Supply chain agility: from systematic review to empirical examination
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 15:32 authored by Eias Al Humdan
Supply chain agility (SCA) is a widely studied and discussed issue in supply chain and operations management. Despite this popularity, literature on SCA seems to suffer from definitional ambiguity and structural fragmentation. This study, in its first part, aims to rectify these issues by offering a systemic review which serves two primary purposes: 1) to develop a complete and new definition for SCA in order to reduce ambiguity surrounding the meaning of this concept; and 2) to develop an integrative framework for the antecedents and consequences of SCA. The thesis further extends the review with empirical work in regard to supply chain agility performance. It argues that supply chain agility is a well-known enabler of a firm's financial performance. However, the link between the two seems to be more complex than a direct association. In order to investigate this relationship, the study proposes that supply chain agility is an operational capability which first enhances a firm's operational performance, through which the financial performance is enhanced. Using data from 222 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Australia with a lagged financial performance indicator, t he study found empirical evidence for this relationship. The results suggest that operational performance is, in fact, a mediator of supply chain agility and financial performance. The thesis concludes with a discussion on implications, limitations and a future research agenda.