Operational competencies and relational resources: a multiple case study


RAUSP Manag. J.




Abstract Purpose The purpose of this study was to use relational vision as a theoretical support for an investigation of how operational competencies are developed from the interaction of shared relational resources in the supply chain and to verify how these competencies allow the resources to be able to function, unity, integration and direction. Design/methodology/approach This multihull study was based on semi-structured interviews with 13 representatives of four dyads from companies in the steel, automotive and industrial applications, pulp processing and manufacturing and application of flexible tubes. Findings The results indicate that information, knowledge and learning are significant constructs to influence the development of operational skills in the supply chain because they represent the ability of the company to promote skills to efficiently use resources and create a barrier to imitation. Research limitations/implications There are limitations in the use of four companies from different industrial segments because it is possible to generalize the results. However, given the cross-sectional nature of the research, new studies may adopt a longitudinal approach to verify the evolution in the area of operations. Future studies may also expand the unit of analysis to understand the role of the relationship between the focus business and its strategic suppliers from the viewpoint of the suppliers. Thus, new research can be expanded to dyads, triads and business networks by investigating the various stages in the supply chain. Practical implications This study contributes to the literature and adds the dimension of relational operational skills, which is hitherto little explored in previous studies. Social implications This study contributes to the literature in the area of operations management, in collaborative relationships between buyers and sellers, focusing on the relational view of competitiveness. Originality/value The growing importance of organizations and the role of collaboration, based on mutual benefits and grouping of skills, tend to increase the competitive benefits of companies operating in this context. The management of this type of arrangement becomes a challenge for researchers, reinforcing the originality of this study.

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