Author: Lee, Bo Shing Alfred
Title: Quality improvement and supply chain management model for equipment manufacturers in mainland China
Advisors: Chan, Felix (ISE)
Degree: Eng.D.
Year: 2019
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Production management
Business logistics
Knowledge management
Organizational behavior -- China
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Pages: xviii, 184 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: The relationships between organizational culture, supplier development activities initiated by the focal firm, and the supplier's performance were explored to build models to justify the selection of supplier development activities for improving supplier's performance. The organizational culture guides the behavior of the organization members in dealing with external events, such as the supplier development initiated by the focal firm, for the survival of the organization. The supplier development activities are strategic programs, which include the introduction of competition among suppliers, investing physical equipment with the suppliers, auditing and certifying the performance of the suppliers, and training and educating the suppliers with the required knowledge and capabilities. Training and educating the supplier is referred to as knowledge sharing to enhance the supplier's performance. There are research gaps in the relationship between organizational culture, supplier development through knowledge sharing, and supplier's performance. For example, Giannakis (2008) and Sako (2004) acknowledged that factors affecting the success of supplier development activities need to be identified. Nagati and Rebolledo (2012) suggested that the contents and mechanisms of knowledge sharing activities during the customer-supplier relationship need to be researched. Furthermore, Blome et al. (2014) observed that the cultural setting during supplier development and its impact strength on development activities are not well researched. Due to the limited information regarding the relationships between the organizational culture, supplier development through knowledge sharing, and supplier's performance, this research study was conducted with the aim to bridge this knowledge gap. In addition, supplier development by sharing knowledge with the supplier is a resource-intensive activity. The resources invested by the focal firm in the supplier development must be effective. A theoretical explanation of supplier development by knowledge sharing may help the focal firm to justify the strategic activity. The significance of this study is therefore adding knowledge to the literature, stating the success factors of supplier development, and the mechanisms of knowledge sharing which are effective in supplier development. The managerial impact of this study includes the models developed to help the focal firm to select the appropriate knowledge sharing mechanism for effective development activities.
By building on the mechanisms of knowledge sharing, conceptual models were proposed to test the relationships between the cultural elements, the supplier development activities, and the supplier's performance. To explain the effectiveness of knowledge sharing, the resource-based theory and the knowledge-based theory were used to explain the observation. To test the hypotheses, data were collected from suppliers' employees, who were invited to participate in knowledge sharing sessions and improvement activities that were used as platforms to share knowledge and capabilities. Survey questionnaires were administered to 226 participating employees. The data collected at the employee level were tested for their appropriateness for aggregation to group level. The testing for aggregation followed the 5-step framework by Van Mierlo et al. (2009). Subsequently, the data was analyzed by the partial least squares structural equation modeling using software SmarPLS to test the hypotheses. The statistical procedure showed that the conceptual models have predictive accuracy (R2 0.535 ~ 0.769) and predictive relevance (Q2 0.234 ~ 0.587). The path coefficients between power distance, uncertainty avoidance and the four supplier development activities (0.283 ~ 0.518) as well as the supplier performance (0.126 ~ 0.293) were significant and relevant. The path coefficients between the supplier development activities and the supplier performance were also significant and relevant (0.440 ~ 0.613). Unexpectedly, the relationship between the culture of collaboration, the four supplier development activities and the supplier performance varied on the supplier development activities. The statistical tests also showed that the supplier development activities mediated complementarily the effect of power distance as well as uncertainty avoidance on the supplier's performance. The mediation by the supplier development activities on the effect of collaborative culture on the supplier performance varied from full mediation, complementary mediation, to no mediation. This study concludes that the mediation on collaborative culture was dependent on the supplier development activities. The findings of this study may fill the research gaps acknowledged by Giannakis (2008) and Sako (2004) by identifying the critical success factors in supplier development activities. In addition, this study complemented the study by Nagati and Rebolledo (2012) by proposing effective supplier development activities. This study has several deliverables. For example, a supplier development model with respect to knowledge sharing mechanisms and a quality improvement and supply chain management model were proposed. These models have their impacts on the industry. The focal firm can apply the models to determine the most appropriate knowledge sharing mechanism to achieve the most effective development results.
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Access: restricted access

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