Power, shared goals and supplier flexibility: a study of the HUB-and-spoke supply chain

Liu, Gordon; Aroean, Lukman and Ko, Wai Wai (2022). Power, shared goals and supplier flexibility: a study of the HUB-and-spoke supply chain. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 42(2) pp. 182–205.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-08-2021-0538


Supplier flexibility reflects a supplier’s operations-related decisions in responsively providing the necessary inputs to the focal firm. Drawing on resource-dependency theory and transaction cost economics, this study develops a conceptual framework to explain the differential effects of a focal firm’s power over supplier flexibility in the context of the hub-and-spoke supply chain (SC). This study also considers the goals shared between the focal firm and its suppliers as an important contingency factor within the framework.

This study tests the proposed conceptual framework using dyadic survey data from a hub-and-spoke SC consisting of a large construction contractor and its 100 suppliers in Indonesia.

The findings show that coercive power has an inverted U-shaped effect on supplier flexibility, while legal-legitimate power has a U-shaped effect. Furthermore, shared goals positively moderate the U-shaped effect between legal-legitimate power and supplier flexibility.

This study differentiates between the impacts of coercive power and legal-legitimate power on supplier flexibility in the hub-and-spoke SC. It also demonstrates that shared goals play a moderating role in affecting the impacts of legal-legitimate power on supplier flexibility. These findings also have important implications with regard to integrating resource-dependency theory and transaction cost economics to explain these associations.

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