Attitudes toward supplier integration: the USA vs China

Yang S. Yang, Thomas Kull, Abraham Y. Nahm, Benbo Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: Studies show the benefits of supplier integration, yet negative attitudes toward supplier integration exist that research fails to explain. The purpose of this paper is to investigate managerial attitudes toward supplier integration and how intra-firm processes and culture affect the formation of such attitudes. In particular, the paper aims to examine the differing influences between the USA and China. Design/methodology/approach: Using multi-group structural equation modeling, the authors re-analyzed the data collected by Nahm et al. (2004) and Li et al. (2014) comprised of responses from 224 US and 117 Chinese manufacturing managers. Findings: The study finds that managerial attitudes toward supplier integration depend on the degree to which a collaborative organizational culture and synchronous manufacturing practices exist within a firm. Moreover, in the Chinese context, the influence of a collaborative organizational culture is lower than the influence of synchronous manufacturing practices. The opposite is found in the US context. Practical implications: The results suggest that overcoming negative attitudes of supplier integration requires more than simply espousing the benefits of supplier integration; looking deeper into an organization’s internal characteristics and situational context is required. In particular, if the country context already emphasizes the collaborative culture, the organization should focus on synchronous manufacturing practices in order to form a positive attitude toward supplier integration. Originality/value: This paper is the first to examine how managerial attitudes toward supplier integration are formed. The work is novel because the authors suggest that the formation of managerial attitudes toward supplier integration inter-firm management can be affected by intra-firm management in the minds of managers, which are influenced by country contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1094-1116
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2017


  • Behavioural supply chain management
  • Behavioural supply management
  • Cross-cultural study
  • Managerial attitudes
  • Measurement invariance
  • Multi-group SEM
  • Supplier integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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