Purpose - The purpose of this research is to take an emergent process theory perspective and model the supply chain partnering process as a series of four linked models that correspond to the phases of the partnership lifecycle, from initiation to maturity/termination, and discuss the management issues in those phases critical for optimal success of partnerships. The framework developed in this paper provides a road-map to manage and optimize realization of partnership benefits. Design/methodology/approach - The "partnership formation to business value" process is described as a series of four linked models that correspond to the phases of partnership lifecycle: foundation, implementation, shakedown, and onwards and upwards. The outcomes of one phase become starting conditions for the next. Thus, decisions and actions in a phase may subsequently increase or decrease the potential for optimal success. Findings - Optimal partnership success is conceptualized and a framework for approaching optimal success in four broad phases is developed. It is believed that business organizations can considerably improve the realization of partnering benefits by focusing on the critical issues in the partnering process. Organizations cognizant of the critical issues in the various phases of supply chain partnerships can make systematic efforts to manage them better by providing training, incentives, leadership, and an overall environment that facilitates partnering and realization of partnering objectives. Research limitations/implications - A natural extension of this study could be to explore empirically the critical issues which have been identified, in greater detail. Given the wide variation in organizations due to size, products, and sectors, specific studies of supply chain partnerships, which compare partnerships along these dimensions, would also be valuable for understanding specific concerns. Empirical studies would also help to clarify the use of supply chain partnerships as a means to establish and sustain competitive advantage. Practical implications - The framework developed in this paper provides a road-map to manage and optimize realization of partnership benefits. Originality/value - The prime benefit of this study is that it provides valuable insight on key issues in managing supply chain partnerships. Optimal partnership success is conceptualized and a framework for approaching optimal success in four broad phases is developed.

Partnership, Strategic alliances, Supply chain management
dx.doi.org/10.1108/17410390610658469
Journal of Enterprise Information Management
Sprott School of Business

Maheshwari, B. (Bharat), Kumar, V, & Kumar, U. (2006). Optimizing success in supply chain partnerships. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 19(3), 277–291. doi:10.1108/17410390610658469