Measures

Extant measurement scales were adopted from the literature for the present study to the extent it was feasible. However, because of the exploratory nature of the study, we had to develop measures for some constructs including firm coordination, partner coordination, and partner criticality. For scale development, we primarily followed the procedure suggested by the literature (e.g. Churchill, 1979), defining each construct so that elements to be included in or excluded from its definition are clearly delineated. Then, the literature was searched for available scales. Whether newly developed or adopted from the literature, we used multiple items for each construct in an effort to increase construct reliability.

Specifically, we adapted the scales for IT adoption from Gatignon and Xuereb (1997). The original scales were in the new product context and subsequently adapted into our study context. However, we developed scales for firm coordination and partner coordination using the procedure above, as no scales were available for those constructs. For market performance, scales were adopted from Sarkar et al. (2001): sales growth, market share, market development, and product development. Finally, measures for partner criticality were developed to assess the partner's criticality in meeting customer requirements, gaining long-term benefits, and materializing the focal firm's core competency.

The instrument was carefully reviewed by several experienced researchers in supply chain management. Their feedback was incorporated before we pre-test the instrument with several supply chain managers. Comments and suggestions from those managers were carefully evaluated and reflected in the questionnaire ensuring all the items are directed to adequate managers within each organization.

Volume 20 ■ Number 4/5 ■ 2005 ■ 169-178 Data collection

To test the proposed model empirically, we sought the opinions from corporate executives who specialized in supply chain management, logistics, or purchasing. After considering various trade associations, we contacted the Council of Logistics Managers (CLM) for cooperation and were able to obtain a mailing list of member companies located in the USA. As part of their efforts to protect the privacy of their members, the mailing list only included first and last names of members along with email addresses and their affiliation. We examined the listed individual member in an effort to exclude non-qualifying members such as consultants, freight forwarders, and third-party logistics companies. The purification process yielded a list of 1,949 qualified managers.

A preliminary request for participation was sent out to those managers via email. Five managers replied back to express that they were not interested in the study. In addition, 218 emails were returned as undeliverable for various reasons, such as recipient out of office, user name not valid, or recipient no longer with the company. Of the remaining 1,726 managers who we contacted with a URL link to our web-survey, 264 responded within our self-established deadline of three weeks, yielding the effective response rate of 15.3 percent (264/1,726). For the analysis, we include 184 responses, as the remaining 80 were partially incomplete. The industry distribution of our respondents includes consumer products (17.9 percent), industrial machinery (15.8 percent), computer and communication (13.0 percent), automotive (9.2 percent), electronic and medical equipment (15.7 percent), chemical (4.9 percent), other (21.2 percent), and not reported (2.3 percent).

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