A study of corporate culture compatibility on supply chain performance

2017-01-13T00:10:14Z (GMT) by Al-Mutawah, Khalid
Supply chain systems have become a vital component of successful networked business firms/organisations. Over the last three decades, there has been a dramatic growth globally in the formation of supply chain networks. Research, however, indicates that there has been an increase in reported supply chains failures, and the incompatibility issues between participated organisations. Yet, these incompatibility issues are not just technical, but encompass wider cultural, organisational, and economical factors. Whilst research has shown the effect of such factors on supply chain performance, the influence of achieving corporate culture compatibility to the success of supply chains remains poorly understood. This is because it is widely accepted that organisations that operate in the same region possess a similar culture. In contrast, this research will examine the existence of corporate culture diversity between organisations in the same region, rather than diversity of national culture across different regions. Specifically, the study described the development of corporate culture compatibility between supply chains’ organisations and its influences on supply chain performance. Therefore, the thesis focus is the complex interrelationships between corporate culture compatibility of member organisations and supply chain performance. This research identifies cultural norms and beliefs of supply chain members within key organisational factors, rather than national or multi-national organisations factors, as in Hofstede (1983). A multi-method research design (combining case study, simulation, and neuro-fuzzy methods) was used to provide a rounded perspective on the phenomena studied. The multiple case studies helped to explore how corporate culture compatibility influences supply chain performance and develop a conceptual model for this association. The simulation experiments were conducted to verify the obtained conceptual framework from the multiple case studies, and investigate the effects of changing the corporate culture compatibility level on supply chain performance. The simulation is designed based on a Multi-Agent System (MAS) approach, in which each organisation in a supply chain is represented as an intelligent agent. Finally, a neuro-fuzzy approach is presented to assess corporate culture on supply chains context using real data. The analysis of the quantitative neuro-fuzzy study confirmed and validated the theoretical findings and adds depth to our understanding of the influences of corporate culture compatibility on supply chain performance. The study confirmed that organisations within the same supply chain in the same region possess different corporate cultures that consequently need the achievement of corporate culture compatibility as it is indicated by the literature. Moreover, the study revealed two types of corporate culture in supply chains’ context: individual culture and common culture. Individual culture refers to the internal beliefs within the organisation’s boundary, while common culture refers to beliefs when trading with partners across the organisation’s boundary. However, the study shows that common culture has more influences on supply chain performance than individual culture. In addition, the study highlighted bi-directional association between individual culture and common culture that helps the supply chain’s organisations developing their corporate culture compatibility. The results from the current study also showed that supply chain performance was shown to arise dramatically in response to corporate culture compatibility level increases. Yet, this increase in performance is diminished at a higher level of corporate culture compatibility, because more corporate culture compatibility increases are not cost effective for the organisations. In addition, organisations at a higher level of compatibility have more preferences to preserve their individual culture because it represents their identity. Furthermore, the study complements the gap in the literature related to the assessment of corporate culture of individual organisations in supply chains for sustaining a higher supply chain performance. While current culture assessment models observe individual organisations’ culture, the proposed approach describes a single concentrated model that integrates both individual and common culture in measuring influences of culture compatibility on supply chain performance. The findings from this study provide scholars, consultants, managers, and supply chain systems vendors with valuable information. This research thesis contributes to supply chain configuration and partnership formation theory, along with corporate culture theory, and is the first of its kind to establish the use of intelligent methods to model corporate culture compatibility. It is also one of the first empirical studies to compare corporate culture compatibility of supply chains’ organisations from organisational perspectives, rather than national perspectives.