Supply chain transparency: an overlooked critical element of supply chain management
Supply chain information has become increasingly accessible to a variety of stakeholders as technology adoption has expanded around the globe. With improved supply chain related information availability and growing interest in tracking products from cradle to grave, the idea of product provenance has been of rising interest to firms in positions all along the supply chain. Industry practices that may have previously gone unreported in developing parts of the world are no longer safe from scrutiny. Thus, it is of critical importance that firms develop transparency regarding resource usage and the sourcing of suppliers. This research looks to develop the construct of transparency as a way to explore the growing importance of product provenance. This dissertation is broken into two publishable essays. In the first essay, we define supply chain transparency and relate it to other strategic supply chain concepts such as visibility and traceability. The definition that is developed describes supply chain transparency as reporting to and communicating with key stakeholders to provide traceability regarding the history of the product and visibility about current activities throughout the supply chain while also incorporating stakeholder feedback for supply chain improvement. A scale refinement is then conducted to further delineate transparency in the context of the supply chain. The second essay examines the nomological network surrounding supply chain transparency through an empirical investigation of antecedents and outcomes. The relationships explored in this essay further establish the validity of the supply chain transparency scale and provide insightful opportunities for future research. As a dissertation, this document achieves three objectives. First, the importance of transparency is established as an emerging part of supply chain management. Second, a scale refinement provides a measurement tool for supply chain transparency. Third, suggestions for future research are made in an effort to foster further exploration of this growing area of supply chain management.