Reducing supply chain environmental uncertainty through e-intermediation: An organisation theory perspective

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Abstract

Organisation theorists have long been aware of the organisational problems caused by environmental uncertainty. Recently Supply chain theorists have identified the same issue for supply chains. It is the premise of this paper that one possible way of reducing these problems is through the use of e-intermediation. The paper seeks support for this premise by synthesising relevant literature on the nature and origins of e-intermediation with organisation theory literature particularly with respect to the negative impact of environmental uncertainty. From this four propositions concerning the ways that e-intermediation can reduce the negative effects of environmental uncertainty in the supply chain are developed. The appropriateness of these propositions is then examined through the analysis of three case studies of supply chains that have introduced e-intermediation. The evidence from the case studies supports the propositions and from their evidence conclusions about the potential of e-intermediation to reduce the negative effects of environmental uncertainty on supply chains are drawn. However, the paper also draws attention to the possibility that certain factors, even in uncertain environments, may impede the beneficial impact of e-intermediation on supply chain performance. Finally the paper notes some managerial and research implications of the study. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-362
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Volume114
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

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