This paper focuses on the positive relationship between trust and performance in the supply chain and investigates whether and how the interdependence structure of the supply chain moderates this relationship. Interdependence occurs in supply chains because supply chain partners depend upon one another for product and process accomplishments and for the tangible and intangible resources owned by their partners. Framing the supply chain as a complex adaptive system, we argue that, in supply chain contexts, both the degree of interdependence (i.e., the average number of interactions among the supply chain firms) and the overall interdependence pattern (which maps with who each supply chain firm interacts) moderate the relationship between trust and supply chain performance. The proposed conceptual framework is operationalized through the NK fitness landscape model and tested using simulation and Tobit regression analyses. Results confirm that the specific interdependence pattern that characterizes the supply chain has a significant moderating effect on the relationship between trust and supply chain performance, while the moderating effect exerted by the degree of interdependence is not statistically significant.
- Benefits of trust
- NK fitness landscape model
- agent-based simulation
- complex adaptive systems
- interorganizational relationships