Exploring Internal and External Supply Chain Linkages: Evidence from the Field
Format of Original
Journal of Operations Management
In their pursuit of improved operational performance, organizations in supply chains have sought to develop external information-based linkages with their customers and vendors. Has this course of action been at the expense of developing similar internal information-based linkages? This research explores the specific roles of internal and external information-based linkages in achieving improved operational performance. Based on a single case study that comprises a supply chain containing twenty-four internal and fourteen external linkages this research develops a series of propositions. We find that the individual internal linkages may be useful for extending externally derived visibility, and for addressing to some extent, “structural holes” in the supply chain. Additionally, to extend visibility across the entire supply chain, organizations need to recognize the combining role of internal and external information-based linkages. Finally we offer some thoughts for future research in this area.