Knowledge as a strategic resource in supply chains

G. Tomas M Hult, David J. Ketchen, S. Tamer Cavusgil, Roger J. Calantone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the importance of supply chains to firms, we know little about the intangible aspects of why some supply chains excel while others struggle. Building on the resource-based view, strategic choice theory, and configurational research, we suggest that the relative fit among strategy and eight knowledge elements is a key to achieving superior supply chain performance. Using data from 913 entities in supply chains, we conducted a profile deviation analysis by using ideal "knowledge profiles" for five strategy types as the benchmarks. Separate analyses were conducted based on the ideal profiles derived from qualitative, quantitative, and theoretical inputs. Overall, the results indicate that the strategy-knowledge fit is associated with chain performance. Our findings lend support to the notion that capitalizing on knowledge can create superior performance in supply chains, but only if the relative emphasis on various knowledge elements matches strategy. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-475
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • Marketing/operations interface
  • Operation strategy
  • Supply management


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