Supply chain process collaboration and Internet utilization: an international perspective of business to business relationships
This paper compiles the findings of an international study which primary objective was to investigate the relationships between Internet utilization in business-to-business relationships, collaborative efforts and their impact over supplier and customer-oriented processes performance. It highlights the Internet as an important enhancer of collaboration in supply chains and addresses the effects of such efforts on companies’ overall performance. As a conclusive-descriptive and quantitative study, data from a survey of 788 companies from the USA, China, Canada, United Kingdom, and Brazil were analyzed with the use of descriptive statistics, reliability evaluation of the research model’s internal scales, path analysis and structural equation modeling to evaluate supply chain processes collaboration, both up- and down-stream. Internet utilization in supplier and customer-oriented processes was found positively related to collaborative practices in business-to-business relationships. Collaborative practices in supplier and customer-oriented processes, in turn, showed potential effects on performance. Also, supplier-oriented processes performance was found positively associated with customer-oriented process performance. Both internet use and collaborative practices are even more important in a high-context country like Brazil. The paper helps clarify the impact of internet use on business-to-business collaborative relationships. In this sense, practitioners can take this impact to redraw the organizational landscape and business processes amongst supply chain participants.
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