SUPPLY CHAIN FLEXIBILITY AND BALANCED SCORECARD: CONCEPTUAL MODEL AND EMPIRICAL STUDY IN TUNISIAN COMPANIES LAUNCHED UPGRADING PROGRAM - Polish Journal of Management Studies

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SUPPLY CHAIN FLEXIBILITY AND BALANCED SCORECARD: CONCEPTUAL MODEL AND EMPIRICAL STUDY IN TUNISIAN COMPANIES LAUNCHED UPGRADING PROGRAM

Abstracts > Vol 5

SUPPLY CHAIN FLEXIBILITY AND BALANCED SCORECARD:
CONCEPTUAL MODEL AND EMPIRICAL STUDY IN TUNISIAN COMPANIES LAUNCHED UPGRADING PROGRAM

Mohamed Mahjoub Dhiaf, Abdellatif Benabdelhafid, Fakher Jaoua

Abstract:
In this article, we clarify the concept of supply chain flexibility (SCF) in an attempt to unveil the difficulty in understanding and dealing with the scope this concept. The imprecise notion of SCF makes it difficult to develop valid and reliable measures which are needed to construct and test a theory involving supply chain flexibility.
This paper sheds light on literature relating to the impact of SCF on business performance. A conceptual framework is presented to uncover the effects of different dimensions of SCF (human resources, product, process, information technology and logistics) on the global performance. Valid and reliable measures are developed for each dimension of SCF and global performance and hypotheses are tested using structural equation modeling. From a large sample survey (n= 105) of manufacturing firms launched upgrading program, results indicate a partial impact of supply chain flexibility on the global performance. Three dimensions (human resources flexibility, Logistics flexibility and Information Technology flexibility) have positive and strong relationships on global performance. But, Product flexibility and Process flexibility were not present in Tunisian firms.

Keywords
: Supply chain flexibility, Balanced Scorecard, Tunisian Upgrading Program, Structural Equation Modeling.
JEL Codes: L16, L90, C80


Introduction

As environmental diversity and uncertainty increases, companies are responding by adding flexibility as a dimension to their operation strategies. Flexibility may be defined as the ability to change or react with little penalty in time, effort, cost or performance (Upton, 1994). Flexibility can improve the companys competitiveness, particularly for the decision-making process of implementing technologies (Jaikumar, 1986; Alvarez Gil, 1994). But managers do not have a comprehensive view of flexibility because they focus more on machine flexibility than on total system flexibility (Slack, 1987; Upton, 1994). However, focusing flexibility on the implementation of technology does not lead necessarily to competitiveness (Gupta and Somers, 1996). In this regard, some scholars (Brill and Mandelbaum, 1989; Gerwin, 1993) think that a supply chain logistics and its flexibility can be an important source of competitive advantage, and positively affect the business performance. However, supply chain flexibility is introduced to encompass those flexibility dimensions that directly impact a firms customers, which is the shared responsibility of two or more functions along the supply chain, be it internal (marketing, manufacturing) or external (suppliers, channel members) to the firm. It may well represent a potential source to improve the companys efficiency and may be a significant measure of supply chain performance (Vickery et al., 1999). But, there are very few studies on supply chain flexibility (Dangayach and Deshmukh, 2001) and there are even fewer studies about the relationship between supply chain flexibility and global performance, especially in the Tunisian context, which offers a research opportunity.



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Conclusion

It is important to stress that organizations need to evaluate their performance affected by supply chain flexibility aspects. In the same way, an empirical investigation has been launched in the Tunisian context to survey the nature of relations that can exist between the Supply chain flexibility dimensions and the global performance. Hence, an exploratory investigation close to 105 firms launched upgrading program operating into four industrial sectors participated in this study. A procedure of data collection via the technique of questionnaires is used. In order to purify data, an analysis in two stages has been achieved using the SPSS 18.0 and AMOS 4.0 software. A first iteration is dedicated to the survey of reliability and validity according to the coefficient alpha of Cronbach. Then, a second equation factory analysis (EFA) stage has been launched in order to determine the importance of the initial variables in the formation of new factors. Besides, results of this analysis permitted to eliminate many items and one variable bound to the SCF (Product flexibility).
The last stage of the analysis gave us the possibility to test the effect of the SCF dimensions on the global performance. So, a modeling has been launched via the structural equations modeling with latent variables. Indeed, thanks to an analysis of progress, four direct relations have been tested. Generally speaking, results show the existence of a positive relationship between the following supply chain flexibility dimensions: Human Resources flexibility, Logistics flexibility and Information Technology flexibility and the global Performance. But, there are no statistically positive relationships between dimensions “Product flexibility” and “Process flexibility” and global performance.
As summary, we can signal that there is a partial influence of supply chain flexibility on global performance. Certainly, the upgrade program has contributed to such level of performance. But, other actors such as state, Business associations, Institutions, and managers must support Tunisian firms in terms of Product flexibility and Process flexibility. Furthermore, state policies can create training centers, foster linkages between research and development institutions, firms, business associations and marketing channels, and identify priority sectors for development. Also, Tunisian managers must have more desire and have to be initiative especially in terms of investment in research & development, innovation, training in the field of flexible manufacturing systems, and increasing the rate of coaching through the recruitment of qualified people that can bring added value throughout the supply chain logistics.
The conclusion emerging from this study validates some of the key linkages and supports beliefs and evidence by researchers regarding the relationships between supply chain flexibility and performance. It is also important to note that this study attempts to enrich the literature review and make a contribution in supply chain management-related studies.

Some limitations in this study may be noted. The study has not taken into consideration the effect of the moderating and intervening variables (such as company size, business unit, organizational structure, industry type, etc.) on the relationships between supply chain flexibility and business performance. In addition, the results of this study concerned only the Tunisian manufacturing companies launched upgrading program. Thus, these results may not be applied to all Tunisian firms. A new research can be conducted for the firms that has not launched upgrading program yet. Also, in this study, both the dependent and independent variables were measured through a single respondent, which may introduce common-method bias. Finally, the current study was limited to 105 firms, which might not be a representative sample.

ELASTYCZNOŚĆ ŁAŃCUCHA DOSTAW I ZRÓWNOWAŻONA KARTA WYNIKÓW:
MODEL KONCEPCYJNY I STUDIUM EMPIRYCZNE W PRZEDSIĘBIORSTWACH RUNEZYJSKICH. URUCHOMIENIE PROGRAMU AKTUALIZACJI

Abstrakt: W artykule tym wyjaśniamy koncepcję elastycznego łańcucha dostaw (FCM), starając się odsłonić trudności związane z pojmowaniem tej koncepcji. Nieprecyzyjne pojęcie elastycznego łańcucha dostaw utrudnia rozwój aktualnych i wiarygodnych środków, które są potrzebne do budowy i testowania teorii z uwzględnieniem elastycznego łańcucha dostaw. Artykuł ten rzuca światło na literaturę dotyczącą wpływu elastycznego łańcucha dostaw na wydajność biznesową. Prezentowana rama koncepcyjna  ma za zadanie odkrycia skutków jaki niosą za sobą różne wymiary elastycznego łańcucha dostaw (zasoby ludzkie, produkty, procesy, technologie informacyjne i logistyka) w wymiarze globalnym. Dla każdego wymiaru elastycznego łańcucha dostaw i jego wymiaru globalnego, opracowane zostały prawidłowe i niezawodne środki, a hipotezy zostały przetestowane przy użyciu strukturalnego modelowania równań. Z dużego badania reprezentacyjnego (n=105) zakładów produkcyjnych, uruchomiono program aktualizujący, a wyniki wskazują na częściowy wpływ elastyczności łańcucha dostaw na wydajność w skali globalnej. Trzy wymiary (elastyczność zasobów ludzkich, elastyczność logistyki i elastyczność technologii informacyjnej) mają pozytywne i silne relacje związane z wydajnością w skali globalnej. Jednakże elastyczność produkcyjna i elastyczność procesowa nie były obecne w firmach tunezyjskich.


 
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