Faculty Publications

Symbiotic Association of Resources and Market-Facing Capabilities in Supply Chains as Determinants of Performance: A Resource Orchestration Perspective

Document Type



Agility, Cross-firm resources, Lean, Relational view, Resource orchestration

Journal/Book/Conference Title

European Journal of Marketing





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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to advance the understanding of resource orchestration in inter-firm partnerships that appropriately configure and align strategic cross-firm supply chain resources and capabilities generating synergies to deliver superior performance. Design/methodology/approach: Applying the resource orchestration logic, supported by the relational view of competitive advantage, the study draws from an empirical analysis of survey data from 152 top-level executives of US manufacturing firms to investigate the effect of leveraging and coherently combining cross-firm supply chain resources with capabilities on operational performance. Findings: The study underscores the view that appropriately orchestrated combinations of key partnership resources and capabilities as mechanisms for marketing strategy implementation, enhance performance. Specifically, research results suggest that complementary inter-firm resources and lean align, and similarly idiosyncratic resources and agility align synergistically to deliver superior operational performance outcomes. The results also accent partnership responses to intense competition, enabling enhanced operational performance. The findings thus enrich the understanding of the resource orchestration logic and strategy, making important theoretical contributions. Research limitations/implications: As is typical in marketing and strategy research, the study research design has a cross-sectional framework, thus limiting insights on the resource orchestration dynamics that can otherwise be generated using a longitudinal design. Also, the resource orchestration stream is still nascent. Further research is needed to delineate the orchestration mechanisms that deliver on performance outcomes, especially in supply chains. Practical implications: A key insight for supply chain and marketing managers is that close-knit inter-firm partnerships are critical for accessing idiosyncratic and complementary resources that can be configured and symbiotically aligned with market-facing agility and lean capabilities, respectively, to deliver market value. Proactive partnerships, especially in highly competitive and disruptive environments, enable mobilizing cross-firm resources and building appropriate matching combinations with capabilities to deliver on operational performance. Originality/value: The study, guided by theory, advances the understanding of how key cross-firm resources and capabilities deliver performance gains. The key to competitive advantage and enhanced performance outcomes may lie in acquiring, leveraging and deploying appropriately matched resource-capability combinations. The present study investigates this proposition within the context of supply chain partnerships, focusing on cross-firm resources and capabilities.


Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship

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