The supply chain advantage : development of a strategic business model for the Hong Kong clothing industry

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The supply chain advantage : development of a strategic business model for the Hong Kong clothing industry

 

Author: Ho, Chi-kuen
Title: The supply chain advantage : development of a strategic business model for the Hong Kong clothing industry
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2005
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Business logistics -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies.
Clothing trade -- China -- Hong Kong.
Strategic planning -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies.
Department: Institute of Textiles and Clothing
Pages: xi, 221 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1896749
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1076
Abstract: Hong Kong’s leading role in exporting garments to the global market is currently challenged by the growing competition of low-cost producers, reduction of consumer shopping time, and growth of overseas buyers’ bargaining power. Responding to these challenges, clothing companies in Hong Kong are seeking new sources of competitive advantage through improved management of supply chain. While supply chain management (SCM) is increasingly implemented in practice, the literature is still largely exploratory and descriptive, lacking dominant paradigms and unifying theories. The purpose of this research is to enhance our understanding of the achievement of operations performance improvements and collective competitive advantage through SCM. Specifically, building upon a context-practices-performance framework and drawing on insights from a resource-based view of the firm, social network perspective on strategic alliances, relational view of inter-organizational competitive advantage, and SCM literature, an integrative theoretical model that hypothesized environmental, strategic and social antecedents, components, and performance consequences of SCM implementation was developed. The theoretical model was examined in the setting of industrial market of clothing in Hong Kong. Data on 123 pairs of buyer-supplier relationships were collected from 63 clothing manufacturers in Hong Kong through a mail survey. Zero-order correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis were undertaken to test the theoretical model. Most of the hypotheses were confirmed in this study. Findings showed that SCM in the clothing industry encompassed a set of mutually supporting practices that involved (1) sharing of product, purchasing, and sales and inventory information, and (2) integration of business processes between product development and pre-production, purchasing and production, and delivery and distribution. The findings also demonstrated that clothing buyers and their suppliers were motivated to create idiosyncratic investments and implement SCM when (1) they were facing a high level of demand uncertainty; (2) they perceived that each party had complementary, tacit and complex competitive capabilities; and (3) they had developed inter-organizational goodwill trust and competence trust. The reputations of clothing buyers and their suppliers in the industry facilitated the establishment of a good track record of transactions, development of relational norms, and initiation of frequent formal and informal social interactions, which in turn promoted inter-organizational goodwill trust and competence trust. In addition, operations performance improvements and collective competitive advantage could be achieved through successful SCM implementation. This research helps clothing buyers and their suppliers in Hong Kong to understand the need, incentive, and opportunity to collaborate and implement SCM by recognizing the importance of demand uncertainty, partner firms’ complementary competitive capabilities, and social resources embedded in the dyad and the industrial network. It also helps them to apply SCM practices successfully and as a result improve operations performance and achieve collective competitive advantage. Furthermore, this research supports a process-based view of SCM, and provides insights into the social embeddedness of inter-organization collaboration in a supply chain. It also highlights the importance and the need to apply a context-practices-performance framework to examine SCM from a multidisciplinary perspective.

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