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Acknowledgements

Abstract
Purpose
This research discusses that collaboration, integration and information sharing affect supply
chain risk (SCRM) from a holistic system thinking the perspective that have evolved earlier
researchers results. The aim of the paper is to explore how to apply collaboration, integration
and information sharing into supply chain risk management.
Design/methodology/approach
The systematic literature review methodology adopted by this research to evaluate a literature
survey of quality articles that are related to collaboration, supply chain integration and
information sharings effects on supply chain risk management.
Findings
The Systematic Literature Review (SLR) methodology has offered an unbiased picture in this
field of supply chain management. Whilst, the study summaries a series of practical measures
will be applied into operation.
Research limitations/implication
The research suffers from some methodological limitations like the content and number of
articles that could be reviewed. Another limitation is the inability to generalise the findings of
the research because of the diversity of situations in different industries/sectors causing
supply chain risks. The application of SLR will provide an insight understanding of the three
measures in supply chain risk management. Also, the literature review is an approach to find
a new research direction through identifying current knowledges gaps. Previously, scholars
discussed how to achieve supply chains collaboration, integration and information
respectively and their impacts on supply chain management, rather than consider the three
theories a whole and their impacts on supply chain risk.
Originality/value
Collaboration, supply chain integration and information sharing are three main solutions; the
research will explore some feasible measures through systematically reviewing literature in
this field related to the three terminologies.
Keywords
Supply chain risk management, collaboration, information sharing, integration, systematic
literature review.
Paper type Literature review

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Chapter1 Introduction
1.1 Introduction
In the present day global market that is highly competitive, a company cannot survive in
isolation of the suppliers and other business partners of the organisation. It therefore becomes
important for the companies to focus on improving their competencies in the supply chain
performance including partnering and outsourcing to other organisations. In order to meet the
changing market demands, companies need to be flexible and responsive and therefore are
always trying to improve their agility through efficient supply chain management
(Gunasekaran et al. 2008). The companies are able to minimise their cost of production and
distribution and also improve the quality of their products by improving upon their supply
chain (Choy et al. 2004). In the process of improving the supply chain, information flow and
material flow become the two major components. Thus, along with the traditional supply
chain function which deals with the physical movement of goods and services, managing the
information flow.
1.2 Significance of the Study
Rapid rise in the interest in the management of several areas of supply chain risk
management (SCRM) has been given prominence in studying the issue of improvements in
supply chain management in recent years, both from the manager's perspective and from the
academic research perspective. The unpredictability of the commercial environment,
changeable consumer demand, the actions of competitors, with the dynamics of the market
and continuous improvement in the organisation mean that supply chain never actually
reached a steady state (Braithwaite and Wilding, 2005). The uncertainty of these parameters
can be transmitted through the supply chain network (Van der Vorst and Beulens, 2002).
Moreover, the risk is an elusive construct and based on many different ways to define the
field of study (Wagner and Bode, 2008). For the purpose of the focus of this paper on supply
chain risk management, the definition of risk as provided by March and Shapira's (1987, p.
1404) that "the possibility of possible outcomes, changes in distribution, as well as their
subjective value is being followed. The results of probabilistic risk uncertainty and risk to
assess the impact of future events; such risk usually provides negative results, when the
supply chain is unable to meet the requirements of customers. Such risks may even amount to
a threat to consumer safety (Zsidisin, 2003). Therefore, the objective of this research is to
provide deep insight into the mitigation of supply chain risk through collaboration,
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integration and information sharing. The research, based on its findings proposes three
dependent thoughts and a systems thinking as the conclusion.
There is a broad consensus both in the literature and in practice that managing the risk of the
supply chain is a critical ability to compete with the current unstable and unpredictable
business environment. Even though it is well recognised that significant contributions can be
obtained through an efficient review of extant literature, only a few observations have been
made in the field. From the perspective of supply chain risk management, researchers like
Mentzer and Manuj (2008), Burnes and Khan (2007) and Tang (2006) have attempted to
examine the relevant aspects and have contributed to the body of knowledge in the area.
Their research has focused on discussing some feasible supply chain risk management
measures and the findings provide useful insights based on a review of their works. In sum,
while the previous research has taken limited elements into account in conducting the
research in the area of supply chain risk management and they are quite distinct, this study
considers the three main terms Collaboration, Integration and Information sharing from a
holistic perspective and hence assumes greater significance.
Hence, the literature review aims to investigate the knowledge creation process in deepening
understandings, transfer and development from a dynamic perspective. The systematic
literature review provides an efficient method for selecting a first contribution to the
identification of the most relevant topics and selection criteria in the site execution. The study
deals with existing themes and issues to determine the flow of supply chain risk management,
which appeared to be the most promising field of study from the perspective of improving the
efficiency of supply chain management.
1.3 Problem Statement
Examination of the processes of collaboration, integration and information sharing and their
impact on improving the supply chain efficiency becomes significant and hence the choice on
this issue as the main objective of this research becomes significant. The companies must
possess and share relevant information about collaboration, integration and other salient
aspects of the supply chain in order to achieve success and growth. In order for the activities
of the partners in the supply chain to be synchronised the processes of collaboration,
integration and information sharing are to be considered. By adopting information sharing,
the flow of information among the supply chain partners can be improved which in turn
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contributes to the coordination of the activities of the supply chain partners, enabling easy
material flow and reducing inventory costs (Suhong and Binshan, 2006). The findings of the
previous research point out the fact that companies focus intensely on enhancing their
capabilities of information sharing for reducing the risk in supply chain management
(Fawcett et al. 2005). A company can reduce the risk in its supply chain management and
improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its supply chain and can respond in a better way
to meet the ever-changing customer needs through the process of information sharing. On the
other hand, lack of information sharing among the supply chain partners might have a
substantial adverse effect on the overall performance of the supply chain. Therefore, it
becomes pertinent to examine the concept of collaboration, integration and information
sharing in order to mitigate the risk of supply chain management and improve the efficiency
of the supply chain.
1.4 Research Objectives and Question
In order that a successful a literature review can be accomplished, it is important to identify
frame the research question, aims and objectives. It is also necessary to build a feasible
research foundation. This research seeks to identify the effect of collaboration, integration
and information sharing in improving the supply chain efficiency and to summarise how
policy-makers deal with the supply chain risks through the application of the three concepts.
With this outcome in perspective, this research aims:
1. To identify and understand the effects of collaboration, integration and information
sharing on the efficiency of supply chain risk management and more specifically to
highlight the barriers and obstacles in adopting these concepts in practice.
2. To explore how collaboration, integration and information sharing work for supply
chain networks
3. To review systemically previous research in order to add to the previous body of
knowledge in the area
4. To draw a series of measures that combine the three tools which are able to mitigate
supply chain risks
The research aims to find the answer to the research question:
How can the decision-makers mitigate their supply chain risks through the application of the
three tools?
In order to find the plausible answers to the above research question, the objectives are set as
follows
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i.

To investigate specific research findings in the previous literature that pertains to the
use of the concepts of collaboration, integration and information sharing

ii.

To evaluate the advantages and drawbacks of collaboration, integration and


information sharing.

1.5 Structure of the Report


The remainder of this study is organised as follows. Chapter 2 describes the background of
this study and elaborates on basic terminology. Chapter 3 indicates the research methodology
used for this study and briefly described the process followed in conducting the systematic
literature review. Detailed data collection, analysis and discussions form part of Chapter 4.
The findings from the research are presented in Chapter 5. The conclusions drawn from the
findings, limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are contained in
Chapter 5.

Chapter 2 Literature Review


2.1 Introduction
The purpose of this chapter is to present a description of the four terminologies
collaboration, integration, information sharing and supply chain risk management duly
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supported by the findings from the previous research. The review and the underlying analysis
will deepen the knowledge on the supply chain risk management and the mitigation thereof
using the concepts of combining collaboration, integration and information sharing. The
previous scholars have continually researched this subject and have proposed multiple
viewpoints, a review of which is most likely to lead to the generation of a new perspective
towards SCRM and provide the necessary guidance on exploring future research areas and
directions.
2.2 Collaboration
The alignment of key business processes across the supply chain with a specific focus on
efficiency and agility is advocated as the core supply chain approach to manage the business
operations successfully (Walters, 2002; Lowson, 2003). On the other hand, the importance of
cooperation and collaboration between the supply chain partners by engaging measures like
information sharing, resources and risks and building long-term relationship based on
transparency and trust. In this context, integration and collaboration have emerged as two
important conceptual frameworks of supply chain management research. Supply chain
collaboration can be defined as a long-term relationship between supply chain partners,
where the participants try to improve the overall performance by generally cooperating,
information sharing and working together so that they can plan and modify their business
processes and practices (Whipple et al. 2010). The purpose of supply chain collaboration is to
extend the benefits to the end customers by capitalising on the expertise and skill of the
supply chain partners. According to Fawcett et al. (2005), supply chain collaboration works to
achieve cooperation among supply chain partners so that they can devise and implement
better approaches to solve business problems and to enhance customer value. The
collaborative relationships being long-term in nature enables the supply chain partners to
understand the capabilities and needs of each of the partners so that they can actively develop
new business practices.
Thus, collaboration is about organizations and businesses working together, which can be
seen as a healthy business relationship over a long-term to derive advantages from the
collective expertise for mutual benefits. Collaboration appeared to have helped organisations
that could not identity solution to solve common problems effectively and achieve the desired
business goal lonely (Wagner, 2002). Collaboration between the supply chain partners is one
of the problems which have attracted increased attention during current years in the literature
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of supply chain management (McCarthy and Golicic, 2002). In fact, some of the researchers
have proposed that new collaboration notions be developed with regard to supply chain
literature (McLaren et al., 2002; Becker et al., 2004). In essence, a condition precedent to the
existence of supply chain collaboration is the presence of an effective supply chain. This
concept implies that collaboration is a sort of activity where two or more supply chain
members are involved to actively cooperate and coordinate across organisational boundaries
to fulfil customer needs and meet (Muchstadt et al., 2001). Matopoulos et al. (2007) built an
overall framework of supply chain collaboration and divided the collaboration into two parts:
designing and governing SC activities and establishing and maintaining SC relationships.
2.3 Integration
The survival of a firm depends largely on the integration of its supply chain management
with a good understanding of the integration process in so far as it applies to supply chain
management. Integration of supply chain has been considered to possess strategic as well as
the operational significance in the process of supply chain management (Zailani and
Rajagopal, 2005). Researchers conclude that since supply chain integration has not been
defined conclusively, the positive influence of integration on supply chain performance could
not be evidenced (e.g. Cagliano, 2006). The lack of understanding about the implications of
integration constitutes a significant issue for both the researchers and the business managers
in the matter of managing the supply chain risks. This research seeks to review the findings of
the previous research to investigate the relationship between supply chain integration and
SCRM.
In today's changing business environment, companies must be prepared to adapt to changes
to remain competitive. Organisations are under constant pressure to face multiple challenges
in designing an appropriate supply chain management system. These challenges relate to
balancing the presence of independent decision-makers and their interdependent interests of
attention in the supply chain (Senge et al., 1990). Despite the demonstration by the literature
of the positive impact and importance of supply chain integration on its performance, only
few companies are actually engaged in promoting a broad range of supply chain integration
efforts. Supply chain integration (SCI) based on a literature review amounts to dealing with
the three dimensions: customer integration (between manufacturers and buyers), internal
integration and supplier integration (between the manufacturers and their suppliers). Supplier
integration, in this case is referred to as external integration. In order to extend support to the
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manufacturing process, suppliers integrate their organizational strategies, practices and


procedures for the coordination so that the organisation can meet the customer requirements.
For achieving profitability through a regular flow of products, materials and information,
there is the need to manage the resources along the supply chain. Therefore, almost all
scientific research on supply chain efficiency is based on the exchange of goods and
information flow. A completed supply chain fundamentally means from raw material
suppliers to final users and hence supply chain integration should generally include customer
integration. However, since this research mainly focuses on the cross-functional and a crossorganizational integration of supply chain, customer integration has not been considered as a
part of this research.
Internal integration is defined as the combination of the functional areas of the organisation
(Chen et al., 2008). The goal of integration is to develop a process-oriented focus that
encourages specific functional areas in order to optimise the establishment of a more efficient
overall process solution. It concentrates on the coordination of cross-functional areas, and it
can examine the content of logistics activities with other functional areas within the company
(Stock et al., 1998). It explains how the different departments of a business can work together
and closely coordinate their activities (Pinsonneault and Barki, 2005).
Some prior research studies have found the positive correlation between internal integration
and organisational performance. The frequent synchronisation between a positive association
in integrated marketing and logistics enhances business performance (Stank et al., 1999). It
found that internal cooperation has positive impacts on logistics performance (Stank et al.,
2001). Furthermore, it was found that the logistics performance prediction of internal
integration, in turn, logistics performance predictable financial results. It found that internal
integration and improved overall performance related (Sanders and Premus, 2005).
Gunasekaran and Ngai (2004) observe that it is important to integrate the supply chain
activities both internally and externally in order to improve the flexibility and responsiveness
and become competitive. The firms can achieve integration by bringing about changes in
their operational strategy, process methods and technologies. Such changes become necessary
because of the fact that suppliers are located all over the world. In addition, in order to
mitigate the risks in supply chain management and integrate it fully, it is also necessary that
the companies share market and other related information with the supply chain partners.
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2.4 Information Sharing


Researchers have indicated that there would be dysfunctional consequences within the supply
chain, increasing the risk in managing the supply chain when the companies are unable to
communicate with their supply chain partners in an effective and efficient manner. Under
such circumstances, firms may also incur high transaction costs (Choy et al. 2004).
Companies must be made to understand the benefits of information sharing so that they
remain motivated to share valid information with their supply chain partners (Zhao et al.
2011). Within the context of SCRM, an information system represents a set of interrelated
components that retrieve, process, interpret, store, filter and disseminate information to
support business decisions within and across partners (Pereira, 2009). Since, an integrated
information system is essential to share information along the supply chain companies need
to adopt new level of communication and decision making to achieve an efficient information
sharing system (Fawcett et al. 2005).
To some extent, information sharing can be referred as knowledge sharing. In any
information-sharing process, it is necessary to identify the content, recipient, method and
time of sharing. Accurate identification of these dimensions of information sharing will
determine the quality of supply chain information sharing system (Lotfi, 2013). Therefore,
this study seeks to discuss the effects of information sharing in supply chain management
from the perspectives of the four dimensions mentioned above.
Information sharing is fundamental to enterprise and supply chain integration as it acts as the
facilitator for the survival of the supply chain. Information sharing has become more feasible
and conceivable with the advancements in information and communication technology of the
present day. Besides, information sharing among supply chain has become supportive to the
long-term cooperation and coordination among global supply chain partners, which
eventually contributes to the improvement in the competitive advantage of the companies.
Current issues in effective information sharing are the lack of information sharing within the
organisation and inefficient internal company or organisational capabilities to coordinate
actions in the area of information sharing.
This research has identified seven distinct benefits of information exchange that are dealt
with by different works in the existing literature: a). reduction in inventory and improvement
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in efficiency of inventory management (Mourtzis, 2011; Lee et al., 2000); b) reduction of


production and inventory costs (Polanyi and Sen, 1983; Bagchi et al., 2004); c) increased
visibility (Fiala, 2005; Li et al., 2001); d) significant reduction or complete elimination of
bullwhip effect (Li and Gao, 2011; Jauhari, 2009); e) effective utilization of resources
(Mourtzis, 2011); f) increased organisational efficiency and productivity and improvements
in the provision of services (Mourtzis, 2011; Yang and Maxwell, 2011); g) establishing and
strengthening social bonds (Lee and Whang, 2004; Marshall and Bly, 2009).
2.5 Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM)
The term supply chain risk has been defined differently by many scholars. A general
definition of supply chain risk states the potential variation of outcomes that influence the
decrease of value added at any activity cell in a chain Bogataj and Bogataj (2007). Ellis et
al. (2010) define the term from a supply risk perspective as an individuals perception of the
total loss associated with disruption of supply of a particular purchased item from a particular
supplier. For the purpose of this research, SCRM is defined as the adverse effects caused to
the supply chain by personnel or natural factors, which are considered as the risk. These risk
cause disruption to the supply chain which is the negative after effect of such risk. Supply
chain risk management is defined as the management of supply chain risks through
coordination or collaboration among the supply chain partners so as to ensure profitability
and continuity (Tang, 2006). According to Thun and Hoeing (2014), SCRM is characterised
by a cross-company orientation aiming at the identification and reduction of risks not only at
the company level but rather focusing on the entire supply chain. In this case, SCRM is a
cross-integrational collaboration methodology with timely information sharing to alert,
monitor and mitigate unexpected events that might lead to adverse impact on supply chain.
There has not been a unanimously accepted definition and classification of the supply chain
risk. Various types of supply chain risks have been identified by scholars which appear in
professional journals. For example, Tang (2006) divides the supply chain risk into two
dimensions: Interrupt risk and operational risk. The risk of damage is caused by bankruptcy,
natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Operational risk relates to the coordination of supply or
demand and uncertainty, such as supply uncertainty and demand uncertainty. Although, the
risk of damage takes place rarely it could be severe and difficult to manage. However,
operational risk can be managed through effective supply chain management. Other types of
supply chain risk include supply risk, process risk, demand risk and technology risk (Tang
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and Tomlin, 2008). Trkman and McCormack summary (2009) add that supply chain risk can
occur because of changing business and economic environments causing changes in customer
demand or vendor priority. Therefore, because of the multiplicity of the supply chain risk, this
study does not deal with any specific type of risk and proposes to evolve systematic thoughts
about all risk levels.
Supply risk may represent the failure of a single supplier to keep the delivery schedule or a
probability of supply market-related events, which could result in companies failure to meet
the customer needs or causing threats to customer confidence (Zsidisin, 2003, p. 222).
Among the various aspects of the supply risks, supply delivery risk (SDR) is probably the
most important because companies expect their suppliers to make deliveries on time (Zhao et
al., 2013). Failure to meet delivery commitments by the suppliers and sourcing companies
will bring many problems about manufacturing, inventory and sales functions. SDR may
offer a further research area. While the proposition of the SDR can emanate from information
exchange, existence of efficient information sharing can ensure timely delivery. The supply
delivery risk thus makes efficient information sharing as one of the cornerstones of this
research.
Currently, the supply chain risk mitigation strategies are classified into two mainstream
strategies, namely proactive risk mitigation management and reactive risk mitigation
strategy (Ghadge et al. 2012). From the perspective of the manager, a continuous effort is to
be taken to find a suitable investment risk mitigation strategy and therefore this study
considers the proactive risk mitigation management as an appropriate strategy. Proactive risk
mitigation strategies include supply development / Management (risk sharing, manufactured
by contract, contract management), supply chain contract development incentive contract,
risk of mix and volume flexibility contract reciprocity), product / process management,
product variety, delay, and delivery management) and supplier (supplier cooperation
relationship, through improved confidence and sustainable). Proactive strategies also include
no risk mitigation strategies that incorporate contingency plans (strategic project management
plan, the enhanced flexibility), disaster management with a strong recovery, supply chain, and
the reconstruction scheme analysis) and requirements management (service rerouting, the
mobile client). Considering the inclusion of these strategies, the proactive strategy can be
termed as protection strategy. These strategies also provide for the building of a risk
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sharing mechanism with upstream firms and downstream firms and production policies, when
the managers establish the supply chains.
Contrastingly, reactive strategies, which could also be termed as recovery strategy, provides
for reactionary measures as and when the risks arise.

However, the literature has not

presented a comparison of the financial effects of the proactive and reactive strategies.
Nevertheless, Haraguchi and Lall, (2015) compared the effect of the two strategies and
observed that firms that adopt protections strategies take a short time to mitigate the risk and
realign themselves as compared to those that follow a recovery strategy. Therefore, it can
reasonably be concluded that protection strategy acts as a more effective risk mitigation
strategy than the recovery strategy from an operational perspective. It follows that SCRM
following a protection strategy requires the collaboration and integration of all supply chain
partners and also an appropriate information sharing system to enhance the efficiency of the
supply chain, which is the significance of the study. We also observed that information
sharing is the base of collaboration irrespective of whether the collaboration is external or
external and integration is a type of higher collaboration.

Chapter 3 Research Methodology


3.1 Introduction
This chapter briefly explains the process of the selection of journal articles and papers and the
framework used for their classification. The purpose of the review is to contribute to theorybuilding approach and an in-depth analysis of the way in which the prior studies have been
conducted. This chapter explains how this study would contribute to better conceptual
definitions of SCRM strategies which are most likely to help managers and researchers.
3.2 Systematic Review
According to Seuring and Gold (2012) the development of supply chain management can be
undertaken in two ways: through consolidating the process of knowledge as a result of Metaanalysis of statistical aggregates comprehensive presence (Doyle 2003, p.324), or as a
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consequence of the literature review and primary qualitative finishing discovered (Frank,
2005). Since the data collected in this study are based mainly on the nature of the discourse
studies, this research presents the systematic literature review through a qualitative finishing
approach.
The literature reviews are seen as a "content analysis" of qualitative and quantitative by
combining their characteristics to think both "standard structure" and "content Standard"
(Brewerton and Milwald, 2001). The literature review is different from the typical research as
the study is mainly designed to develop new arguments, and often contain a narrative
literature review of precursors to support the new research. Instead, the study follows a
comprehensive consideration of the method of the chart and assessment of existing studies in
the field, without adding contributions. Denyer and Field (2009) distinguish between
systematic literature review, from a "typical" literary narrative, pointing out two shall
examine the concrete problem through the same light with the systematic literature review
exploring the use of existing research and the special requirements of the program. Those
theories offer the fundamental thinking to this paper.
In accordance with the above process, this study follows a four-step approach which is
presented below:
1. Data collection: To guarantee the quality of the literature reviewed, restrictions, targeting
information to define the search will be described. Studies and the results were evaluated and
documented in a systematic manner.
2. Descriptive analysis: It is preliminary analysis, and focuses on evaluated and presented
data as the next step. The contents, including data published year and results will provide a
foundation for theoretical analysis.
3. Category selection: If the last phase is finished, the specific selection criteria are used to
test each file in response to an initial review of the force. The contents of each study to
consider and make a decision, a detailed explanation of the problem with the records included
or excluded.
4. Material evaluation: To generate the findings and conclusions, the research processes a
theoretical and textual analysis from structural dimensions.

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3.3 Review Process


Presently, articles in the field of supply chain risk management are continuously growing. A
literature review provides historical views of the respective research area and provides for
avenues of conducting more independent research (Menter and Kahn, 1995).
Given this, this study reviewed the journal articles to achieve its objectives through adopting
the following steps.

Figure 1: Data collection process


Explanation on the Process of Search
Step 1 Search data
Because it is a systematic literature review (SLR), the research methodology follows the steps
of defining the search terms, identifying the databases, determining and apply criteria for
inclusion and exclusion, referring to the reference list of the shortlisted articles and lastly
ensuring that the resulting articles are represented. The outputs of management research can
be divided into two steps. The first stage is a descriptive analysis, and classification of the set
of data used in the analysis of various attributes. Then the results of the thematic analysis
approach can be gathered and interpreted. Study results may represent a form of propagation
and gaps.
For accomplishing the first step, the search was restricted to scholarly journal articles and
confined to subject areas supply chain risk, supply chain management, collaboration,
integration and information sharing. These words are adopted as the keywords for this
study and are shown at the beginning of the research report. Wherever necessary, in order to
gather sufficient comprehensive data, the keywords were extended to other terms such as
financial supply chain, supply chain partners relationship and challenges of SCRM.
Keywords search generated 500 related pieces of literature. From the original list of top 500
hits based on keyword search in ABI-INFORM, the journals appearing in OR/MS/POM,
MIS, KM and General management and strategy from Journal Quality list 2015 which met
the following criteria Appearing in at least two of ABDC 2013, FNEG 2013, CNRS 2014,
ABS 2015 AND VHB 2015 were taken for consideration. These lists ensured that UK,
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Australia, French and German lists are covered; moreover, these were the latest lists. Table 1
shows the lists and ranking of the journal.
Step 2 Data Screening and Filter
The third phase is the screening of the articles selected from the originally chosen 500 articles
and then filtering them. Since this is a broad list, it can assume journals considered by US
universities will also definitely appear in this list. It can refer a few journal quality ranking
papers to support this. The screening resulted in the selection of 256 articles to be researched.
As a next step both the titles and abstracts of these 256 articles were read to arrive at a final
list of 80 articles.
From the 80 articles chosen finally, those articles having more than one keyword were
identified according to relevance of the keywords. The papers whose abstracts discussed at
least one aspect of risk management or collaboration or integration or information sharing in
a supply chain were considered for the time being. Also, then the reference lists are carefully
evaluated to seek more articles which can be quoted in the research. Finally, each article was
thoroughly reviewed to ensure whether the article fits this research. The categorisation of the
literature and publication of journals is shown in Table 2. For example, the Association of
Business School is a publisher of authorized quality rating journals. Those ABS ranked
journals are widely accepted and referred by the academicians and researchers. This paper
followed the journal rating that was provided in ABS 2015 and referred articles included in
the publication. The average quality rating is 2.5.
Table.3 shows the results of the thematic categorisation result which shows that only 24
articles focus on supply chain management. These articles account for approximately onethird which is required to bridge the research gaps. Out of these, the topic of 18 articles is risk
management; and these articles mainly summarise the risk management theories. There are
12, 12 and 11 articles respectively relate to integration, collaboration and information
sharing/exchange; which concentrates on how to bridge the risk management theories with
possible risk measures. Also, three pieces of research work refer to the resilience network
framework.

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Table 1: List of Identified Data Source Sources (ABS ranking in 2015)

Figure 2: Thematic Categorisation


:
Step 3 Full-text Analysis
The selected 24 articles entered into the final step of assessment and the evaluation of these
articles was conducted on the basis of their content as a whole. The articles were studied
carefully to understand the main theme of the contents and to ensure that the article helps in
underpinning the research issues to achieve its goals and objectives. The full text of the
articles was studied following several standard checks, as listed below:
1. The context of the paper: an articles research question was required to be related to
collaboration and supply chain management, supply chain integration, supply chain
information and supply chain risk, while other sectors are unacceptable for the purpose of
this research.
2. The focus of the paper: literature was required to focus on one or more of the core
concept of the current research. On the other hand, some papers did not focus on the core
concept, such supply chain resilience, and they have considered that it is beneficial for supply
chain risk mitigation, those papers were accepted.
3. Research methodology: in this case, there are three main methodologies: qualitative,
quantitative and multiple. However, it did not intend to produce any bias on this term.
A complete data extraction can be viewed in Appendix 1.
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3.4 Conclusion
Seeking the keywords is the starting point and data extraction concludes the process. Search
terms are developed and the results recorded in the rigorous analysis and evaluation process
are carefully observed. After careful extracting those pieces of literature, literature
description, analysis and discussion will be proceeded with. Core findings that were selected
will be presented as a part of the findings and analysis.

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Chapter 4 Data Description and Analysis


4.1 Introduction
A systematic literature review is intended to explore the key underlying trends in SCRM from
the findings of the previous literature. Therefore, it becomes important to check the contents
of the article to find basic as well as complex features. Within the context of this research, the
basic purpose of the literature survey is to meet the goals and objectives of the research, and
to find the answers to the research questions. The results of the key pattern search are
summarised in the following sections and from the analysis of the findings, a few important
observations emerge. The articles are explored to draw the summarized content of the article
and the exploration is conducted using the four steps described above. This section presents
the detailed summary of the elements of each theme, which offered the basis for further
discussion.
4.2 Data description
For further descriptive analysis, it is necessary to understand the data collected accurately.
The lesser number of 24 articles containing the selected criteria reflects the fact that this
research subject needs further research and considerations.

Table 2: Titles of Articles and the Timeline


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As indicated in Table 2, supply chain integration has been the favourite research topic at the
beginning of the century. During the next 15 years followed, supply chain collaboration and
information have been the focus of research studies. The concept of Bullwhip effect was
coined in the 1970s. For avoiding the Bullwhip effect, collaboration was found to be the main
measure. As table.3 shows 18 articles relate to information sharing, and the theme of 12
articles was collaboration; the number of articles focusing on integration was the same. Three
primary themes were highlighted within the research and in order to carry out the analysis,
the following three themes are found:

Business process integration, integrations effects on supply chain management and its
obstacles (No of Articles 12)

The practice, performance and key factors of collaborative supply chain (No of
Articles 12)

Links of supply chain partnership and information sharing, and challenges (18)

Table 3: Thematic Categorization of Articles Selected

The thematic categorization of the chosen articles is shown in Table 3. The selected articles
are in the field of supply chain management with 18 of them relating directly to supply chain
risk management. From the table it is observed that the range of journals in which the sample
of articles is extensive relate to supply chain management. While the research finds out four
and five articles respectively on International Journal of Operations and Product Management
and Supply Chain Management: an international journal. It shows high ABS ranking journals
18

were interested in this subject. A large degree of diversity in the journals is observed, because
other journals have also published at least one article about this subject. Those data analyses
illustrate that with the time goes by, this field is attracting the focus of more research
scholars. Information sharing is also a relatively important field being a future research
direction.
4.3 Research Methodology used in the Literature
Survey: The survey method has been found to be the widely used research method by the
chosen articles with ten research works using this methodology which accounts for 42% of
the total number of articles selected. The research methodology used by the chosen articles is
summarized in the following presentation. Apart from the survey method, the researchers
have used other research methods like questionnaire, interview, observation, experiment.
However, the survey has been found to be the most-favoured research methodology.
Table 4: Literature Review of Articles on Supply Chain collaboration
Table 5: Literature Review of Articles on Supply Chain Integration

Simulation Modelling: Simulation modelling provides a systematic approach to explain the


factors set to represent different scenarios and their respective influence and interaction
parameters. Simulation is not uncommon for supply chain risk assessment and modelling.
Although several types of simulation modelling such as agent-based simulation, Monte Carlo
simulation and discrete event simulation are available, there are only few articles that have
used these simulation models to determine the system of SCRM. Most of the simulation
platform is used for solving business management issues. Some researchers have provided a
special eight-step development process simulation model of supply chain design, evaluation
and implementation. Although rarely observed in the case of supply chain-related

literary

analysis, few articles have used an analogy supply risk survey. In those selected articles, only
two papers used this methodology. The first one is by Ghadge et al. (2013), entitled A
system approach for modelling supply chain risk. The work developed a supply chain risk
management framework which had the ability to test the industry. This SCRM framework is
expected to benefit practitioners to understand the complexity of the supply chain risk. A
19

system model of risk assessment is a working tool that provides a future perspective of
disruptive events.
The second article was entitled Information security in networked supply chain: impact of
network vulnerability and supply chain integration on incentives to invest by
Bandyopadhyay et al., (2010). The authors identified a responsibility to plan, allocate part of
the financial resources of the affected company, in order to achieve the socially optimal level
of investment. The findings underscored the need for the supply chain managers consider
seriously the costly impact of information security risks before recycling collaborative efforts
based assessment.
Case study analysis: There are two works of research in the selected articles that adopted
case study analysis methodology. According to Yin (2003a, p. 2) "the desire of the unique
needs of case studies to understand the complex social phenomenon," because the method
"case studies, allows researchers to maintain the characteristics and the overall significance of
real events, such as organisation and management processes, for example. In fact, the case
study seems to be the preferred strategy when "how" or "why" questions are asked when the
researchers cannot control events when the focus is on some practical background of
contemporary phenomena (Yin, 1981, P.59, 2003a, pp.2, 5-10). Therefore, the papers that
used this methodology could closely connect to supply chain management practices. This
research selected two articles with this research type. Jonsson et al. (2013) by analysing
IKEAs case proposed that centralised supply chain planning directly affects of supply chain
integration; McAdam and McCormack (2001) discussed the role of information sharing on
supply chain integration by an empirical study.
Statistical Hypotheses Testing: Only three works of research out of the total 24 articles
selected for review have used this methodology. Eckerd and Hill (2011) provide information
sharing is a deterrent to unethical commercial behaviour. Zhao et al. (2013) tested the effect
of supply chain integration on supply chain performances through hypothesis testing. Lastly,
Danese and Romano (2013) simulated a model for examining customer integration and
supply chain efficiency.
Multiple Methodologies: Cassivi (2006) argue that different roles may be attributed to the
collaborative tools, such as the promotion of access to information, thus affecting the ability
20

to create knowledge, and to assist in the design of a flexible supply chain through a the use of
multiple methodology involving a qualitative-quantitative sequential approach.
4.4 Thematic Analysis
The following sections present a thematic analysis of the literature review undertaken as a
part of this research.
4.4.1 Collaboration
In the literature reviewed by this research, supply chain collaboration has been defined in a
number of different ways. From a review of these definitions, they could be divided into two
groups relating to the idea of the process and the focus of the relationship. In practice,
cooperation is viewed as a business process, with two or more supply chain partners working
together to share a common goal (Sheu et al., 2006). The process is long-term partnerships
that include information sharing, resource sharing and risk sharing toward achieving multiobjectives (Bowersox et al., 2003). The literature review found some existing papers focusing
on many different subjects. For example, collaborative planning activities, cross-functional
processes and coordination, mutual goal setting, and establishment of information sharing
parameters are some of the areas covered by the literature. This research combines all of them
to define supply chain collaboration as one that caters to achieving common goals and
benefits with two or more supply chain partners, building a very close working relationship.
Through reviewing existing literature, it is observed that researchers have resolved some of
the issues connected with the efficiency of the supply chain collaboration. However, they
have not recognised a term of collaborative communication, which is a critical variable
(Mohr and Nevin, 1990). Meanwhile, another early scholar found that joint knowledge
creation as a factor in collaboration has been ignored (Johnson and Sohi, 2003). In summary,
this research will discuss seven interconnecting components: goal congruence, incentive
alignment,

resource

sharing,

decision

synchronisation,

joint

knowledge

creation,

collaborative communication and information sharing will state in detail. The significances of
supply chain collaboration can be found in the reduction of costs, leveraging resources, and
improving risk-response ability.
Goal congruence between supply chain partners is to a certain extent amounts to the goal of a
supply chain partner to meet the satisfaction of the other supply chain partner. Within the
21

context of goal congruence, irrespective of the fact that whether the supply chain partners are
able to be consistent with meeting their objectives, the supply chain goals can be achieved as
a direct result of the supply chain partners meeting the supply chain requirements. (Lejeune
and Yakova, 2005). This amounts to goal congruence among the supply chain partners.
Incentive alignment is the process of supply chain partnership management, including risks
and benefits. It includes determining the costs, risks and benefits, and the development of
incentive programs. A successful supply chain partnership requires each participant to share
the results of gains and losses of good cooperation that is beneficial for all quantisation.
Incentives need to define carefully to consist of fair stock returns, which means that the return
on investment commensurate with the risks (Lee and Whang, 2001).
Resource sharing is viewed as a process of balancing capabilities and assets, as well as the
ability to invest in assets and supply chain partners. Resources in this context include the
production of equipment, facilities and technology, and other physical resources. Relevant
industrial clusters and regional networks are a lot of examples of the importance of this
phenomenon. In the retail industry, such as vendor managed inventory (VMI) practices,
electronic data interchange, and other necessary supplements follow the idea of resource
sharing (Harland et al., 2004).
Decision synchronisation refers to the planning and operation of the supply chain partners to
coordinate the supply chain and to optimise the supply chain optimisation benefit decisions,
which is a feasible solution to mitigate the bullwhip effects. Planning decisions need to
determine the most effective use of company resources to achieve specific goals. There are
seven supply chain management planning decisions categories: strategic business planning,
demand management, production planning and scheduling, purchasing, to ensure delivery,
balance changes and distribution management. Joint planning is used to align the activities of
the partners and make business decisions, including inventory replenishment, order
scheduling and order delivery (Manthou et al., 2004).
Joint knowledge creation is the process to enable supply chain partners to some extent, to
develop a better understanding and cooperation to deal with the market and competitive
environment. There are two types of knowledge; innovation: intellectual inquiry (for
example, search for and acquire new and relevant knowledge) and knowledge development
22

(for example, absorption and application of knowledge). Knowledge of supply chain partners
(for example, process, technology or market knowledge) capture, exchange and transform,
making innovation and long-term competitiveness of the supply chain as a whole (Bhatt and
Grover, 2005).
Collaborative communication is an advanced transmission process that supply chain partners
in different frequencies, directions and modes could influence strategies. Open, frequent,
balanced, two-way, multi-level communication is usually a sign of the close interorganisational relationships. Some researchers discussed the propagation theory model. They
coin the term "cooperative communication policy, which refers to the key communication
properties, including frequency, the level two-way flow of informal and indirect mode
content (Goffin et al., 2006).

Figure 3: Impact of SC Collaboration on SC Management and SCRM


The impact of supply chain collaboration on SCM and SCRM and the relationship between
SCM and SCRM is illustrated in Figure 3. Seven supply chain collaboration factors directly
affect SCRM. Meanwhile, with the avoidance of supply chain disruption, the service and
quality levels of the supply chain are improved, so that SCRM has positive effects on SCM
and SC Collaboration has an indirect positive effect on SCM. Collaborative supply chain
accumulates the process of information exchange and the coordination of SC partners, which
is advantageous for SCM, while it improves SCRM level. The previous scholars, for
example, Jttner and Maklan (2013), Wiengarten et al. (2010) and Ghadge et al. (2011)
continually explore a single relationship (SCM in SCC, SCC in SCRM or SCM in SCRM)
and have delivered mature thinking in the field. However, a supply chain is a whole; the
change of each element could cause a change in the other elements so that it is more
beneficial for operation management where the policy-maker can combine the SCC, SCM,
and SCRM. From another perspective, the existing theories push new the generation of new
theories.

23

4.4.2 Obstacles and Challenges of Supply Chain Collaboration


Ramesh et al (2008) have worked on the obstacles for supply chain collaboration and
summed up the nine barriers: lack of trust between the implementation of cooperative
partners in supply chain, the lack of new ideas and skills training, lack of collaborative
planning, lack of top management commitment, lack of vision and understanding between
supply chain partners, gap in technical ability, inadequate information sharing, unwillingness
to share the risks and rewards, inconsistent and inadequate performance index. At the same
time, there are four results are obvious: the lack of visibility of the supply chain, lack of
competitive advantage, lack of robust supply chain and non-aligned operational objectives.
These obstacles and results highlight the direction of the development of collaborative supply
chain.
Lack of trust: trust is the binding force between supplier and buyer (Chung et al., 2008).
Many scholars believed trust is necessary for interpersonal and inter-organisational
behaviours and business communication, and trust is even a vital precondition for
collaboration. Therefore, trust is the foundation of commercial relationships and supply chain
collaboration.
Lack of training for new mindset and skills: some information technologies are required so
that it enables the employees of the firm to use them. This requires a high level of training
and the staff should be made to accept them.
Lack of collaborative and strategic planning: some managers consider SCC is a strategy, and
some opponents disagree, which leads to inter-organisations conflict and the breakdown of
the partnership. Therefore, common strategic planning can be considered as the beginning of
supply chain collaboration.
Lack of top management commitment: commitment is defined as an enduring willingness to
hold a valued relationship. Mutual trust is the beginning and commitment maintains the
partnership, so that experts gradually realise the importance of management commitment.
Lack of supply chain vision/understanding: Another important obstacle to effective
cooperation is the inability to see the big picture. This is a product of the silo mentality. In the
current scenario, a rather limited view of the whole supply chain constricts the development
24

in the field. Decision-makers focus on functional areas, rather than realising work with others
inside and outside the organisation in order to improve the overall profits (Mentzer et al.,
2000). Most managers in dealing with the relationship between their functions feel a little
comfortable, but when it comes to the relationship between the other functions of the
company, they become less comfortable. When it comes to the supply chain outside the
organization, they become more uncomfortable. Increasing the comfort level between
organisations as managers begin to understand the importance of comprehensive practical
activities for improving the overall performance of the supply chain; not the performance of
just a specific part of their work.
Disparity in technological capability of trading partners: The level of supply chain
collaboration depends on the technical capabilities of partners. For example, Kwan (1999)
believes that some supply chain partners cannot be work with other partners because the
electronic information they possess lack the ability to exchange information with their
partners and hence not ready to link up with them.
Inadequate information sharing: Information sharing is a major requirement for collaboration
between organisations and develops relationship. Bowersox et al., (2003) believe that the
success of buyers and suppliers relations are associated with a high level of information
sharing. The Importance of inter-organisational relationships of communication and the
communication was found to increase with the level of commitment. Inadequate information
sharing may lead to some unsuccessful results, like the breakdown of collaborative efforts.
Unwillingness to share risk and reward: SCC is a long-term strategy with shared risk and
reward in the forefront. According to Mentzer et al. (2000), it is an important part of SCM
that supply chain partners have to consider between risk and return. Scholars believe that the
interests of collaborating enterprises to share with their upstream and downstream partners
promote the creation of a competitive advantage. Sahay and Maini (2002) emphasise the
partnership risk and the importance of sharing. In SCC, it is important to share the risks and
rewards with channel participants.
Inconsistent and inadequate measurement systems: a common performance metrics between
supply chain partners is essential because partners need the same goal and a common
performance measure is able to measure the achievement level of common goals. Fawcett and
25

Magnan (2001) illustrate that one of the barriers for SCC is the lack of common performance
metrics.
4.4.3 Integration
The theme of this part is supply chain integration (SCI). The supply chain has attracted
research activities with the formation of a number of management areas, such as marketing
and strategic management. As a result, the research has conceptualised and defined the forms,
such as integration, coordination, and information sharing. In the supply chain literature, the
term collaboration and integration are used interchangeably (Das et al., 2006). The most
notable collaboration is seen as a key component of integration (Stank et al., 2001; Pagell,
2004). Stank et al. (2001) identified three aspects of integration: a series of interactions,
collaborative behaviour, and a combination of both.

4.4.4 Internal integration


This study evaluates internal integration and external integration respectively. An entire
supply chain consists of too many components so that the accomplishment of integration is
quite complex, Chandra and Kumar (2001) proposed an enterprise analysis method to
accomplish such an evaluation. Two key components of the supply chain of an enterprise are
member and group. Faced with supply chain integration, a member must think about value
chain which is greater or less than primary activities, relevant support activities,
organisational plans and performance metrics. When those considerations become strategies,
a group will consider involving itself more. A group includes three parts: marketing,
production planning and operations. Chandra and Kumar (2001) summarised the hierarchy of
the group and their own objective(s), policies and goals.
Marketing department focuses on customer service maximisation, whereas production
department is concerned with production and inventory turn, and plant operations must think
about manufacturing cost and production run. There is no doubt that all departments consider
the performance of the enterprise as a whole as the priority, with the result that a couple of
conflicts arise: customer service maximisation versus cost minimization, satisfying
customers requirements with the lowest costs. To reach a high level of customer service
marketing goals, and achieve the business objectives to reduce procurement costs, close
coordination between marketing and operational functions is required. This will enable the
26

firm to implement just-in-time (JIT) procurement policy and reap its benefits. Thus,
marketing and operational functions may formulate joint policy to make such coordination.
The main objective of marketing is to achieve a high level of customer service, the managers
may need to devise a suitable inventory purchasing policy to maintain the required safety
stock and to achieve the goal to maximise customer service resulting in increased revenue
(Charu and Kumar, 2001).
Based on supply chain components and controls, some supply chain guiding principles
should be thought about: (i) supply chain is a high degree cooperative system. For example, it
involves marketing and production plan, budgeting-setting, cost and price structure and other
elements. Overall interests are greater than partial interests, so supply chain should be
managed from a macro aspect; (ii) supply chain relies on the group flexibility of its members.
Supply chain occurs in the form of exchange of information so that members of supply
network must choose to modify their behaviours attuned with the expectations of other
members; (iii) supply- chain solutions are satisfying, rather than optimising. The goal of
supply chain management is to satisfy customers firstly and then talking about costs. The
goal of the optimising supply chain is to enhance customer satisfactions. In addition,
optimising one of the objectives must not affect another objective function to move away
from its value.
4.4.5 External Integration
In addition, collaboration can be conceptualised as external and internal, for example,
organisations belong first to the people and next to the departments (Barnett, 2004). Pagell
(2004) worked out a series of case studies to explore the factors that make operations,
procurement, and logistics integration between internal suppression. Froehlich and Westbrook
(2001) developed "Integrated Arc" framework in which different levels of integration were
distinguished from a wide range of supplier integration and the integration of a wide range of
customers, in order to evaluate the effect of supply chain integration between diversification
and performance, Narasimhan and Kim (2002) developed a three-stage supply chain
integration model based on the theoretical framework of Frohlich and Westbook (2001). This
model consists of supplier integration, integration of customer for a chain of internal
integration and company.

27

Whilst most of the authors are concerned with general relations and cooperation, particularly
in the external supply chain, some common themes can be identified from the previous
literature. Some authors have always included some form of collaboration and information
sharing in external integration (Matopoulos et al., 2007). On the other hand, researchers have
begun to focus on its link to relationship-building activities, such as decision-making and
incentive alignment conceptualization collaboration (Nyaga et al., 2010). Recently, some
scholars have defined the concept of a multi-dimensional cooperation. However, only in a
few studies supply chain collaboration has been conceptualised as to which agency must
cooperate with positive measures at multidimensional level.
In the literature, scholars believed that higher degree of integration and collaboration enhance
supply chain performances (Frohlich and Westbook, 2001; Simatupang and Sridharan, 2005).
On the opposite, lower degree of integration and collaboration is a problem for firms
(Frohlich and Westbook, 2001), with the bullwhip effect caused by lack of collaboration,
integration and information sharing. Also, current research trend is that finding a more
comprehensive and complex role of collaboration and integration. Sanders (2007) found
through intra-organisational collaboration, the impact of inter-firm collaboration and
integration on performance is indirect only.

Table 6: Supply Chain Relationship and Integration

28

The above table shows supply chain relationship and integration. Even though the core is
integration, every author related the concept to collaboration and one of them drew results
with information sharing. However, all of these scholars did not talk about the impact of SCI
on SCRM, whilst all results touched upon operational performance, which has an indirect
relationship with SCRM. As it states above, this paper defines an excellent SCRM is to
eliminate potential risks in daily operation. Therefore, good operational performances help
managers avoid potential supply chain risks.
4.4.6 Obstacles and Challenges of Integration
This section mainly analyses obstacles and challenges for achieving supply chain integration.
As stated above, integration is divided into internal integration and external integration, so
that it becomes easier to overcome challenges and barriers. Hence, the research on SCI must
integrate the two parts. In order for a company to increase internal integration, the efforts
need a "new way of thinking, along with the construction of new practices and procedures"
without which management may not achieve the desired level of integration (Fawcett and
Magnan, 2001). Internal integration is difficult because it requires a change in the
organisational structure and changes in incentives. Even a new vocabulary, Great Operation
Divide was coined by Peter Drucker to describe that firms major functions (i.e. purchasing,
marketing and logistics) which are needed to implement cross-organisational integration.
Ellinger et al. (2006) studied the behaviour of internal coordination inhibitors to understand
how companies can improve internal integration. The findings indicate five themes of new
inhibitors of cooperation: lack of awareness of other functions; lack of communication;
insufficient working relationship; conflicting objectives; and lack of direction of
management. Barki and Pinsonneault (2005) discussed the two types of obstacles for
organisational integration: the professional barriers and political obstacles. Specialisation
may be due to different perspectives to the targets assigned to organisational units; political
obstacles can cause conflicts and power struggles. For example, government policies, war or
world trade regulations are some of the political obstacles. While the management structure
of the organisation shows that in legend and record non-integrated supply chain issues, from
Forrester's (1961) seminal work one can understand that Forrests effects is a part of the
Bullwhip effect. So causes of Bullwhip effect again highlight the significances of trust and
information. Fawcett and Magnan (2002) draw a conclusion that 60% of respondents in
supply chain management companies mainly adopt internal (or external) integration, which
29

implies that the companies do not have complete supply chain integration, mainly due to the
failure of a company strategy and monitoring. This happens despite various initiatives to
encourage external integration, through the failure of cooperation, although there is the
emergence of various initiatives to encourage external integration, through collaborative
efforts (e.g., Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment and Efficient Consumer
Response).
Moberg et al. (2003) discussed obstacles in implementing supply chain management
successfully, including lack of trust, misunderstanding about the importance of supply chain
integration, the fear of losing control, off target, poor information systems, short-term and
long-term focus, and complexity of the supply chain. The work discusses collaborative
planning obstacles and stresses that the presence of these obstacles at the tactical and
operational levels, as well as at the strategic level. Interestingly, Frohlich (2002) found that
both external and internal barriers have negative relationship with Internet-enabled supply
chain integration. Because when a business or supply chain network is focused on the
maximisation of individual performance, rather than trying to improve the overall
performance of the supply chain, sub-optimal performance may result. In other words, even
though a firm is willing to integrate internally and externally, and has sufficient technological
support, when it only focuses on itself rather than overall supply chain partners, the
integration is bound to be a failure. Many authors held different views on this issue. Taking
UKs construction sector as an example, on the surface, obstacles to integration consist of
communication management, information flow, problem resolution mechanisms, supply
chain alignment and high-quality standards (Briscoe and Dainty, 2005). However, the only
fundamental challenge remains the trust among SC partners.
4.4.7 Information Sharing
This section presents the discussion on the relationships between supply chain risk
management (SCRM) and information sharing. The underlying concept is the capture of
information sharing and communication, timely and relevant information, planning and
control of supply chain decision synchronization by decision makers, which refers to the joint
decision-making and business planning. Environment and incentive adjustment refers to the
extent to which the partners share the supply chain cost, risks and benefits (Simatupang and
Sridharan, 2005). Through the supply of information sharing enterprise downstream stage can
be interrupted at an upstream stage of alert, correct early warning, and make the right
30

decisions, to offset the disruption. Therefore, information sharing improves business agility
and enhances the stability and performance of the entire supply chain risk management (Li et
al., 2006). Most supply chain strategies, like Quick Response (RS), Vendor Managed
Inventory (VMI), Efficient Consumer Response (ESR), and Continuous Replenishment
Planning (CRP) are embedded in information sharing through advanced information
technologies and the application of those strategies show the significance of information
sharing in daily operation.
In academics, much effort has been taken to explain the value of information in supply
chains. For example, researchers like Gavirneni (2001), Cachon and Fisher (2000) and Kulp
(2000) have focused on two perspectives: Inventory optimisation and demand information
sharing. However, managers believed that although demand information is absolutely critical
to firms, they consider supply information as a priority. In particular, if a disruption or
adjustment occurs in upstream stages of the supply chain, the key is to seize the information
at the right time, at the right place and at the right way to calculate the impact on firms (Li
and Wang, 1999). This statement emphasises the fact that the role of information sharing,
regardless of demand or supply, is handling disruptions by timely sharing information. Li et
al. (2006) simulated a Directed Acyclic Supply Network (DASN) model to prove information
sharing has a positive relationship with supply chain agility and stability. This model
quantified the impact of the disruption from time and cost aspects respectively so that
downstream firms would be able to alert at an upstream in a timely manner. This also helps in
deriving the warning time early in a right way and handle proper measures in incorporating
the model with information sharing system.
Malhotra et al. (2005) believed that the information sharing has a multi-level relationship
with the level of supply chain and the ability to absorb in the pursuit of depth. At its lowest
level, the supply chain generates a minimum of information in order to make the product and
service exchange so as to make the required basis. As an organisation and its supply chain
partners among different collaborative development levels begin to develop a stronger
relationship in order to strengthen cooperation between the necessary resources and
investment (Daniel and white, 2005). Lee et al. (2003) considered collaboration by B2B
commerce model to bridge the gap between supply chain upstream and downstream so that
information sharing plays a major role in these processes. Arnold et al. (2009) explored a
broad range of the perceptions of the participants of the relationship between supply chain
31

partners on a global basis by surveying 207 organisations. Documented information sharing


of supply chain partnership between the partners helps to improve the absorption ability of
the purported benefit, the agility of supply chain and to respond to changes in the business
environment of dynamic capabilities, and general knowledge creation. Especially, this
research highlighted the organisations willingness to commit to the supply chain partners and
high-level information with B2B e-commerce business environment. Moreover, the result
confirmed that enhanced levels of B2B e-commerce business risks cause adverse effect on
information sharing due to mediated commitment. Even though the current e-commerce
models, like B2B, B2C and P2P, force organisations share their information, there are
chances of producing trust crises easily. Nevertheless, information sharing can protect buyersupplier relationships from unethical behaviours as well (Eckerd et al., 2012).
As many previous scholars argued that unethical commercial behaviours and trust crises are
vital reasons of supply chain risks, this study argues that supplier-buyer relationship is likely
to lead to supply chain risks irrespective of the types of commerce model. In this paper, it
defines an unethical behaviour as the beliefs relate to disloyalty, bad faith, and unfair dealing
involved in interfirm relationships. And the cooperative supplier-buyer relationship was
discussed by many researchers and managers (Griffin et al., 2006; Krause, 2007) and they
have built it on broader social relations. Provan (1993) found the suppliers are a potentially
vital component in reducing the unethical behaviours, and the unethical behaviours will
reduce when supplier share information with each other. Eckerd et al. (2012) introduced a
conceptual model to explain the information sharing perceptions of the unethical actions.
Their study has two dimensions. First, they showed that the purchase by the company can be
viewed as wrongdoing beyond the direct relationship between buyers and suppliers of a dual
structure. The entire network of the contract provider is conducive to the process of
information flow of the acquired company and helps the company win reputation. Secondly,
this research explored that the perception of the supplier to purchase the company's unethical
behaviour and purchase the company's commitment to have a significant impact on the
supplier's satisfaction. These contributions are very important because they show the value of
information sharing and suppliers association to reduce or reveal unethical behaviour
perception of partner companies. Also, Connon and Perreault (1999) held the similar view
that increased information exchange relationship of buyer-supplier is related to increased
levels of suppliers satisfaction because it is helpful for avoiding unethical commercial
behaviours; further, it also enhances the level of trust and fair competition.
32

In addition, the information is helpful for reducing the bullwhip effect or demand
amplification (Lee et al., 2004). Leading causes of the bullwhip effect are (i) past demands
are not used for forecasting; (ii) resupply is infinite with a fixed lead time (Lee et al., 2004)
These effects can be summarised as information distortion and it requires a better supply
chain partner relationship to deal with them. For SCRM, this paper considers supply chain
uncertainty is an indirect factor that leads to risks. Yu et al. (2001) have illustrated the
benefits of information sharing to supply chain partnerships and the indirect effect on supply
chain risk based on a two-stage decentralised supply chain. They simulated the optimal
inventory control policies of a supply chain and the results showed sharing information
improves the overall supply chain performance and risk management level. In addition, the
manufacturers obtained more benefits than retailers. This finding leads to the point that
manufacturers should establish the information sharing channel and give incentive to
retailers.
4.4.8 Quality of Information shared
Coherent supply chain information quality concepts were proposed by Simatupang and
Sridharan (2005). The authors believed that information sharing, joint decision-making and
incentive adjustments may be at a high level of information to characterise the environment
which is likely to have a greater impact on business performance, rather than the impact of
weaker low information on environmental quality. Therefore, the quality of information
shared is an important issue. Compared with another scholar, Forslund (2007) identified the
accuracy of information quality, the convenience of usage and information reliability.
Gustavson and Wanstrom (2009) have highlighted the significance of information quality in
manufacturing control and planning. Further, Gosain et al. (2004) draw a conclusion from a
questionnaire survey that the investment of a company on information quality has a positive
relationship with operational performance in terms of supply chain flexibility. Also, Rossion
(2007) draws a conclusion from observation, regarding the other factors. He observed that
poor information quality is a critical enabler of higher total costs and low services. These
researchers proved that information quality is beneficial for avoiding supply chain
disruptions.
Importantly, Wiengarten (2010) demonstrated that cooperation in the German automotive
supply chain is manifold, including information sharing, joint decision-making and incentive
33

adjustments, and supply chain collaboration which evidences the endeavour to recognise the
collaborative approach in managing the supply chain complexity. The study highlighted a
significant impact of timeliness, accuracy, relevance and value-added aspects of the quality of
information and information sharing on the mitigation of SC risk.
4.4.9 Information Security
As stated above, information sharing helps corporations coordinate their running processes
and operational performances closely. Under the integrated and collaborated business model,
supply chain partners are able to access their sites mutually and directly by using advanced
information technologies, like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). However, the processes of
sharing information gradually become a potential challenge because of information security
breach and hackers attack (Camp et al., 2004; Grance et al., 2002). A current development
has exasperated the information security of the supply chain, because of increase in the scope
of information shared by organisations, from market orders and invoices to more sensitive
information, such as demand forecast, inventory levels and pricing data (Bandyopadhyay,
2010). Therefore, many scholars have focused on studying this field. Gordon and Loeb
(2002) analysed the impact of the security vulnerability on the security investment decision
of a corporation. Tanaka et al. (2002) examined the relationship between information security
and vulnerability and hold a similar view with Gordon and Loeb (2002). Varian (2002)
explored the security investment of a multi-firm information system and identified free-riding
effects. Gordon et al. (2002) draw a conclusion that when corporations share information,
each corporation has to reduce incentives to investment in information security.
Compared with other researchers, Bandyopadhyay et al. (2010) observed that the security
breach of an organisation is likely to inflict loss on other firms and the extent of loss relies on
supply chain integration. Their research found that impacts on business investment in
information security and network security vulnerabilities covering supply chain integration.
The findings indicate that even an increase in the extent of any supply chain integration
network vulnerability or security risk level increases, would result in different effects on the
incentive mechanism of investment security. Their research made many simplifying
assumptions for analytical tractability, but without any qualitative change to their results.
Their findings highlighted the need for careful evaluation of the impact of information
security risks before the starting of expensive reconstruction work based on cooperation in
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the process of supply chain management, which also provides the means for meeting the
SCRM requirements.
4.4.10 Obstacles and Challenges of Information Sharing
It is hard to share and coordinate through information sharing because the processes that
multiple groups deal with are unpredictable, dynamic and complex. Supply chain risks
increase the complexity of information exchange and collaboration (Kapucu, 2006).
Therefore, this study summarises the problems of coordination and information sharing based
on the findings of previous research studies.
Contingency theory (Van de Ven and Drazin, 1985) and system theory (Stinchcombe, 1997)
are similar, but not mutually exclusive and the theory attempts to explain disaster
management (DMOS) varies significantly in response to the environment, changes the
business processes and structures. Institutional theory is concerned with the profound and
more flexible social structure through the observation of the course of building the structure.
Bharosa et al. (2009) considered the two theories as the background and then attributed the
information sharing problems to three levels as well and summarise factors that influence the
three levels respectively: community level, agency level and individual level. For the
community level, it includes formal inter-agency communication channels, a feedback
mechanism (like measurement, evaluation and mutual benefit) and information filtering and
selective dissemination. For agency level, the three top factors are norms for inter-agency
information sharing, IOISS integration with organisational IT and technology training. For
individual level, workload for responsible duties, technology acceptance propensity and
perceived information quality impact it. So the research proposed a guide for further
application of Inter-organisational information sharing system (IOISS) and analysed the three
issues in detail respectively.

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Chapter 5 Findings
In order to mitigate supply chain disruption, many scholars have developed different models
or strategies of which some interesting models are the quantitative models for supply chain
risk management (Tang, 2006). However, opponents believed that these quantitative models
could fundamentally deal with operational risks rather than disruption risks. Therefore, the
managers face a challenge to find the ways of avoiding supply chain disruption and finding
an appropriate model is the central aim of this research. The study believes that dealing with
disruption risks mean that waiting for disruption risks to happen and then taking measures;
but the better solution is preventing the supply chain from disruptions in daily operation and
management. Importantly, current supply chain risk management research mainly focuses on
designing optimal adjustment decisions for the firms that are confronted with a disruption,
which is defined as protection strategy by this research.
Supply chain strategy is mainly divided into two parts: decentralisation and centralisation.
These two types of strategies represent two managerial thinking. Decentralisation emphasise
managers establish more stock and partnerships and the focus is on quantity. On the contrary,
centralisation highlights building relatively limited stock and supply chain partnerships where
the focus is on quality. Those centralised supply chain planning prerequisites include
functional products and vertical integration. The dominant organisation has the power and
ability to execute the implementation plan and a field-use planning has important
information. Centralised supply chain planning has a direct effect on supply chain integration,
standardisation, specialisation, and learning. In an appropriate context, planning leads to
improved operating results of the implementation of a centralised supply chain planning
(proactive risk mitigation strategy). The two strategies have their own advantages and
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drawbacks; the two strategies lead to various tactics. It is not a feasible approach to select one
of them, rather than to select both of them, which is the recommendation of this research.
5.1 Collaboration
Chandra and Kumar (2001) simulated a cooperative supply chain model to decompose the
activities of the supply chain partners to identify the impact of those activities on supply
chain design. The model highlighted the significances of collaborating all supply chain
departments. While collaboration is necessary for SCRM, a collaborated supply chain can
find and deal with disruptions on a timely basis. To achieve the collaboration, managers
should make sense of the objectives, policies and goals of each supply chain partner and then
trade off with the control of the first partner followed by the tradeoffs of all partners. It is the
collaborative process that is outlined by this study. Although, this process has only an indirect
effect on SCRM, it is vital as well.
As stated above, managers must face nine barriers when they attempt to implement
collaboration.
Lack of trust: trust relates to partner selection, firms should build a series of standards to
extract collaboration partners with good business behaviour, and all the partners must be
willing to exchange information mutually.
Lack of training for new mindset and skills and unwillingness to share risk and reward: for
many companies, it is a kind of culture and therefore policy-makers and staff should have a
creativeness which will make them improve their skills automatically. Therefore, to overcome
this barrier, managers must make sense the development tendency and the significances of a
whole supply chain.
Lack of collaborative and strategic planning: in the matter of specific strategic planning, all
partners should build a business conversation mechanism and clear the status of every partner
in the supply chain and then generate collaborative and strategic planning according to
specific commercial environment.
Lack of top management commitment: it is understandable that the core aim of a business is
to earn profits. Once talked about management commitment, financial performance is a
priority for a supply chain and therefore they should focus more on supply chain
performance. The stockholders should focus on service level enhancement and long-term
profits.
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Lack of supply chain vision/understanding and inadequate information sharing: as discussed


earlier, a fluent information exchange channel ensures a supply chains vision, and a firm can
understand the behaviour of other partners by getting sufficient information.
Disparity in trading partners technological capability: it is hard to solve the technical gaps
between trading partners. Firstly, it should classify all partners to identity the long-term and
short-term partners. For long-term and strategic trading partners, they should adopt advanced
information technology based on long-term profits. For short-term partners, fundamental
information exchange technologies should meet its requirement. Collectively, it has to
advocate more money on bridging technological gap, when long-term profits are more than
short-term expenditure where it is worthy.
Inconsistent and inadequate measurement systems: SCM is a kind of strategy, which needs
the same metric to measure the performance of every partner in the supply chain and sharing
the reward and risk according the measurement results. Similar with unwillingness to share
risk and reward, bottlenecks are the managers willingness and the existence of a fair set of
measurement systems.
5.2 Integration
Supply chain integration is rather a complex measure, regardless of being internal or external;
but managers must think about its feasibility. The purpose of analysing the challenges and
obstacles of integration is to overcome them and to find facilitators. To achieve internal
integration, there is the need for inclusive communication, close working relationships,
shared responsibility, and involvement of professional management promoting an internal
integration between logistics and marketing functions (Ellinger et al., 2006). Some factors
enable the implementation of external integration, including information sharing, common
goals, communication and interdependency. Moreover, Schmit et al. (1995) illustrated that
current supply chain cannot be controlled by traditional organisation structures. In this
context, the traditional organisation structure means every department is concerned only with
limited and partial work, so that the author coined a new word united front to achieve
integration.

Inter-organisational

teams,

new

performance

measures

development,

communication improvement and information exchange are four keys of the united front.
The two preconditions of integration are trust and systematic thought, irrespective of whether
it is internal integration or external integration. The supply chain participants should consider
supply chain as a system, where a change in a single component in the system will have an
38

impact on the changes in others. When a company recognizes that it has to develop
independent and interdependent health awareness and achieve functional and performance
requirements of the supply chain integration, its basic premise is related to identifying the
best way to achieve efficient and effective integration of the supply chain management
partners. Partnership in every company must be personally committed to govern the
efficiency of cooperation in the creation, development and improvement. Therefore, decisionmaker must take upstream firms and downstream firms into consideration when designing
supply chain network. Essentially, the consideration must base on mutual trust and trust
depends on the ethics, contracts, business regulations and strict monitoring mechanism of the
firm.
For SCM, the advantages of integration are collaborative planning, reduction in inventory and
transportation costs, cycle times and improvement in customer service level. Those
advantages may seem like useless for SCRM. However, in reality, these advantages help the
managers indirectly avoid supply chain risks. Faced with supply chain risk, the integration
enables that a whole supply chain deal with the risk rather than a single firm. The systems
ability to resist risk is better than the individual. In addition, the close relationship between
the partners and the departments in an integrated supply chain is beneficial for potential risk
discovery so that supply chain disruption can be mitigated earlier.
Alerting timely disruptions provides the firms additional time to deal with disruption, which
is proved by Li et al. (2006). Their research provided a key data support for this type of
strategy and the future promising research direction is to combine the two areas and find an
integrated supply chain risk solution. For information security, if firms are not willing to
share sensitive information or just desire to share limited information, a better method is that
they do not establish network interconnectivity or use other means to exchange information.
Also, the current literature attempted to show collaboration is a win-win strategy when reengineering the supply chain and extend its benefits to all supply chain participants.
However, one of the important issues is that the benefits may be not huge; in particular, the
re-engineering ignores the coordination of security investments. On the other side, if it only
focuses on optimising the benefits of main supply chain function through coordination, then it
must lead to an over-estimate of coordination benefits. Therefore, information sharing is a
complex and challenging decision for firms and even it is a dilemma, the benefits are obvious
and shortcomings are as well. Therefore, this study suggests firms adapt a limited information
sharing policy based on actual situations.
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There is no single factor responsible for challenges and obstacles because community level,
agency level and individual level factors cause it together. Therefore, overcoming them
should take all the three tiers into consideration. Generally speaking, supply chain risks are
found at the individual level, but the obstacles in this level include lack of incentives, overall
operational dependencies, emotional reward and system usability.
5.3 Information Sharing
To summarise, challenges and obstacles can be attributed to information sharing because
individuals often are concerned with gathering information from others rather than providing
it. When managers desire to solve them fundamentally, they should include enough
employees to sharing information mutually and establish a reasonable information sharing
system. In addition, it is necessary to enhance the capabilities of the employees to deal with
information. The basis of the issues relating to quality of information shared or challenges of
information sharing is the supplier-buyer relationship. Establishing a high degree mutual trust
mechanism therefore becomes important. The mutual trust raises the reputation of the firms
in a social network and help in establishing a stable and safe information interchange system.
For example, when a supplier considers entering a new business relationship with a buying
firm and the vendor gathers misleading information from it, the unethical behaviour of the
buying firm results in the vendor applying a pause to all business relationships for protecting
itself and the overall profits of the supply chain.
It needs to be understood that information technologies are just tools for sharing information;
but the operators are people. Therefore, everyone in the supply chain must know information
sharing helps firms earning higher profits and avoiding supply chain disruptions. This calls
for every supply chain partner to do everything by following ethical approaches. By
following the effective information system, B2B has become a mainstream commerce model.
As discussed within this report, while the e-commerce model is investible, it easily results in
the exposure to information crises and supply chain risks. However, the strategic level of
B2B operations can strengthen the attractiveness of suppliers and buyers to their current and
potential trading partner, which helps managers, find an alternative partner while dealing with
disruptions and enhancing supply chain risk mitigation capacity. However, costs and service
level should be equally important for organisations.
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5.4 Systems Thinking


In the last section, the analyses relating to overcoming the barriers of collaboration,
integration and information sharing are presented, with a specific focus on implementing
them in practice. Essentially, it combines the advantages of the three terms into dealing with
supply chain risk, which is the system thinking. Fundamentally, supply chain designers
assume risks are potentially existing. Then, information sharing is the cornerstone of
collaboration and integration and its level and quality determine the extent of the reliability
and stability of collaboration and integration. For achieving the desired results from system
thinking, training level and technologies are important to adhere to. Noticeably, the mutual
trust of supply chain partners begins with information sharing. The degree of trust depends on
the collaboration and integration possibilities. For practicing information sharing, it is
necessary to take into account many details involved. For example, sensitivity of business
information, quality of information shared, channels of information and technologies and
capacity of dealing information are worth considering. However, based on the analysis of the
obstacles and challenges, proposes measures with trade-offs, and the degree of trade-off
should be decided based on practical experience.

Figure 4: Systems thinking


Collaboration is considered as a long-term strategy because it needs cooperation with partners
and competition with other players in the market. Once trust is not problematic, commitment,
aligned goals and reward sharing will maintain the collaborative supply chain. Compared
with collaboration, integration is tactics, including external integration, internal integration
and supplier-buyer integration. The firms need to consider integration at three levels
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individual, agency and organisation. After the integration of the supply chain integration as a
whole, all firms in the supply chain share information and risk together. The common
requirement with collaboration is information sharing request and the common goal is to
improve the supply chain risk response capacity and service level. Collectively, information
sharing as a start deeply impacts the implementation of the other two terms, and collaboration
and integration reflects the quality of information sharing by a supply chain.
Therefore, this research considers collaboration, information sharing and integration as a
whole while the decision-makers think risk as a priority. Before operating a supply chain,
managers must clear the role and functions of each partner in the entire supply chain and then
build partnerships with other organisations. Referring to a holistic supply chain, the entirety
of the supply chain includes two parts: collaboration and integration. Collaborative supply
chain management (CSCM) ensures all partners operate a supply chain externally. Integrated
supply chain management (ISCM) bridges the gap between different firms and levels
internally. Before a supply chain disruption happens, the combination of CSCM and ISCM
help partners to get alerts of it. Once it happens, the combination shares all risks to partners
so that the damage will be reduced as far as possible. The two results illustrate the effects of
collaboration, integration and information sharing in SCRM. As mentioned earlier, a
proactive risk mitigation strategy is defined as when it designs a supply chain, it finds
potential risks and solve them before disruptions appear. Therefore, the combination of
CSCM and ISCM represents the proactive risk mitigation thoughts. Thus, this research
proposes two important findings in the form of a whole supply chain and proactive risk
mitigation as the means for an effective SCRM. The whole supply chain highlights the
entirety of the supply chain and the risk mitigation is a kind of formers application.
Chapter 6 Conclusions and Further Research
6.1 Conclusion
The objective of this research was to undertake a systematic literature review of previous
research to explore the effect of collaboration, integration and information sharing on supply
chain risk and to recommend a series of measures to protect the supply chain from
disruptions. The research proposes to offer feasible solutions to mitigate supply chain risks
from the perspective of business managers. Based on the review of the previous research, this
study argues that the previous researchers have focused on the use of any one of the concepts
from among collaboration, integration and information sharing as a mitigating factor for
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supply chain disruption. The previous research studies do not appear to have studied the
combined effect of all the three concepts in managing the supply chain risks. In order to fill
this research gap, this study sought to present a mitigation strategy that could combine the
effects of the supply chain collaboration, integration and information sharing and offer a
protective SC risk mitigation proposal. In the process of reviewing the findings of the
previous research works, this study dwelled upon a detailed analysis of the different facets of
collaboration, integration, including external and internal integration and information sharing
including the quality of information shared. The study found that collaboration depends on
building mutual trust among the supply chain partners and effective collaboration is most
likely to lead to effective integration whereby all the partners in the supply chain share the
risks and advantages of a common protective strategy.
The study also discussed the obstacles and challenges in supply chain collaboration,
integration and information sharing and appropriate measures to overcome the obstacles by
drawing from the previous research findings. The study argues to firms should enhance their
technological capabilities and train the employees for an effective information sharing. The
study also finds the quality of information shared as one of the important elements in
effective information sharing among the supply chain partners. Since proactive risk
mitigation strategy is one of the important perspectives of SCRM, this research explored how
to support industry using a protective mitigation strategy. On a review of the previous
literature, the research produces a kind of systems thinking in which the managers need to
create an awareness of the potential existence of a risk and waiting for the risk to happen
shows inefficiency. Therefore, the correct behaviour is to considering the supply chain as a
whole and work with the supply chain partners to find the risk in advance and protect from it
to the advantage of all the supply chain partners.
This paper investigates 24 research works from the previous literature to draw effective
content to support the arguments in favour of combining the three aspects of collaboration,
integration and information sharing to mitigate SC risks. Irrespective of the fact that the
number of articles reviewed is small, the analysis has been done extensively to browse all the
relevant areas in the field of SCM and SCRM. On the basis of the literature review, this study
concludes that managers in order to meet the challenges of SC risk must consider
collaboration, information sharing and integration as a whole. The study also proposes that it
is important that the managers define the role and status of each of the supply chain partners
43

so that the effectiveness of collaboration, integration and information sharing can be


improved drastically. Building mutual trust among the supply chain partners is another
prerequisite for practicing effective SCRM. The study also recommends implementing a
collaborative supply chain management (CSCM) that ensures all partners operate a supply
chain externally and an integrated supply chain management (ISCM) that bridges the gap
between different firms and levels internally. The study proposes that the combined effect of
SC collaboration, integration and information sharing could act as a protective strategy,
wherein the supply chain partners get to know of the SC risk before the risk actually happens
and take necessary steps to prevent the adverse effects of such risk by pooling the skills and
resources of all supply chain partners. Each of the three elements of collaboration, integration
and information sharing would help the firms in this respect. It is also important that the
managers consider suitable measures to overcome the obstacles and challenges of the three
measures.
6. 2 Limitations
This study suffered from some methodological limitations which might have affected the
findings to some extent. The first limitation relates to the quantity and contents of the
previous research works taken into consideration in building this research. Most of the
previous research have focused on any of the three elements collaboration, integration and
information sharing while dealing with the main topic of SCM. This has posed a serious
limitation in considering the individual research works to substantiate the findings of this
study. The second limitation relates to the number of articles considered for the literature
review. A majority of the articles on SCM has covered multifarious dimensions in relation to
improving the SC performance with a limitation on the number of articles that focused on the
SCRM. This may be because of the fact that SCRM is a wide term with no fixed definition
outlining the likely issues that need to be covered in SCRM. The general contention is to
avoid disruptions in the supply chain and to improve the overall efficiency. The broadness of
the term SCRM has in fact limited number of articles that could be reviewed in this research.
Another limitation arises from the relevance and generalisation of the findings to a large
number of industries and sectors. This is due to the specific nature of each industry/sector in
the supply chain performance is prone to the impact of a number of obstacles and challenges
peculiar to the respective industries/sectors. Therefore, extending the findings to be applied to
different sectors needs to be considered in the light of obstacles and challenges relevant to the
specific industry/sector.
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6.3 Future Research


The limitations of this study have given rise to the opportunities for future research in the
area. First, the validity of the findings of this study can be tested using empirical data from
sample firms operating in a specific industry to throw further light on the effectiveness of the
protective strategy proposed by this study. Since generalisation of the findings of this study
may be difficult because of its application to different industry/sector, specific
industries/sectors may be selected for conducting further research to test the application of a
combined SCM strategy to enhance the overall performance of the SC in the respective
industries/sectors. Furthermore, a large number of previous research works that deal with
SCRM may be reviewed to draw conclusions supporting the findings of this study.

45