Supply chain integration and performance: a review of the evidence
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse papers studying the link between supply chain integration (SCI) and performance, and to discuss reported empirical evidence relating to this fundamental question for logistics and supply chain management. Design/methodology/approach – A systematic analysis of 38 papers published in nine important journals in logistics, supply chain and operations management during the period 2000-2006 is offered. Using a multidimensional framework to sort and classify selected papers, structured results are provided for the purpose of contributing to discussion of the topic. Findings – More SCI does not always improve performance. Definitions and measures of SCI and performance are diverse to the extent that a conclusion such as “the more (SCI) the better (the performance) cannot be drawn”. On the contrary more empirical research, with use of clear definitions and good measures, are needed. The conclusions drawn from the analytical literature review provide a basis from which further research can be developed, both in respect of research approaches, definitions of main concepts and the choice of theoretical basis. Research limitations/implications – Additional journals could be included. The framework could be more detailed. More details on SCI and performance measures, as well as the items used in the papers, could be provided and discussed. Practical implications – Results encourage researchers and practitioners to be more cautious concerning SCI and its impact on performance and to have a more conscious and differentiated view of SCI. Originality/value – Through a rigorous analysis of prevailing research, the paper questions a common assumption in business logistics and SCM. Propositions for further research are suggested.