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The effects of strategic and manufacturing flexibilities and supply chain agility on firm performance in the fashion industry

Alan T.L. Chan, Eric W.T. Ngai and Karen K.L. Moon

European Journal of Operational Research, 2017, vol. 259, issue 2, 486-499

Abstract: Responsiveness to customers and markets is an indispensable requirement for all industries, particularly the fashion industry. The present study attempts to address this issue by employing a resource-based perspective as a lens for exploring the major antecedents and consequences of supply chain agility at both the strategic and operational levels. Drawing on a review of the extant literature, we argue that two organizational flexibility factors – strategic flexibility and manufacturing flexibility – are the critical antecedents to supply chain agility. In addition, supply chain agility, strategic flexibility, and manufacturing flexibility are all significant factors in firm performance. A conceptual framework for the arguments was developed and tested through an empirical study of selected industrial practitioners. Data from a sample of 141 garment manufacturers were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The results reveal that both strategic flexibility and manufacturing flexibility positively influence supply chain agility. However, strategic flexibility has a direct and significant influence on firm performance while manufacturing flexibility does not. Furthermore, supply chain agility plays an important role in mediating the effects of both strategic and manufacturing flexibilities on firm performance. The findings of the present study add to the understanding of supply chain management, with a focus on supply chain agility in the fashion manufacturing industry.

Keywords: Supply chain management; Supply chain agility; Strategic flexibility; Manufacturing flexibility; Fashion manufacturing industry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:259:y:2017:i:2:p:486-499