Environmental Uncertainty and Strategic Supply Management: A Resource Dependence Perspective and Performance Implications


  • Antony Paulraj,

    1. is an assistant professor of operations management in the Department of Management, Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.
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  • Injazz J. Chen

    1. is a professor of operations management in the Department of Operations Management and Business Statistics, Nance College of Business Administration, Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio.
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  • The authors would like to thank the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) for its administrative and financial support of this research.


Environmental uncertainty plays a crucial role in the implementation of strategic supply management initiatives. The current study adopts the resource dependence theory to explain the direct effect of supply chain uncertainties on strategic supply management, operationalized as a second-order construct comprising strategic purchasing, long-term relationship orientation, interfirm communication, cross-organizational teams and supplier integration. Using structural equation modeling, the 200-firm sample provided evidence that strategic supply management is driven by supply and technology uncertainty. Demand uncertainty, on the other hand, was not found to have a significant impact on strategic supply management. Findings further support the link between strategic supply management and the performance of both buying and supplying firms.