Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Ph.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Marketing and Logistics

Committee Chair

Gerard Burke

Committee Member 1

Alan Mackelprang

Committee Member 2

Mark Hanna


A significant body of management research has been devoted to addressing the topic of alignment. Alignment occurs when there is congruence between a firm’s environment and its strategic and structural variables, resulting in the improved ability of the firm to achieve their objectives. In this dissertation, three important alignment considerations are studied: the nature of the uncertainty of the environment, the firm’s competitive strategy, and the alignment of interests among collaborating firms in a supply chain. This dissertation consists of three separate, yet related studies each addressing the aforementioned alignment considerations. The first study, as detailed in chapter two, examines the benefits of a firm’s strategic use of volume flexibility and inventory levels in managing environmental uncertainty, as measured by the three separate dimensions of industry dynamism, competitive intensity and munificence. The results, in general, suggested that volume flexibility is strategically more important than inventory buffers in managing environmental uncertainty on all three dimensions. The second study, as detailed in chapter three, analyzes the risks and rewards of a firm’s actions in improving its competitive stance against competitors via resource efficiency, and pursuing additional revenue streams in the form of business and geographic segment diversification. This study found that superior firm performance is associated with moderate levels of resource efficiency and very limited levels of geographic and business segment diversification. Finally, the third study, addressing the topic of supply chain management, examines the inventory-related benefits a firm may accrue from adopting an order-smoothing policy – an ordering policy that are considerate to their upstream supply chain partners. This study found that a firm’s order smoothing policy results in significant reductions in the firm’s likelihood of inventory stock outs and expected stock out durations.