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Reconceptualisation of information technology flexibility for supply chain management: a multidimensional approach

Han, Jeong Hugh 2017. Reconceptualisation of information technology flexibility for supply chain management: a multidimensional approach. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Information technology (IT) flexibility is an important aspect of today’s dynamic business environment. However, earlier research on this topic has not included the following: 1) a multidimensional structure that corresponds to diverse activities for supply chain management (SCM), 2) an informative explanation of how and by what means IT flexibility affects firm performance and 3) guidance to prioritise the flexibility dimensions to gain a competitive advantage. To fill these gaps, this study identified three dimensions of IT flexibility, namely transactional, operational and strategic flexibility, taking a systematic approach. Moreover, by combining dynamic capability (DC) and relational view (RV) theory, this study theorised a research model that links IT flexibility and firm performance. Process integration capability (PIC) was incorporated into the model as a mediator to provide a SCM research context. From the results of a partial least squares structured equation modelling (PLS SEM)analysis of 128 questionnaires from supply chain practitioners, this study validated the three IT flexibility dimensions and their hierarchical relationship. Moreover, it identified that transactional and operational flexibilities affect firm performance indirectly via PIC,while strategic flexibility directly affects firm performance. The model’s PLS SEM result was extended to an importance - performance analysis (IPA) matrix. By taking the importance and performance of each flexibility dimension as generic measurement criteria, this study prioritised the IT flexibility dimensions. Moreover, applying the same research model and methods to a specific focal firm offered a strategic way to allocate firm resources to the three IT flexibility dimensions. The theoretical contributions of this study are as follows: 1) the attainment of a multidimensional structure of IT flexibility, 2) identification of IT flexibility’s influencing mechanism on firm performance, 3) composition of DC and RV to provide a perspective on the explicit roles of IT flexibility and 4) a clear structure of the IT flexibility analysis framework within a context of SCM. Its practical contribution is the prioritisation IT flexibility dimensions, which will support firms in achieving the full potential of IT flexibility for SCM.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 June 2017
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2021 13:35

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