Managing the supply chain using in-store supplier employed merchandisers

Emberson, Caroline A.; Storey, John; Godsell, Janet and Harrison, Alan (2006). Managing the supply chain using in-store supplier employed merchandisers. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 34(6) pp. 467–481.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550610667056

URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/0959-0552.htm

Abstract

Purpose - This paper aims to investigate the managerial challenges arising from the deployment of cross-company boundary-spanning teams to improve on-shelf availability.

Design/methodology/approach - The study focuses on two supplier-employed teams, each merchandising their employers' timber-products within the stores of two leading, UK DIY retail groups. Non-participant observation and self-administered questionnaires were used to investigate, first, the association between reported merchandiser job satisfaction and various theoretical predictors (role ambiguity, role conflict, perceived organisational support and recognition) and, second, differences in role perceptions between the two teams and their (retail store) customer representatives.

Findings - The study reveals differentiated perceptions of merchandising management practice within the UK DIY retail sector. Whilst perceived organisational recognition was found to be positively associated with merchandiser job satisfaction, there was a significant difference in the perception of organisational support reported by members of the two merchandising teams.

Research limitations/implications - The small number of merchandisers within each team limits more complex statistical analyses and the identification of potential interaction effects of other variables: notably retail store size and format.

Practical implications - The findings from these cases suggest that practitioners need to attend to the behavioural aspects of boundary-spanning, inter-organisational supply chain activities, such as the deployment of supplier-employed, in-store merchandising teams, if these practices are to be effective.

Originality/value - The behavioural aspects of inter-organisational supply chain practice have received little research attention to date, despite their acknowledge importance. This paper starts to redress this imbalance.

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