Customer focus, supply-chain relational capabilities and performance: Evidence from US manufacturing industries

Augustine A. Lado, Antony Paulraj, Injazz J. Chen

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose This paper aims to investigate the extent to which a firm's customer focus drives several interlinked facets of supply chain management and their relationships to customer service and financial performance. Design/methodology/approach Drawing on diverse streams of research, the authors develop and test an integrated model in which customer focus is proposed to foster supply-chain relational capabilities, leading to beneficial performance outcomes. This study's empirical validity is enhanced by collecting data from over 200 US manufacturing firms and testing the model using SEM. Findings This empirical investigation documents significant positive relationships between (a) customer focus and supply-chain relational capabilities, (b) customer focus and customer service, (c) supply-chain relational capabilities and customer service, and (d) customer service and financial performance. Practical implications This study holds the important implication for managers that, in order to be effective, supply chain partners must reconfigure their supply chains to be more customer oriented and continually develop and leverage the relational competencies in order to enhance firm competitiveness. Originality/value Interdisciplinary in nature, this study is one of the first to conduct empirical supply chain management research using multiple and complementary theoretical perspectives, including strategic management and relationship marketing in order to gain a better understanding of the nuances involved in fostering strategic collaboration among supply chain partners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-221
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Customer focus
  • Financial performance
  • Relational capabilities
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Transportation


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