RISK MITIGATION IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN: EXAMINING THE ROLE OF IT INVESTMENT TO MANAGE SAFETY PERFORMANCE

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Date
2006-06-23
Authors
Cantor, David E.
Advisor
Corsi, Thomas M.
Grimm, Curtis M.
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Abstract
Safety management in the supply chain is an interesting topic. The existence of unexpected supply chain events makes supply chain decision making difficult. To improve their response to unexpected events such as natural disasters or workplace accidents, managers are beginning to examine the link between information technology (IT) and safety in the supply chain. This dissertation examines the IT and safety link in three main ways. First, in the chapter entitled, "IT Investment and Safety: An Examination of The Impact of Information Technology on Safety Performance in a High Reliability Organization," drawing upon the work of Bharadwaj (2000), a theoretical model that links a firm's investment in IT resources to safety is developed. This model is empirically tested. A key finding is that physical IT resources, human IT resources, and growth in IT resources do contribute to safety performance. The second way that the IT and safety link is examined is through a U.S. Department of Transportation sponsored survey. In the chapter entitled, "Technology Adoption Patterns in the U.S. Motor Carrier Industry," a national survey is conducted to examine the safety technology adoption practices of larger trucking firms. The survey consists of twenty-six leading-edge safety technologies. A key finding is that larger trucking firms and firms that travel long distances are leaders in IT investment. Drawing on the resource-based view of the firm (RBV), the third way that the IT and safety link is examined is in the chapter entitled "Driving for Safety: An Examination of Safety Technology Adoption and Firm Safety Performance in the U.S. Motor Carrier Industry." The RBV framework describes how a firm's internal resources may be used to improve firm performance. Based on an over 50% survey response rate, a key finding is that safety technology resources do contribute to safety performance. It is also discovered that if the firm's top management team is knowledgeable about safety technology practices, the effect of safety technology resources on safety performance increases. Similarly, if the firm's IT staff has technology project management skills, the effect of safety technology resources on safety performance increases.
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