The effects of strategic and manufacturing flexibilities and supply chain agility on firm performance in the fashion industry

Alan T.L. Chan, Eric W.T. Ngai, Karen K.L. Moon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

271 Citations (Scopus)


Responsiveness to customers and markets is an indispensable requirement for all industries, particularly the fashion industry. The present study attempts to address this issue by employing a resource-based perspective as a lens for exploring the major antecedents and consequences of supply chain agility at both the strategic and operational levels. Drawing on a review of the extant literature, we argue that two organizational flexibility factors – strategic flexibility and manufacturing flexibility – are the critical antecedents to supply chain agility. In addition, supply chain agility, strategic flexibility, and manufacturing flexibility are all significant factors in firm performance. A conceptual framework for the arguments was developed and tested through an empirical study of selected industrial practitioners. Data from a sample of 141 garment manufacturers were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The results reveal that both strategic flexibility and manufacturing flexibility positively influence supply chain agility. However, strategic flexibility has a direct and significant influence on firm performance while manufacturing flexibility does not. Furthermore, supply chain agility plays an important role in mediating the effects of both strategic and manufacturing flexibilities on firm performance. The findings of the present study add to the understanding of supply chain management, with a focus on supply chain agility in the fashion manufacturing industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-499
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Fashion manufacturing industry
  • Manufacturing flexibility
  • Strategic flexibility
  • Supply chain agility
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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