Operations Management Research

, Volume 4, Issue 1–2, pp 61–73 | Cite as

Are supply chain management theories culturally constrained? An empirical assessment

  • Mehmet Murat Kristal
  • Mark Pagell
  • Chenlung Yang
  • Chwen SheuEmail author


Culture plays an increasingly important role in supply chain management as many manufacturing firms have linkages to suppliers and customers from various countries. In this paper we propose treating culture as an explanatory variable to test the assumption that existing theories are universally applicable. The primary research question was: Do purchasing theories built on samples from mainly North American companies with Anglo-Saxon cultures apply in other cultural contexts? We developed and tested a model where top management’s view of the purchasing function affects purchasing practices and manufacturing performance. The statistical results provide evidence that the engagement and efficacy of purchasing practices is highly dependent on culture. This finding has significant implications from the perspective of decision making in international supply chain management. Specifically, top managers across multiple cultures could decide to structure and evaluate the purchasing function similarly, but these decisions could lead to different practices and different outcomes depending on the culture.


Culture Supply chain management Empirical research Purchasing GMRG 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehmet Murat Kristal
    • 1
  • Mark Pagell
    • 1
  • Chenlung Yang
    • 2
  • Chwen Sheu
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Schulich School of BusinessYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Technology ManagementChung-Hua UniversityHsinchuTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of ManagementKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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