Disentangling Supply Chain Management Competencies and their Impact on Performance: A Knowledge-based View

Christoph Flöthmann, Kai Hoberg, Britta Gammelgaard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

149 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to extend the understanding of supply chain management (SCM) competencies by splitting them into individual and organizational components and measuring their impact on SCM performance.

Design/methodology/approach: Hypothesized relationships are tested using structural equation modeling and bootstrapping mediation analysis based on a multi-national survey with 273 managers while drawing on the theory of knowledge management and literature streams of individual competencies in the fields of SCM and human resource management (HRM), respectively.

Findings: The analysis reveals that individual SCM competencies and organizational SCM knowledge positively influence SCM performance to a similar magnitude. Moreover, organizational learning enhances individual competencies and organizational knowledge significantly and equally while corporate training programs fall surprisingly short of expectations. The disentanglement of SCM competencies renders HRM’s contribution to SCM visible by revealing the impact of HRM and learning practices on competencies, knowledge, and performance.

Research limitations/implications: To validate the findings, future research could apply different research methods such as case studies and focus on more countries to reduce potential methodological and regional biases.

Practical implications: The results suggest that corporate training programs need further development. Organizational learning’s strong direct and indirect effects have two main implications: first, it should serve as motivation for organizations to constantly improve their learning capabilities. Second, these only tap its true potential for enhancing SCM performance if they first elevate individual competencies and organizational knowledge.

Originality/value: This is the first paper to distinguish between individual competencies and organizational knowledge on finely nuanced levels. While the organizational knowledge level effect on performance has been studied before, this paper extends this effect to also hold true for the individual level.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)630-655
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Published online: 5. February 2018


  • Skills
  • Training
  • Organizational learning
  • Organizational knowledge
  • Supply chain management competencies

Cite this