A transaction-efficiency analysis of an Internet retailing supply chain in the music CD industry

Elliot Rabinovich, Joseph P. Bailey, Craig Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The emergence of the Internet may have fundamentally altered the mechanisms underlying information exchanges between sellers and end consumers. However, little attention has been given to the impact these mechanisms have on the efficiency of supply chain operations. This paper begins to address this deficiency in the literature by evaluating supply chain transaction efficiency effects from Internet purchases by consumers. It develops and empirically tests a theoretical framework examining the role Internet purchases have in establishing transaction-efficiency levels in product exchanges involving sellers, placed at different supply chain echelons, and consumers. The theoretical framework integrates the transaction-cost and internet economics, inter-organizational information systems, and supply chain management literatures. Empirical testing, via structural equation modeling, is based on archival data in the Internet music CD market. The results show that Internet-mediated purchases by consumers allow for greater transaction efficiencies when inventory ownership is postponed farther upstream in the supply chain and supply chain echelons are disintermediated. The results also indicate that channel structure configuration, defined by the supply chains' Internet retailing echelon, moderates these transaction efficiency effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-172
Number of pages42
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Electronic Commerce
  • Structural Equation Models
  • Supply Chain Management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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