Addressing Supply chain integration from the perspective of social capital theory : An aggregated theoretical framework
This article reviews the existing supply chain integration (SCI) literature with the aim of bridging the gap on some constructs qualified as unclear by different scholars (Flynn et al., 2010; Zhao et al., 2011; Schoenherr and Swink, 2012; Gimenez et al., 2012). We intend to precisely define the concept of SCI with consideration to emergent debates upon its controversial foundations, forms, breadth & degrees of integration. The utilization of social capital as a grounding theory opens up discussion on the potential impact that can have social capital dimensions naming, as defined in the framework of Nahapiet & Ghoshal 1998), structural, relational and cognitive dimensions on fostering the achievement of SCI. This required us viewing SCI as a social dilemma ( McCarter et Northcraft, 2007;Fawcett et al., 2008 ; Agarwal, Croson, et Mahoney, 2010; McCarter, Mahoney and Northcraft, 2009, 2011 ; Zhao, 2011) responding to an inter and intra-organizational socio-psychological dynamic which governs the entire SC and that has an impact, among others, on the working mechanisms of collective actions within a SCI projects. In fact our ultimate goal is to support companies willing to invest in SCI activities to better address this type of project through understanding its components, formats and also resulting dynamics of social capital dimensions to be mindful to. Given the number of actors involved in a supply chain and the levels and breadth of integration to be considered we conclude that achieving full integration is unrealistic and that companies are struggling in finding a standard route to improve their predicament integrative journey. Another outcome lies on the importance of addressing carefully the behavioral social dynamics which governs the entire SC in order to tackle properly such an integrative of multiple nodes of the chain.
We close up the article with a research agenda founded on a potential theoretical model to be investigated empirically in order to verify the potential impact between the disseminated variables. It is thus recommended for future studies to dissect this concept with the lenses of social capital theory, analyze potential interrelationships between social capital dimensions and SCI to alleviate the failure risks of such projects.
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