supply chains can harness IT in building the capabilities of managing knowledge resources. To this end, this dissertation attempts to understand the role of supply chain IT infrastructure in bringing supply chain firms together and facilitating the creation of the knowledge management capability of the supply chain. 1.2 Research Objectives and Research Questions A central objective of this dissertation is to understand the impact of supply chain knowledge management capability facilitated by supply chain IT on the supply chain‟s performance. The resource-based view and its extension – the relational view, which addresses competitive advantages of firms in interorganizational relationships, were drawn upon as the theoretical foundation. Specifically, the first objective of the dissertation is to understand the role of supply chain IT infrastructure in facilitating/inhibiting the knowledge management capability of supply chains, and in turn its impact on the supply chain performance. An empirical research method was used to investigate the research questions raised to fulfill this objective. The second research objective focuses on understanding a particular type of IT used in supply chains – the IT for knowledge management activities and its impact on long-term knowledge outcome of firms in a supply chain. A computer simulation approach was used to model KM IT and to investigate the mechanisms through which KM IT affect firms‟ average employee knowledge level. Achieving this objective allows a nuanced understanding of the use of KM IT in supply chains to develop by taking into account the complexity in the real world.

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The overarching research question posed by this dissertation concerns the impact of the knowledge management capability enabled by IT used in supply chains. Specific research questions include: 1) What does the KM capability of a supply chain constitute and how does the KM capability of the supply chain impact the supply chain‟s performance? 2) How does the SC IT infrastructure capability affect the knowledge management capability of the supply chain? 3) What roles do KM ITs play in affecting the knowledge performance of firms in the supply chain? 1.3 Contributions This dissertation study is expected to make several contributions to both research and practice. On the theoretical front, the first contribution of the dissertation is the development of a theoretical construct for SC KM capability. Previous research studying the relationship between KM and organizational performance has focused on the KM capability of a single organization (Gold et al. 2001; Tanriverdi 2005). In a supply chain where the supply chain partners are not all from the same organization, knowledge can be an important source of coordination (Hansen 2002), and thus be central to supply chain functioning. Understanding how supply chain firms can harness knowledge resources across organizational boundaries will help build theory that explains the role of KM in supply chain value creation. The second contribution of the dissertation to the IS research is that the dissertation will advance our understanding of the linkage between IT capability and supply chain performance. The relationship between the use of IT and organizational

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performance has always been a subject that researchers in the IT value research stream are trying to explain. By investigating the relationship between IT capability of a supply chain and the supply chain‟s performance through the lens of a knowledge management perspective, the dissertation hopes to shed new light on the IT business value research. The third theoretical contribution of the dissertation is that the computational simulation study will lay a foundation for theory building in IT-enabled inter- organizational KM. It is believed that the use of IT for KM in supply chain management is a highly relevant but under-researched area in IS (Scott 2000). Using a simulation approach to model KM IT use in supply chains, the dissertation extends research studying IT-enabled KM in a single organization (Kane and Alavi 2007) to inter-organizational contexts. The findings of this dissertation will also be of significance and relevance to supply chain management professionals. First, in today‟s fast-changing business environment, firms in a supply chain cannot afford to operate as separate entities with little understanding of the customers, technologies and business processes subsumed in the competitive environment. This research will help firms develop supply chain strategies that maximize knowledge-based synergies between the firms and their business partners. Second, developing and leveraging knowledge resources allows supply chains to be more responsive to market requirements. This dissertation will help to improve practitioners‟ understandings of how knowledge management capabilities can be leveraged to derive supply chain performance in terms of operational and strategic benefits. Finally, the exploitation of IT capabilities provides supply chain firms with a foundation to create knowledge management initiatives. Understanding how IT supports

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knowledge activities in supply chains will allow supply chain professionals to effectively use and manage the portfolio of IT resources in firms. 1.4 Organization of the Dissertation This dissertation consists of two components – an empirical study investigating the relationship between supply chains‟ IT capability and supply chains‟ KM capability, and a computational simulation study exploring the mechanisms by which knowledge management enabled by KM ITs in supply chains impact firms‟ long-term knowledge outcome. The organization of the dissertation is as follows. Chapter 2 is a literature review covering the research streams that shed light on both studies. Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 present the empirical study and the simulation study, respectively. For each study, its research background, research model, methodology, results and future research are described. Chapter 5 summarizes the findings of the two studies and offers a conclusion to the dissertation. 1.5 Dissemination Plan The completed dissertation will result in three journal publications. The empirical research in this dissertation can be divided into two studies, each forming an individual journal article. The first empirical paper will focus on presenting the impacts of supply chain IT capability on the supply chain‟s KM capability. The main research question that will be addressed in this paper is how supply chain IT facilitates or inhibits the supply chain‟s knowledge management capability. The working title of the first paper is “An Empirical Investigation of Information Technology Impact on Supply Chain Knowledge Management Capability.” Because the theoretical constructs examined by the first study

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are of high relevance and value to the IS research community, we plan to target the first publication at the IS journals such as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, the Journal of Management Information Systems, and Decision Sciences. The second empirical paper will be positioned with a research focus on the relationship between supply chain‟s KM capability and the supply chain‟s performance. This paper will address research questions including “How should supply chain firms manage knowledge needed in the supply chain as an inter-organizational resource?”, and “What impact does the knowledge management capability of a supply chain have on the supply chain‟s performance?” The working title of the second paper is “Understanding Supply Chain Knowledge Management Capabilities and their Impact on Supply Chain Performance”. This paper will help researchers understand the knowledge management factors that are important to supply chain performance. Further, this paper will benefit practitioners by identifying appropriate knowledge management capability in their supply chains in order to improve the supply chain performance. This paper will be of particular interest to audiences in the management science and operations management research community. Appropriate venues for publishing the second study include journals such as Management Science, the Journal of Operations Management, and the Journal of Supply Chain Management. Finally, the simulation study aims to understand the role of KM ITs in affecting firms‟ knowledge outcomes when firms learn from their supply chain partners. This paper will target IS journals, such as ISR and JMIS, or journals in organizational sciences, which are accepting of the use of simulation as a research method. The working title of the third publication is “Bridging Gaps in Organizational Knowledge - The Role

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of IT-Facilitated Organizational Learning in Supply Chain Partnerships.” TABLE 1-1 summarizes the publication plan for the dissertation. TABLE 1-1. Publication Plan Working Titles of Publications

Research Questions

Planned Publication Venues

An Empirical Investigation of Information Technology Impact on Supply Chain Knowledge Management Capabili ty

How does supply chain IT facilitate or inhibit

the supply chain‟s knowledge management capability?

MISQ

ISR

JMIS

Decision Sciences

Understanding Supply Chain Knowledge Management Capabilities and their Impact on Supply Chain Performance

How do supply c hain firms manage knowledge needed in the supply chain as an inter - organizational resource?

What impact

does

the knowledge management capability of a supply chain have on the supply chain‟s performance?

Management Science

Journal of Operations Management

Journal of Supply Chain Management

Bridging Gaps in Organizational

Knowledge

-

The Role of IT - Facilitated Organizational Learning in Supply Chain Partnerships

How does the use of KM ITs in a supply chain affect the performance of partnering firms?

ISR

JM IS

Organizational Sciences

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

IT has been shown as an effective means to manage organizational knowledge. As knowledge management becomes increasingly important to supply chains, the role of IT in building supply chains‟ knowledge management capabilities deserves research attention. To understand the complex phenomenon of using IT to manage knowledge in supply chains, this dissertation based its theoretical advancement on three distinct, but increasingly converging, streams of literature. First, the IT business value literature provides foundations for the conceptualization of IT capabilities and how business value can be derived from those capabilities. Next, the IOS and SCM literature offer insights about the factors influencing the IT implementation in SC and how IT has improved the efficiency of supply chains. Third, the knowledge management literature is a confluent of research from IS, management, organizational learning, and strategic management. It contributes to our understanding of the use of IT in improving knowledge management processes in organizational as well as interorganizational contexts. 2.1 IT Business Value IT business value research examines the organizational performance impacts of IT (Melville et al. 2004). IS researchers formulate performance in terms of efficiency and effectiveness (Melville et al. 2004). Efficiency emphasizes the internal perspectives employing metrics such as cost reduction and productivity improvement, or “doing better at what they do” (Barua et al. 1995). Effectiveness, on the other hand, focuses on the

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achievement of organizational objectives in relation to a firm‟s external environment, or the attainment of competitive advantage (Barney 1991). 2.1.1 Three Research Streams With the rapid growth of IT investments in organizations, researchers as well as practitioners feel the urge to understand the contribution of IT to organizational performance. Different streams of IT business value research have different views toward IT artifacts. Specifically, IT is treated as embodiment of particular functions, such as monetary investments (e.g., Hitt and Brynjolfsson 1996; Weill 1992), as strategic information systems (e.g., Banker and Kauffman 1991; Clemons and Weber 1990; Wade and Hulland 2004), or as organizational capabilities (e.g., Bharadwaj 2000; Sambamurthy et al. 2003). IS researchers studying the relationship between IT investments and firm performance have adopted various microeconomic theoretical perspectives, including production theory (Brynjolfsson and Hitt 1995; Melville et al. 2004), consumer theory (Hitt and Brynjolfsson, 1996) and option-pricing models (Benaroch and Kauffman 1999; Melville et al. 2004). In this stream of research, IT investments have been shown to exhibit positive, negative, or no impact on firm performance (Barua et al. 1995; Hitt and Brynjolfsson 1996; Kohli and Devaraj 2003). The discrepancies in research results encouraged researchers to ponder the way in which this stream of research has been conducted. Some researchers suggest that to better trace the economic benefits of IT, scientific investigations should be made at the place where IT is used. For example, Barua et al. (1995) adopt a process-oriented methodology in measuring IT impacts and find that IT contributes significantly at the intermediate level (strategic business units).

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Kohli and Devaraj (2003) conduct a meta-analysis to reconcile the mixed results in establishing a relationship between IT investment and firm performance. They discover that the factors that are likely to cause conflicting views of IT value include the sample size, the industry studied, whether the study is cross-sectional or longitudinal, and the choice of dependent variables. Findings from the economic value of IT research stream contribute to the general IT value research by identifying the intermediate business processes through which IT affects an organization‟s economic performance. Research of strategic information systems focuses on the ability of strategic IT to reduce costs or differentiate firms‟ products or services. For example, American Airline‟s computer reservation system SABRE and American Hospital Supply‟s ASAP generated increased business volume and above average profits, thus becoming direct contributors of competitive advantage (Copeland and McKenney 1988; Short and Venkatraman 1992; Wade and Hulland 2004). Critics of this stream of research claim that it focuses only on the systems themselves while overlooking the socially complex organizational environment where the systems are embedded (Barney 1991; Mata et al. 1995). Overemphasis on specific information systems alone however, is insufficient to obtain sustained competitive advantage due to ease of imitation by other firms. After all, the technologies can usually be purchased from the market. So it is unlikely that technology itself can be a source of sustained competitive advantage (Barney 2001). Increasingly, IS researchers treat the central construct of IT as an organizational capability (Mata et al. 1995; Bharadwaj 2000; Wade and Hulland 2004; Barua et al. 2004; Rai et al. 2006; Sambamurthy et al. 2003; Ravichandran and Lertowngsatien 2005). This view of IT suggests that various IT-related resources can be combined to form

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organizational IT capabilities that are valuable, rare, nonimitable and nonsubstitutable. Unlike many of the strategic systems in their early years, the modern modular and interoperable design of IT makes it difficult for firms to establish entry barriers that are based solely on proprietary technologies. Therefore, the capability view of IT argues that, instead of the specific information systems, it is the capabilities afforded by the information systems that generate sustained competitive advantages for the firms. The theoretical foundation for the capability view of IT is the resource-based view of the firm (RBV). The RBV emphasizes the importance of building unique, inimitable and heterogeneously distributed capabilities as sources of competitive advantage. Grounded in RBV, researchers studying IT value are able to establish positive links between IT and firm performance (e.g., Bharadwaj 2000). This dissertation adopts the capability view of IT to study the impact of interorganizational IT on supply chain performance. 2.1.2 The Resource-based View of the Firm and Its Application in the IT Value Research The resource-based view of the firm (Barney 1991) has been widely adopted by organizational researchers to examine the efficiency and competitive advantage implications of firm resources. It argues that resources are heterogeneously distributed across firms, a subset of these resources enables firms to achieve competitive advantage and a further subset leads to superior long-term performance (Barney 1991; Amit and Schoemaker 1993). Barney (1991) describes four attributes required of a resource to generate a competitive advantage. The four attributes are value, rareness, inimitability and non-substitutability. First of all, the resource has to be valuable in order for the firm to gain benefits. Moreover, if the valuable resource is rare, a temporary competitive advantage will be generated so long as the competitors of the firm do not have the

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resource. Only if the valuable and rare resource is imperfectly imitable and there are no readily available substitutes can the firm obtain a sustained competitive advantage. One of the key tasks of RBV theorists is to define what is meant by a resource. The RBV research has proliferated with different definitions and classifications of the key terminology (Wade and Hulland 2004). The differentiations between assets, resources and capabilities especially are often blurred in the literature (Amit and Schoemaker 1993; Grant 1991; Subramani 2004; Wade and Hulland 2004). Barney (1991) defined firm resources as all assets, capabilities, organizational processes, information and knowledge, that enabled the firm to generate competitive advantage. Although it was among the first definitions of firm resources in the RBV, Barney‟s definition did not shed much light on the differences among assets, resources, and capabilities. To further clarify and highlight the unique attributes inherent in the three concepts, this dissertation draws on the interpretations delineated in Wade and Hulland (2004). Wade and Hulland (2004) provide a review of the IS research grounded in the theoretical lens of RBV. They define resources as “assets and capabilities that are available and useful in detecting and responding to market opportunities or threats” (p. 108). Assets are further defined as “anything tangible or intangible that the firm can use in its processes for creating, producing, and/or offering its products (goods or services) to a market” (p. 109). Tangible assets can include information systems hardware and software, and intangible assets can include knowledge and IT-business relationships. Capabilities, in contrast, refer to “the repeatable patterns of actions in the use of assets to create, produce, and/or offer products to a market” (p. 109). Capabilities can include skills, such as technical or managerial ability, or processes, such as systems development or integration (Wade and Hulland,

Full document contains 222 pages
Abstract: Supply chain management has become an increasingly important management tool to help organizations improve their business operations. Although information and communication technologies have been used extensively in supply chains, there is a lack of systematic evidence regarding the mechanisms through which IT creates value. Furthermore, as supply chain objectives are going beyond operational efficiency towards pursuing higher-order goals, such as understanding the market dynamics and discovering new partnering arrangements to provide greater customer value, the capabilities that are needed for supply chains to sustain their competitive advantages need to be well understood by researchers and practitioners. To fill this gap, this research investigates the effects of the supply chain's collective knowledge management capability on the supply chain performance. Drawing from the resource-based view of the firm and the relational view of firm's competitive advantage, this dissertation proposes a framework of supply chain IT capability as facilitating/inhibiting the supply chain's knowledge management capability. First, an empirical study using survey-based data collection was conducted. Second, a simulation model was built to investigate the mechanisms through which IT-enabled knowledge management activities affect firms' long-term knowledge outcome.