Using a process component lens, this paper decomposes an e-business process into technical, relational, and business components. We then draw on resource orchestration theory to identify two managerial actions, resources structuring and capabilities leveraging in using e-business process components, to explain how these three components work together to improve competitive performance in supply chain operations. Two interesting insights emerge from our empirical research corresponds to value creation mechanisms. First, we identify the critical three portfolio effects to promote platform architecture flexibility and partner engagement to develop e-business operations capabilities (EBOCs) in three major e-business processes. Second, we reveal the transformation effect of EBOCs in different e-business processes in obtaining competitive performance. The notion of portfolio and transformation mechanisms of e-business process components offers theoretical and practical implications for developing successful digital supply chain platform.
A large body of practical evidence, such as Amazon, Dell, and Lenovo, indicates that e-business processes is now enhancing collaborative efficiencies in the supply chain, and create significant economic payoffs by improving electronic connectivity across boundaries and integrating different organizational resources and capabilities (Sanders, 2007; Xue, Ray, & Sambamurthy, 2013; Zhang, Xue, & Dhaliwal, 2016; Zhu, Zhao, Tang, & Zhang, 2015). Lots of successful ebusiness processes practices show that a focal firm who can effectively manage organizational resources sets are deemed to be more capable of materializing the benefits of digital supply chains operations (Cenamor, Sjodin, & Parida, 2017; Setia, Venkatesh, & Joglekar, 2013; Wu & Chiu, 2018). In this paper, e-business processes, defined as “a form of business process that represents Internet-enabled information flows across organizational boundaries and links supply chain partners to support digital operations activities” (Zhu, Zhao, Tang, & Zhang, 2015). While e-business processes have been considered as an effective way to facilitate digital supply chains operations (Williams, Roh, Tokar, & Swink, 2013), firms continue to face challenges of obtaining business value from their investment in e-business processes due to lack of inter-firm resource orchestration in those processes (Neirotti & Raguseo, 2017). Without a clear understanding of how business value can be obtained from ebusiness processes, IT managers have little guidance on the implementation of e-business for promoting digital supply chain innovation.