An Empirical Analysis of Behavioral Flexibility, Relationship Integration and Strategic Flexibility in Supply Chain Agility: Insights from SMEs Sector of Pakistan
Supply chain agility (SCA) has become an important concept these days and gained a great deal of attention from the research fraternity. Researchers and scholars have mainly examined the dimensions of integration and flexibility as the antecedents of SCA from conceptual lenses in the past and suggested further explanations from empirical testing. Thus, this research aimed to investigate three key drivers of supply chain agility - i.e strategic flexibility, employees' behavioral flexibility, and relational (external) integration. The sample is comprised of 147 SMEs operating in Pakistan, collected via survey and then tested using moderated mediation structural equation modelling in MPlus software. As per the findings, customer integration, employees' behavioral flexibility, and strategic flexibility have a direct influence on supply chain agility (SCA). In addition to that, customer integration has an indirect impact on SCA via strategic flexibility. Complexity, as a moderator, has a conditional positive influence on the relationship between customer integration and SCA. This research advances supply chain literature by adding a relationship-centric view in developing flexible and agile supply chains. Overall, the findings suggest Pakistani SME practitioners allocate resources to activities that build flexible supply chains and invest in activities that create strong ties among downstream supply chain partners.