Opposites attract: organisational culture and supply chain performance

Trevor Cadden, Donna marshall, Guangming Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The aim of this paper is to expand the knowledge of buyer-supplier relationships by investigating the extent to which organisational cultural fit between a buyer and supply chain participants influences performance. Design/methodology/approach – The study was conducted in a FMCG supply chain. A cultural dimensions questionnaire was used in a focal organisation (the buyer) and it identified best and poorest performing supply chain. The results were analysed using a series of ANOVA's within the respective supply chains. The findings were then triangulated via qualitative methods. Findings – The findings demonstrate that complementarity rather than congruence between the supply chain partners achieved successful performance outcomes. Organisations in the high-performing supply chain had significantly different cultural profiles, reporting significant statistical differences across all six cultural dimensions. Organisations in the low-performing supply chain had almost identical profiles across all six cultural dimensions with significantly lower mean scores across each dimension. Research limitations/implications – The deconstruction of organisational culture into its constituent dimensions in a supply chain provides insights for academics. Propositions are presented which provide a platform for further studies. Future studies could develop these findings by using a larger sample, over a longer period of time, and adding mediating variables that impact supply chain outcomes. Practical implications – Managers should pay attention to cultural evaluation within the supplier selection process as well as finance or strategic evaluations. A shared supply chain culture of norm-based trust and openness may yield better outcomes and reduced conflict and uncertainty throughout the supply chain. Originality/value – This is one of the first papers to deconstruct and measure organisational cultural fit empirically in a supply chain context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-103
JournalJournal of Supply Chain Management: An International Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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