Effects of flexibility and supply chain agility on firm performance in the fashion industry

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Effects of flexibility and supply chain agility on firm performance in the fashion industry

 

Author: Chan, Tick Lun Alan
Title: Effects of flexibility and supply chain agility on firm performance in the fashion industry
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2011
Subject: Business logistics.
Clothing trade -- Management.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Graduate School of Business
Pages: 220 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2525954
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6655
Abstract: Being responsive to customers and markets is an increasing need in any industry, particularly in the fashion industry which is characterized by a short life cycle and high volatility. The present study attempted to address this conundrum by using the resource-based perspective as a lens to explore the antecedents that influence supply chain agility and firm performance. Different supply chain strategies have been proposed in the past decades. However, supply chain agility has been recognized only in the past few years. To date, very little research has been conducted to address the issue of supply chain agility in deep detail. This thesis stepped forward to review the dimensions of supply chain agility and the antecedents of a theoretically relevant set of supply chain agilities identified from the literature dealing with strategies and operations. The present study argues that strategic flexibility and manufacturing flexibility are the most critical antecedents to supply chain agility and firm performance in the fashion industry. This study first investigated the antecedents of supply chain agility, then focused on flexibility in both the strategic and operational level to relate flexibility with supply chain agility and with firm performance.
Partial Least Squares (PLS) was used for testing measurement and structural models. The data from 141 samples revealed that both strategic flexibility and manufacturing flexibility positively influence supply chain agility. Meanwhile, strategic flexibility and supply chain agility positively influence firm performance but not manufacturing flexibility. Supply chain agility also plays a significant mediating role in firm performance. Based on these findings, the present study adds to the growing evidence of supply chain agility in both the academe and the practitioners' arena. The results provide solid implications to practitioners in the industry to help them beef up their firepower in today's fiercely competitive market. The result is consistent with those arguments that promote the importance of supply chain agility in association with firm performance. However, the statistical findings do not support the hypothesis that manufacturing flexibility positively influences firm performance. Manufacturing flexibility positively influences firm performance with only supply chain agility as the mediator. The present study articulates the perspective that firms should not look at flexibility in isolation from the rest of the supply chains, but should orchestrate the supply chain capability in a holistic manner and strive for a strategic level of supply chain agility in a broader sense.

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