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    The role of absorptive capacity within supply chain quality integration

    Alkalha, Ziad, Reid, Iain ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2581-1283 and Dehe, Benjamin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3016-1871 (2019) The role of absorptive capacity within supply chain quality integration. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 24 (6). pp. 805-820. ISSN 1359-8546

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    Abstract

    Purpose: There is consensus that the theoretical underpinning associated with the performance of supply chain quality management practices remain evolutionary to current thinking. This study explores how absorptive capacity (AC) supports supply chain quality integration (SCQI) by designing the quality of their products and processes within a supply chain (SC). Design/methodology/approach: A comparative case study of seven global pharmaceutical manufacturers in a developing market was undertaken. Qualitative research methods were used in the data collection, which involved semi-structured interviews with 54 participants through two rounds of interviews who were positioned at different managerial levels. Findings: The results demonstrate that AC is an essential part of SCQI due to its ability to utilise valuable strategic and operational knowledge, which are important when building consistent internal products/ processes quality, along with the robust design of the SC network. We found that AC helps companies design their quality and continuously improve their products / processes among their SC members. Research limitations/implications: This study has some limitations in terms of the findings generalisation. However, the findings could be extrapolated to other companies. Practical implications: The study develops a framework to support practitioners and decision makers in order to leverage their AC while facilitating their SCQI practices. Originality/value: This study explains the role of the AC process in SCQI practices, in the context of the pharmaceutical SC. The study profiles the characteristics of dynamic capabilities to increase the companies’ competencies, processes and resources.

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