Relating supply network structure to productive efficiency: A multi-stage empirical investigation

Ta Wei Daniel Kao, N. C. Simpson, Benjamin Shao, Winston T. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The potential of Social Network Analysis (SNA) to characterize supply network structure is of growing interest in supply chain management, although the related literature provides few empirical investigations. This study identifies those SNA measures most closely associated with supply chain efficiency, using archival inter-firm relationship data collected from U.S. public companies in multiple industries. In a three-stage procedure, a DEA model is applied to measure firm- and chain-level efficiencies, followed by a correlation analysis to group SNA variables into clusters of high correlation. These clusters are used in a step-wise regression algorithm to identify those variables most relevant to productive efficiency while accounting for multicollinearity. The supply network structural characteristics that emerge as significant are consistent with many hypothesized relationships in the literature, although not without exceptions, such as an interesting tradeoff between the benefit of connectedness and a penalty for closeness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-485
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Data envelopment analysis (DEA)
  • Social Network Analysis (SNA)
  • Supply network structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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