The Effects of Justice and Top Management Beliefs and Participation: An Exploratory Study in the Context of Digital Supply Chain Management

Abstract

Drawing on justice theory and upper echelons perspective, this study develops and tests an integrative model linking justice to the implementation of IT-enabled supply chain information integration (IeSCII) through the top management. Specifically, the study investigates the effects of the three facets of justice—distributive, procedural, and interactional justice—on the two dimensions of IeSCII (information sharing and collaborative planning), and examines the mediating influences of top management beliefs (TMB) and top management participation (TMP) in these relationships. Using structural equation modeling to analyze data collected from 190 firms in China, the study documents that interactional justice positively affects both TMB and TMP, while procedural justice positively affects TMB (but not TMP) in the IeSCII implementation process. In contrast, distributive justice is not significantly related to either TMB or TMP, but is positively associated with information sharing. The results also show that procedural justice positively affects TMB, which then positively affects TMP in IeSCII. Furthermore, the study finds significant mediating effects of TMB and TMP in the relationship between interactional justice and IeSCII. The theoretical and managerial implications of this study are discussed.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    While recent research has made a distinction between the terms of justice and fairness (Colquitt et al. 2015; Goldman and Cropanzano 2015), we follow prior organizational research and use them interchangeably (Liu et al. 2012; Narasimhan et al. 2013; Luo 2007; Cugueró-Escofet and Fortin 2013).

Abbreviations

IeSCII:

IT-enabled supply chain information integration

B2B:

Business-to-business

SCM:

Supply chain management

TMB:

Top management beliefs

TMP:

Top management participation

CFA:

Confirmative factor analysis

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Acknowledgements

This study was funded by the Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC: 71701194, 71731010, 71622009 and 71571169) and Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation (1808085QG226). It was also supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (WK2040160030) and Singapore Ministry of Education Grant (WBS R-253-000-133-112).

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Appendix: Measurement Items

Appendix: Measurement Items

Constructs and measurement Factor loading Standardized loading SE t value R 2
Distributive justice (DJ) (α = 0.86; CR = 0.86; AVE = 0.60)      
 DJ1: Our gain is consistent with the amount of effort and investment that we have made 1.00 0.78 0.62
 DJ2: Our gain is commensurate with the role and responsibilities that we have actually taken 0.98 0.75 0.09 10.58 0.57
 DJ3: Our gain relative to our contribution from this relationship is about the same as that of our partner 1.03 0.77 0.10 10.84 0.60
 DJ4: Our gain is proportionate to our performance in all joint activities that are undertaken by both partners 1.12 0.80 0.10 11.36 0.65
Procedural justice (PJ) (α = 0.88; CR = 0.87; AVE = 0.64)      
 PJ1: The key partner does not discriminate but treats us impartially 1.00 0.79 0.62
 PJ2: The key partner has used consistent policies and decision-making procedures in this relationship 0.99 0.77 0.09 11.18 0.60
 PJ3: The key partner always takes into account our concerns and feedback about their policies and programs 1.12 0.82 0.09 12.00 0.68
 PJ4: The key partner knows about the situations that we face and explain to us their supply chain-related decisions 1.14 0.81 0.10 11.87 0.66
Interactional justice (IJ) (α = 0.86; CR = 0.86; AVE = 0.52)      
 IJ1: The representatives from the key partner and our firm respect each other 1.00 0.84 0.71
 IJ2: The representatives from the key partner and our firm are friendly to each other 1.01 0.78 0.08 12.28 0.60
 IJ3: The representatives from the key partner and our firm often socialize with each other 0.84 0.61 0.09 9.00 0.38
 IJ4: The representatives from the key partner and our firm interact with and treat the other side’s managers or staff fairly 0.93 0.78 0.08 12.32 0.60
 IJ5: The representatives from the key partner and our firm always communicate openly and directly 0.84 0.65 0.09 9.71 0.43
 IJ6: The representatives from the key partner always provide us with timely feedback when we ask 0.82 0.62 0.09 9.09 0.38
Top management beliefs (TMB) (α = 0.83; CR = 0.84; AVE = 0.73)      
 The senior management of our firm believes that      
 TMB1: implementing IT-enabled supply chain information integration with the key partner has the potential to provide significant business benefits to our firm 1.00 0.79 0.62
 TMB2: implementing IT-enabled supply chain information integration with the key partner will create a significant competitive arena for our firm 1.21 0.91 0.11 11.02 0.83
Top management participation (TMP) (α = 0.87; CR = 0.87; AVE = 0.68)      
 The senior management of our firm actively      
 TMP1: articulates a vision for the implementation of IT-enabled supply chain information integration 1.00 0.81 0.65
 TMP2: formulates a strategy for the implementation of IT-enabled supply chain information integration 1.06 0.82 0.09 12.27 0.68
 TMP3: establishes goals and standards to monitor the IT-enabled supply chain information integration project 1.16 0.85 0.09 12.76 0.73
Information sharing (IS) (α = 0.84; CR = 0.83; AVE = 0.50)      
 IS1: In this relationship, it is expected that any information that might help the other party will be provided to them electronically 1.00 0.76 0.57
 IS2: It is expected that the parties will provide proprietary information electronically if it can help the other party 0.92 0.67 0.10 8.93 0.45
 IS3: It is expected that we keep each other informed about events or changes that may affect the other party electronically 0.79 0.68 0.09 9.10 0.47
 IS4: The parties regularly exchange electronic information of supply and demand forecast 0.83 0.69 0.09 9.21 0.48
 IS5: The two parties exchange electronic information frequently with each other 0.86 0.74 0.09 9.95 0.55
Collaborative planning (CP) (α = 0.86; CR = 0.86; AVE = 0.68)      
 The key partner and our firm use IT to coordinate and manage the following activities      
 CP1: long-range planning for product development 1.00 0.81 0.66
 CP2: forecasting the changing demands of customers 1.04 0.87 0.08 13.04 0.76
 CP3: testing the market acceptance of new products 0.97 0.79 0.08 11.69 0.62
Legal protection (LP)a(α = 0.75; CR = 0.76; AVE = 0.51)      
 LP1: The legal system protects our interests 1.00 0.69 0.51
 LP2: The legal system prevents us from being cheated 1.03 0.72 0.12 8.36 0.48
 LP3: The legal system ensures that we can get our money back 1.04 0.73 0.12 8.78 0.53
  1. All items use five-point Likert scales anchored at 1 (strongly disagree) and 5 (strongly agree)
  2. α Cronbach’s alpha, CR composite reliability, AVE average variance extracted
  3. aVariable used as an instrument for the assumed endogenous variable

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Wei, S., Ke, W., Lado, A.A. et al. The Effects of Justice and Top Management Beliefs and Participation: An Exploratory Study in the Context of Digital Supply Chain Management. J Bus Ethics (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-04100-9

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Keywords

  • IT-enabled supply chain information integration
  • Justice
  • Upper echelons theory
  • Top management