Re-visiting the supply chain: a communication perspective

Rossella Chiara Gambetti, Mattia Giovanardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


This study is aimed at revisiting the supply chain (SC) of a company, highlighting how communication supports SC management, emphasising how SC relationship-based processes are fostered by communication flows, and exploring how SC performance may be enhanced through coordinated management of interpersonal and internet-mediated communication forms. The study follows a two-step qualitative methodological approach encompassing the building of a preliminary conceptual mapping, and preliminary testing, integration and revision of the conceptual mapping. The findings highlight communication’s primary role in identity management and image building of the SC, and its supporting role enhancing strategic and operational SC processes. Communication seems to act as a “cultural glue”, a “trade-off and compensation”, a “knowledge creation and dissemination”, a “relationship development and maintenance”, and an “alignment and integration” activity along the SC, fostering knowledge, managerial, relational and competitive SC performance dimensions. The combination of SC and corporate communication academic knowledge with field SC managerial expertise allows the proposal of a preliminary conceptual framework illustrating the potential links among SC processes, communication and SC performance. The study provides also a set of research propositions to guide both future research and managerial practice in communication management along the SC. This study offers a first exploratory “communicational view” of the SC, which beyond analysing communication in the corporate locus of the typical communication function explores the value of communication that is embedded in manufacturing processes and routines at the basis of corporate performance by developing a cross-functional communication approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-416
Number of pages27
JournalCorporate Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • communication processes
  • corporate communications


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