Identifying business knowledge areas that are critical to attaining supply chain performance



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Texas Tech University


Business practitioners and academicians have alluded to the leverage attainable from SCM engagements. With increased research involvement over the past two decades, various researchers have faulted the literature for the limited human resource system focus. This research was motivated by the dearth of inquiry at understanding the interrelationship across the human resource system and supply chain performance. The contribution to this knowledge gap was reflected in the research question: What are the supply chain business knowledge areas that characterize the impact of human interaction on supply chain management performance? The study objectives included: (a) to develop a theoretical model that depicts the human resource system across supply chains, (b) to define human interaction in supply chains, (c) to operationalize this definition by identifying business knowledge domains that impact supply chain performance. Following an exhaustive literature review, human interaction in supply chains was defined as the region of intersection between work functions and business processes; including man-machine activity requiring human intervention, and human-to-human activity, whose outcome serves to execute strategy.

A sample of management-level personnel from US based 3PL firms participated in a three round Delphi procedure designed to divulge insights related to the research question. A second sample constituted with academic professors provided an independent group response that was compared with the 3PL practitioner sample.

The research findings implied that CRM, transportation, and logistics were important business knowledge areas that impact supply chain performance at the work function, business process, and financial performance levels, thus supporting the investigation of human resource performance measurement at these levels. The results also alluded to relationship management and cross-functional business management as important business domains for supply chain management-level work. Additionally, the results supported the notion that practitioners and academicians do not always have divergent viewpoints concerning supply chain issues.