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Ambidextrous Supply Chain Management as a Dynamic Capability: Building a Resilient Supply Chain

Jin Sung Rha, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


In recent years, a number of studies have explored supply chain management (SCM), a critical factor for sustaining organizations' competitive advantage and core competencies. As the global business environment has become more complex and dynamic, firms face increased risk of disturbances resulting from problems along their supply chains (SC). Given its importance, SC disruption risk management has emerged as a topic within the domain of resilient SCM. Although managing negative impacts after SC disturbances is critical, researchers have mainly focused on proactive SC risk mitigation strategies rather than SC resiliency after a disaster. Because SC instability occurs at random, firms should enhance their resiliency and capabilities to quickly and effectively address the situation after SC-disruptive events. This study applied two main theoretical frames from the strategy literature (dynamic capabilities and organizational ambidexterity) to SCM to examine mitigation strategies after SC disruption. "Ambidexterity as a dynamic capability" indicates that dynamic capability is fundamentally associated with a combination of exploitation and exploration. A key element of achieving ambidexterity is the strategic integration and configuration ability to utilize existing competencies and develop new ones. This capability is important for successfully sustaining competitive advantage for the long term success in the field of SCM. Moreover, successful SC ambidexterity allows firms to have the resiliency to mitigate enterprise risks. Thus, this dissertation seeks to empirically investigate how firms' SC ambidexterity is developed through a dynamic capability-building process and how this, in turn, can mitigate the negative impact of SC disruptions and improve business performance. Overall, the results confirm that a dynamic SC capability-building process is an antecedent of SC ambidexterity, and that SC ambidexterity is important to firms because it may mitigate the negative impacts of SC disruptions and enhance firm performance.

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Recommended Citation

Rha, Jin Sung, "Ambidextrous Supply Chain Management as a Dynamic Capability: Building a Resilient Supply Chain" (2013). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3564155.