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Research paper

Effective supply value chain based on


competence success
Gülgün Kayakutlu
Department of Industrial Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey, and
Gülçin Büyüközkan
Department of Industrial Engineering, Galatasaray University, Istanbul, Turkey

Abstract
Purpose – This paper seeks to propose a managerial decision framework for different levels of supply chain, by addressing the strategic importance of
competence values in supply chain effectiveness.
Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual framework for supply chain effectiveness is defined in levels of supply chain targets, knowledge
management dynamics, competence levels and competence success attributes. Analysis of literature in the areas of competence management,
knowledge management, supply chain and value chain management resulted in defining the factors of the model. Surveys of industrial practices were
used to validate the choice of factors. The analytical network process (ANP) is used to determine the most beneficial competence success attributes in a
case study performed for three companies that participate in different stages of the textile supply chain.
Findings – Individual competence in continuous learning and networking, as well as innovativeness of the team are found to be the three most
important competence attributes in supply chain effectiveness.
Research limitations/implications – The case study is executed in the regional textile industry. New case studies in other industries will help improve
the framework. Further international surveys can improve the detail level of factors used.
Practical implications – The study creates awareness of knowledge management dynamics and competence management for companies which are
in need of innovation to improve their supply chain competitiveness.
Originality/value – The proposed decision framework is one of the first efforts to consider the importance of competence in supply chain success. The
ANP method is used to offer an accurate analysis of interdependent factors observed in management of knowledge dynamics and competence levels.

Keywords Competences, Knowledge management

Paper type Research paper

1. Introduction the chain (Leavy, 2005). Acute awareness of the need for
emphasis on competence management and development is
Supply chains play a significant role in the global knowledge now attributable to the whole value chain (Chan and Lee,
based economy. Effectiveness of the value fostered has been 2005). That is why organisational competence in the chain is
the main focus of all parties in a supply chain. Yet, to be explored in interaction with team and individual success
measurement of the effectiveness has been problematic for factors of each partner. All three levels of competence are to
the policy makers when knowledge based attributes have been be seen as viable resources of integrated business strategies.
as influential as the cost-down or physical assets (Kinder, Key components of any knowledge based supply chain
2003; Walters, 2006). Two new dimensions are to be taken system are the people who create and use the knowledge
into consideration: the significant value of innovation and the (Barson et al., 2000), and organisations need to learn from
opportunities provided by collaboration. Collaboration needs these internal resources as much as from the external
to be used in data and knowledge sharing as well as in the environment. In this context, there have been numerous in-
integration of plans and decisions (Queseda et al., 2008). The depth research studies run by psychologists, sociologists and
value of innovation, on the other hand, is created by the epistemologists, each with its own view (Harzallah and
ability to renew business models and access competencies in Vernadat, 2001; Lee et al., 2009; Feldman, 2003). In
addition, studies run by knowledge management researchers
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
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The authors would like to express deep gratitude to the industrial experts
from Kipaş İplik A.Ş., Karagözlü Tekstil A.Ş. and Catalys Inc. for their
unlimited support in evaluation of the framework. The authors would like
to thank the Editor and anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments
Supply Chain Management: An International Journal
15/2 (2010) 129– 138 and suggestions, which were helpful in improving the paper. The authors
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited [ISSN 1359-8546] also acknowledge Ellen Saunders for her help in improving the linguistic
[DOI 10.1108/13598541011028732] quality of the paper.

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are focused on technological processes and/or intellectual collaboration both in functional operations and strategies
capital measurement (Hicks et al., 2006) ignoring the (Cox, 1999; Bowersox et al., 2000) will add value to the
multidisciplinary interactions. With the spread of global supply chain as the full potential of information flow re-
competition, the need for collaboration is increased energizes the business (Bowersox et al., 2005). Participation
(Blenkhorn and Fleisher, 2005); and this fact requires the in innovation creates a competitive advantage for the supply
supply value chain players to review their goals by chain (Hou and He, 2008; George et al., 2009) if regulatory
reconsidering the interaction of different levels of and cultural limits of globalisation are removed (Bello et al.,
competence issues with a knowledge-based vision (Lindgren 2004).
et al., 2003). Advanced implementation of virtual teams A supply chain consists of different stages and even includes
facilitates the technological collaboration and leads to the customer (Simchi-Levi et al., 2000). That is why
fundamental changes in supply management strategies (Mo integration gaps are blamed on the competence level of
and Zhou, 2003). Hence, understanding of organisational human resources due to reducing the beneficial influences of
competence is to be raised to embrace supply value chain knowledge management in value generation (Madlberger,
effectiveness (Miocevic, 2008). Exploring and measuring the 2009). Hence, competence created by collaborative
competence priorities through a new dimension will be innovation is to be investigated in individual, team or
beneficial for the company as well as the value chain. organisational levels of human interactions. To this end, the
This paper aims to introduce the important competence literature survey will be focused on four dimensions as shown
management issues of an effective supply value chain in Figure 1: supply value chain effectiveness goals, knowledge
management in a four-level strategic analysis framework that dynamics, competence levels and success attributes in
will aid managerial decision-making. The proposed decision competence levels.
framework is based on literature and practice in the area of
competence management, knowledge management, and 2.1 Dimension of effectiveness
supply chain management. A systematic analytical model, The majority of companies in supply chains target correct
namely the analytic network process (ANP) (Saaty, 1996) will order management, demand forecasting, inventory
be used to determine which competence management management, capital efficiency and reduced time-to market
attributes are most beneficial in the development of an (Tamas, 2000) which are all good responses to market needs.
effective supply value chain. ANP is a suitable technique to Chopra and Meindl (2001) extends the basic goal of
analyse the dynamic characteristics and complexity of supply responsiveness by focusing on originality of the products
value chain management, which is a necessity for strategic and services provided by the chain. Responsiveness is the
analysis. Despite the increase in ANP related studies, to our
minimum goal of responding to customer requests based on
knowledge there is only one ANP study on knowledge
time, product mix, flexibility, quality and price. It should be
management related issues in the supply chain (Raisinghani
applied by companies in all the stages independent of power
and Meade, 2005). This provides an opportunity to discuss
balance or structural differentiation of push or pull (Mentzer
further studies based on a new decision framework and the
et al., 2007).
achievements of a case study.
Perceived differences in difficulty associated with demand
The paper is organised as follows: the first section presents
prediction will restrict full responsiveness; hence, competitive
the key constructs used to build the suggested framework and
advantages of one supply chain over another are to be sought
illustrates the theoretical framework. In the following section,
using the main factors of trust, consistency and further
the research methodology based on the analytic network
uniqueness (Simchi-Levi et al., 2004). Consistency builds
process is outlined. The following sections include initiation
customer trust for the whole chain by sticking to the desired
and detailed illustration of the methodology through the case
level of responsiveness over time (Walters and Lancester,
study and its results. The final section presents some future
research directions and concludes the paper.
Figure 1 High-level graphical representation of proposed evaluation
framework
2. Research constructs and theoretical framework
In our century, knowledge has solidified its position as a key
commodity in the global market; whereas, competence
management strategies continue to be a challenge for
achieving goals not only in manufacturing organizations but
also in the value chain. Many competence systems in current
use are well-designed data repositories (Lindgren, 2005),
devoid of the critical and crucial interest driven dynamism
required. Therefore, most of them cannot respond to the
enhanced goals of the supply value chain (Halley and
Beaulieu, 2009). In the beginning of this century, agility
was the main goal of any value chain, which is not the case
anymore (Raisinghani and Meade, 2005). Currently, the
leading edge goals for holding up the chain are to include
original competitive advantages created by a holistic view of
tangible and intangible components as Kinder (2003)
investigates. This is only possible by considering
collaboration and innovation. Establishing the effective

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Effective supply value chain based on competence success Supply Chain Management: An International Journal
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2000). Any small mistake in delivery time, quality and price architects (Lee et al., 2009). The project tries to achieve the
may easily cause the customers change the supplier. best return on investment in web applications.
Originality guarantees competitive uniqueness in the ever-
changing global world. Innovation, the main result expected 2.2.3 Knowledge distribution
from knowledge management implementations, should bring Reinvention of the values that can be created through an
up new products, new services, new processes and new integrated value chain can only be possible by building trust
systems by implementing the benefits proposed by advanced (Walter, 2003). Formalising chain learning, fostering
technologies (Mavrotas et al., 2007). communities of practice and rewarding systems can be
solutions for building trust if power of stages are balanced
2.2 Dimension of knowledge management dynamics (Walters, 2006). Emphasizing natural human processes like
In order to achieve goals for effectiveness, knowledge story telling can empower collaboration. It is only possible
management is to be used as part of a strategy, as an through interest groups and idea exchanges that collaborative
integration tool and to pertain the relations. Knowledge creativity is reinforced. Creativity is an individual skill to
management dynamics are clustered as strategies, retain and workers of a company should be encouraged to
infrastructure and distribution and sharing as detailed below. come up with new ideas by accessing chain knowledge
inventory. Dissemination of the knowledge shared in the value
2.2.1 Knowledge management strategies chain in the organisation and rewarding ideas generated are
To develop process, and share and utilise knowledge in the part of enterprise leadership and would show the flexibility of
value chain landscape, assets, incentives and creativity must company vision (Miocevic, 2008).
be the central foci. Knowledge strategies are to be defined for
the entire value chain, which can only be done after having 2.3 Dimension of competence levels
defined the organisational strategies. The first major strategy Current research has strong findings that human relations are
is to define the “landscape” (Lee et al., 2009). Using the getting more important in supply chain performance (Shub
governing principles model, the values, goals and expectations and Stonebraker, 2009). No longer limited to relations among
of the value chain should be clarified based on landscapes of managers, opportunities given to teams by evolution of
the organisations. This method is concerned with ethical and information and communication technologies are to be
judgemental issues (Davenport, 1999; Wiig, 2004). analysed (Shi et al., 2004). Organisations and teams are
Knowledge assets inventory is expected to be the second made of individuals. The majority of competence studies
strategy. Each organisation has his own assets but how much conclude that behavioural, motivational, technical and
of these assets will be shared and accepted as the value chain knowledge based skills (Lindgren, 2005) influence the
asset is the question to be answered (National Research degree of achievement of supply value chain goals. It is
Council, 2000). Structural, human, relational and social obvious that organisational, team and individual competence
assets are to be determined as internal to the organisation levels are interdependent and one cannot be analysed without
and/or intra organisations in the chain (Ko et al., 2009). Best the feedback of the other levels.
practices, is a good example of knowledge to be shared. While Organisational level in the knowledge-based organisations is
defining the knowledge to be shared, trust building should be expected to consider knowledge landscape, knowledge assets
accomplished by defining the incentives (Edvinsson, 2002). as well as information sharing, push/pull balance and synergy
The last strategy is to define the strength of creativity and
creation. Knowledge landscape defines the coverage of
design new ways to improve collaborative creativity.
knowledge clustering, processing and creation that will
2.2.2 Knowledge management infrastructure structure the business strategies. The power of organisations
Information and communication technologies are indeed an is dependent on knowledge assets as well as financial assets
integral part of value chain integration. The decision making (Walter, 2003). Information sharing policies are the basis of
and the technological infrastructure are the two critical collaboration in the supply chain. The push/pull power
systems in performance (Stapleton et al., 2006). Value adding balance among the stages is important in building trust, and
network implemented using Internet and the web-based synergy creation is a necessity for originality.
applications (technological system) will amalgamate the At the team level issues of team success are to be
structural assets, whereas data warehouses and data mining considered. Cultural integration has become as important
tools (decision systems) will retrieve the knowledge from an issue as knowledge sharing in both local and global chains.
combined information inventories (Edvinsson, 2002). As the Relation among the stages is fragile if the operation teams are
benefits of technology are achieved more advanced technology not performing with common integrated goals. Cost can be
is requested. A lexicon for the value chain is to be created to reduced also by relying on resource utilisation by either
communicate in the same language independent of culture strategic or operational teams (Madlberger, 2009).
and customs, which necessitates the taxonomy work. Management and leadership is the crucial attribute of team
Knowledge agents, which are developed using artificial success resulting in organisational success. Innovation is the
intelligence techniques, will help semantic interpretation for result of knowledge sharing and can only be measured at the
the lexicon to be dynamically generated (Kamruzzaman et al., team level since modifications can neither be decided nor
2006). Knowledge hubs and knowledge grids will speed up created by individuals even if it benefits the creativity of the
and regulate the knowledge flow (Brown and O’Hare, 2001). team members.
To avoid turning enterprises off because of the expense of Individuals build teams and organisations. Expectations at
these technologies, start up should be based on web this level consist of knowledge acquisition, knowledge
applications. A good example of this is the Living Steel understanding, willingness to do something differently and
project, which was started by ten steel producers to integrate experiencing different trials (Hoek et al., 2002). These skills
the supply chain including construction companies and and abilities lead learning and creativity as a necessity of

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knowledge-based organisations and networking for inter- companies representing different stages of a textile chain.
organisational issues in the supply chain (Lee, 2009). A Importance given to competence evaluation and having a
purchasing and or supply operator is expected to be as results payroll expert also played an important role in the choice of
oriented as the salesforce. Since turnover will damage the companies studied.
consistency role commitment is inevitable in performance Analysis is performed on the average of evaluations by three
measures. assessors from three different companies older than ten years,
all classified as small and medium size, and the all important
textile exporters of Turkey. The first company is a yarn
3. Research methodology: the analytic network producer, the second a fabric producer and the third is a
process sourcing company.
Selecting a suitable methodology that can decode the high- The yarn producer is constructed and run by a mechanical
level relationship model presented in Figure 1 is a critical engineer brought up in cotton fields. Technology and
issue. This methodology should be able to use quantitative, information sharing have been the infrastructure of his
qualitative, tangible and intangible factors pertaining to the strategies since the very first day of establishment. The
decision of whether and which success attributes should be youngest brother of the family is trained as a knowledge
evaluated. With this trend, ANP is found to be capable of engineer in the US to be responsible for organisational
taking the multiple dimensions of information into the competence management after graduation. Since he is a
analysis. It is a method that is widely used in decision making knowledge engineer, he has implemented knowledge
in supplier selection (Chen et al., 2008; Lee, 2009) and management processes in the company and has improved
supplier evaluation (Lin, 2008; Liu and Wang, 2009). It is export volume by 30 per cent in the last four years with the
also used in performance measures (Thakkar et al., 2007; Lin techniques he applied in competence management. He is the
et al., 2009). first assessor in the case study.
ANP is a general form of the analytical hierarchy process The fabric producer was a classical family company
(AHP) first introduced by Saaty (1980). While the AHP working in the local market until the mathematical engineer
employs a unidirectional hierarchical relationship among daughter joined. She finished her master of science in UK
decision levels, the ANP enables interrelationships among the before initiating the export operation and managing the
decision levels and attributes in a more general form. The business process-reengineering project in the company. She
ANP uses ratio scale measurements based on pair wise recently finalised establishing customer knowledge and
comparisons; however, it does not impose a strict hierarchical intellectual capital management processes. The performance
structure as in AHP, and models a decision problem using a system she implemented is based on both intellectual capital
systems-with-feedback approach. The ANP refers then to the and competence measurements. She is chosen to be the
systems of which a level may both dominate and be second assessor.
dominated, directly or indirectly, by other decision The third assessor is the company owner of a sourcing
attributes and levels. The ANP approach is capable of company, a textile engineer with a PhD in process
handling interdependence among elements by obtaining the engineering. Knowledge management was not a choice but
composite weights through the development of a a natural driver for him when he established his company. His
“supermatrix”. Saaty (1980) explains the supermatrix company operates both traditionally and on a collaboration
concept similar to the Markov chain process. The platform for e-business. He is one of the early appliers of
supermatrix development is defined in the next section. reverse price forecasting and runs the competence
There are six major steps in the ANP process: management himself.
1 Develop an evaluation network hierarchy showing the The following sub-sections are the result of interviews with
relationships among analysing factors. the above-mentioned assessors. The overall objective of the
2 Elicit pair-wise comparisons among the factors framework is to determine which competence levels’ attribute
influencing the evaluation. is most influential in the current supply value chain
3 Calculate relative-importance-weight vectors of the management. Knowing this information enables
factors. management to ascertain if the supply chain is positioned
4 Form a supermatrix (i.e. a two-dimensional matrix appropriately to meet its strategic objectives.
composed from the relative-importance-weight vectors)
and normalize this supermatrix, so that the numbers in 4.1 The evaluation network hierarchy
every column sum to one. The detailed model actually used to evaluate the competence
5 Calculate converged (“stable”) weights from the levels’ success attributes is given in Figure 2.
normalized super-matrix.
6 Determine overall weightings of evaluation attributes. 4.2 Pair-wise comparisons
Eliciting preferences of various components and attributes
These six steps will be discussed in conjunction with the case will require a series of pair wise comparisons where the
study in the following section. assessor will compare two components at a time with respect
to an upper level ’control’ criterion. In ANP, like AHP, pair
wise comparisons of the elements in each level are conducted
4. Application of the suggested framework
with respect to their relative importance towards their control
The proposed framework limits the case study to knowledge- criterion (Saaty, 1980).
based organisations with a role in the supply chain. Since Saaty has suggested a scale of 1 to 9 when comparing the
different stages in a supply chain show different issues, it is two components, with a score of 1 representing indifference
preferred to work on the average of responses from three between the two components and 9 being overwhelming

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Figure 2 Evaluation network for effective supply value chain management

dominance of the component under consideration (row Reciprocally, the intersection of the strategies row and
component) over the comparison component (column infrastructure column shows a score of 0.333. This pairwise
component). If a component has a weaker impact on the comparison approach is used to populate the matrix.
control criterion, the range of scores will be from 1 to 1/9,
where 1 represents indifference and 1/9 an overwhelming 4.3 Calculation of relative importance weights
dominance by a column element over the row element. When Once all the pair wise comparisons are completed, the relative
scoring is conducted for a pair, a reciprocal value is importance weight for each component is determined. The
automatically assigned to the reverse comparison within the priority vector shows that for this study, the knowledge
matrix. That is, if aij is a matrix value assigned to the distribution dynamic was given the highest rating (0.637) (the
relationship of component i to component j, then aji is equal weighted priorities are shown as the last column in Table I).
to 1/aij (or aij £ aji ¼ 1). Since many of these values have Given that A is the pairwise comparison matrix, the weights
strategic importance, we again used the strategic group can be determined by expression:
decision-making tool, Delphi approach, to assign meaningful
values to the pair wise comparisons. Expertise of the assessors A w ¼ l max w ð1Þ
chosen has avoided the issues caused by difficulty of
evaluation.
where lmax is the largest eigenvalue of A. Saaty provides
An example of the pair-wise comparison matrix with respect
several algorithms for approximating w. In this paper a two-
to the goal as the controlling factor is shown in Table I. The
stage algorithm as proposed by Saaty (1996) was used. The
weightings have been obtained from our industrial experts by
algorithm involves forming a new n £ n matrix by dividing
asking a series of paired comparison questions. For this
each element in a column by the sum of the column elements
matrix in Table I, the experts were asked questions such as:
in the first stage. In the second stage, the elements in each row
“In terms of the goal of effective supply value chain what is
of the resultant matrix are summed and divided by the n
the relative importance of the infrastructure dynamic when
elements in the row.
compared with the strategies dynamic?” In this example, the
This is referred to as the process of averaging over
decision maker viewed collection as “slightly more important”
normalized columns. The procedure may be algebraically
by the score of 3.000 (as shown in the cell at the intersection
represented as:
of the strategies row and the infrastructure column in Table I).
!
PI aij
Table I Pair-wise comparison matrix for KM dynamics elements’ i¼1 PJ
a
j¼1 ij
importance relative to the goal wi ¼ ð2Þ
J
Goal Strategy Infrastructure Distribution Weights
Strategy 1.000 0.333 0.200 0.105 where:
Infrastructure 3 1.000 0.333 0.258
.
wi is the weighted priority for component i.
Distribution 5 3 1.000 0.637
. J is number of columns (components).
.
I is number of rows (components).

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This algorithm is one of the better methods for estimation of 4.5 Calculation of stable weights from the normalized
eigenvalues, as proposed by Saaty (1996). Sarkis (1998) also super-matrix
recommended this algorithm because it can be easily used by The next step with the supermatrix evaluation is to determine
practitioners who may only have access to simple the final relative importance weights of each of the
spreadsheets. This algorithm has since been used by many competence levels. To complete this step and to help
researchers (such as Meade and Sarkis (1998); Chung et al. guarantee convergence, the columns of the supermatrix
(2005); Wong et al. (2008); and Chen et al. (2009)). must be “column stochastic”. That is, the sum of weights of
In the assessment process there may occur a problem in the each column of the supermatrix must be equal to 1. To
transitivity or consistency of the pair wise comparisons. For an complete this task, each of the columns may either be
explanation on inconsistencies in relationships and their normalized by dividing the weight in the column by the sum
calculations see (Saaty, 1980). of that column. For convergence to a final set of weights, we
The priority vectors for each pair wise comparison matrix raise the normalized (column stochastic) supermatrix to the
will be needed to complete the various supermatrix power 2k þ 1 where k is an arbitrarily large number until
submatrices. We will need a total of 13 priority vectors to stabilization of the weights occurs (i.e. when values in the
complete our supermatrix. This requirement means that 13 supermatrix do not change when it is multiplied by itself
again, this is also defined as convergence). For our example,
pair wise comparison matrices must be completed. The pair
convergence occurred when the supermatrix was raised to the
wise comparison matrix results used below were all tested for
29th power. The long-term stable weighted values to be used
and achieved the consistency goals.
in the analysis are shown in the converged supermatrix given
in Table III. From the results, it can be observed that the most
important competence level for effective supply value chain is
4.4 Supermatrix formation
individual competence (0.487), trailed by team competence
ANP uses the formation of a supermatrix to allow for the
(0.413).
resolution of the effects of the interdependence that exists
between the clusters within the evaluation network hierarchy.
4.6 Final relative importance weight calculation
The supermatrix is a partitioned matrix, where each
The sixth and last step in the ANP process is to take the final
submatrix is composed of a set of relationships between
results of the converged super-matrix and the eigenvector
two clusters in the graphical model. A generic supermatrix is values from the earlier pair-wise comparisons and calculate
shown in Figure 3, with the notation representing the various the relative importance weight for each competence level’s
relationships from Figure 2; for instance, “A” is the success attribute. In our model no interdependence between
submatrix representing the influence relationship between the competence levels and the attributes level is assumed to
KM dynamics elements’ and the control factor of the goal of exist.
determining the weights of competence levels’ success To analyse success attributes of competence levels, a similar
attributes. Table II is the detailed initial supermatrix of the pair wise comparison that was made in step 2 is made for the
proposed model. attributes level for relative importance weight calculation (or
eigenvector determination). There are three separate pair wise
Figure 3 General submatrix notation for supermatrix comparison matrices that have to be developed for this step in
the analysis. Tables IV to VI give the evaluation results.
Once all the relative weights have been calculated, a
composite (global) weight for each success attribute is
determined. This is accomplished by aggregating the
weights. The result is a single weight value for competence
levels’ success attribute. The combination of all attributes’
weights is given in Table VII. Based on these results, it
appears innovation (0.150), trailed by continuous learning
(0.143), networking (0.142) and role commitment (0.140)

Table II Initial super matrix M for determining the weights of competence levels’ success attributes
SVC targets KM dynamics Competence levels
Goal RESP CONS ORI STRA INF DIST ORG TEAM IND
Goal 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
SVC targets RESP 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.081 0.188 0.072 0.000 0.000 0.000
CONS 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.731 0.081 0.649 0.000 0.000 0.000
ORI 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.188 0.731 0.279 0.000 0.000 0.000
KM dynamics STRA 0.105 0.070 0.188 0.651 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
INF 0.258 0.178 0.081 0.223 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
DIST 0.637 0.751 0.731 0.127 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Competence levels ORG 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.055 0.081 0.105 0.223 0.088 0.086
TEAM 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.173 0.188 0.258 0.127 0.243 0.618
IND 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.772 0.731 0.637 0.651 0.670 0.297

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Effective supply value chain based on competence success Supply Chain Management: An International Journal
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Table III Converged supermatrix at M29


SVC targets KM dynamics Competence levels
GOAL RESP CONS ORI STRA INF DIST ORG TEAM IND
ORG 0.100 0.100 0.100 0.100 0.100 0.100 0.100 0.100 0.100 0.100
Competence levels TEAM 0.413 0.413 0.413 0.413 0.413 0.413 0.413 0.413 0.413 0.413
IND 0.487 0.487 0.487 0.487 0.487 0.487 0.487 0.487 0.487 0.487

Table IV The relative importance of the organizational competence 5. Concluding remarks and future directions
success attributes
Effectiveness in supply chain is satisfactory if suppliers
KL KA IS PPB SCr identify and share the company value (Cambra-Fierro and
Polo-Redondo, 2008). This paper addresses the need for a
Knowledge landscape 1.000 3.000 3.000 5.000 0.333 strategic analysis model to assist management in identifying
Knowledge assets 0.333 1.000 5.000 3.000 3.000 the competence levels’ success factors for supply value chain
Information sharing 0.333 0.200 1.000 5.000 0.333 management effectiveness. To this end, an evaluation model is
Push/pull power balance 0.200 0.333 0.200 1.000 3.000 developed based on a literature survey and refined with
Synergy creation 3.000 0.333 3.000 0.333 1.000 industrial experts. The model considers tangible, intangible,
quantitative, qualitative and strategic factors in the evaluation.
This model is one of the first efforts to consider competence
Table V The relative importance of the team competence success levels’ success attributes explicitly within a strategic evaluation
attributes process.
Although it was not a surprise for a knowledge management
KS CI RU INV ML expert to see that innovation, continuous learning and
Knowledge sharing 1.000 5.000 7.000 0.200 0.200 networking would be the most influential competence
Cultural integration 0.200 1.000 3.000 0.333 5.000 factors; these are the attributes in which companies do not
Resource utilisation 0.143 0.333 1.000 0.200 0.200 traditionally invest to develop. In a classical industry like
Innovation 5.000 3.000 5.000 1.000 3.000 textiles, competition is forcing supply chain effectiveness and
companies of any stage are focused on design to achieve
Management/leadership 5.000 0.200 5.000 0.333 1.000
competitive uniqueness. Results of the evaluation supported
the managers who are in search of innovation.
The ANP method used in this study offers a more precise and
Table VI The relative importance of the individual competence success accurate analysis by integrating interdependent relationships,
attributes but requires more time and effort (additional interdependency
RO RC CL NW Cr relationships increase geometrically the number of pair wise
comparison matrices). This is why an application of the ANP
Result orientation 1.000 0.200 0.333 0.333 0.333 approach, as proposed in this study should be targeted at more
Role commitment 5.000 1.000 3.000 0.333 3.000 strategic decisions, especially for long-term profit and long-
Continuous learning 3.000 0.333 1.000 3.000 5.000 term competitiveness considerations.
Networking 3.000 3.000 0.333 1.000 5.000 This paper only presented the initial states of the framework
Creativity 3.000 0.333 0.200 0.200 1.000 for which we foresee further developments. The most recent
improvements in research of supply chain effectiveness
(Soosay et al., 2008; Elmuti et al., 2008; Fawcett et al.,
respectively are the success attributes that have the biggest 2008) will provide an opportunity to consider a larger span of
impact on the supply value chain management effectiveness. factors and criteria. Possible extensions include the
Role commitment was shown to be one of the most consideration of knowledge dynamics to be detailed, and
influential factors by human behaviour analysts (Manthou organizational performance objectives to form a new layer of
et al., 2004: Belkadi et al., 2007). Continuous learning supply operations to be considered. The model just
(Koskivaara, 2004; Hult et al. 2006) and innovation (Thakkar considered selective processes and did not cover all possible
et al., 2007; Prasad and Martens, 2008) were proven to be interactions. Including additional interactions between and
highly effective in performance by knowledge experts. The within the decision levels would be an enhancement to the
information technologists emphasize and show importance of model.
networking in supply chain success since the beginning of this Application of the model restricts companies that can
century (Barson et al., 2000; Walter, 2003; Shi et al., 2004; benefit from the framework. Studies are ongoing to improve
Ko et al., 2009). Yet, this study is unique in presenting the the framework to create awareness of knowledge management
important effect of innovation, continuous learning, dynamics and competence management in more traditional
networking and role commitment in the integrated analysis. companies since the methodology is transferable.
That is why, the managers of the case companies in a very This paper has set the foundation for a systematic
classical industry are surprised to see the impressive influence framework in a multidisciplinary approach of investigating a
of those intangible assets. field, which is not yet fully explored in research. We strongly
All three companies have decided to revise and extend their believe that it will contribute to decision-making processes
research and development units to include skill development. both in research and business.

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Gülgün Kayakutlu and Gülçin Büyüközkan Volume 15 · Number 2 · 2010 · 129 –138

Table VII Composite priority weights for competence levels’ success attributes
Competence levels Local weights Success attributes Local weights Global weights
Organizational competence 0.100 Knowledge landscape 0.282 0.028
Knowledge assets 0.263 0.026
Information sharing 0.126 0.013
Push/pull power balance 0.121 0.012
Synergy creation 0.208 0.021
Team competence 0.413 Knowledge sharing 0.203 0.084
Cultural integration 0.197 0.081
Resource utilisation 0.032 0.013
Innovation 0.365 0.150
Management/leadership 0.205 0.085
Individual competence 0.487 Result orientation 0.054 0.026
Role commitment 0.287 0.140
Continuous learning 0.294 0.143
Networking 0.292 0.142
Creativity 0.073 0.036

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Corresponding author
Walter, R. (2003), “Competence management strategies: Gülçin Büyüközkan can be contacted at: gulcin.buyukozkan@
a future concept in competence management for gmail.com

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