Barbara Flynn

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Barbara Flynn has a global outlook. Her large-scale research project collects data from manufacturers in 12 countries. It allows plant managers to compare the practices and performance of their plants with other plants in their industry, both in their country and with their global competitors. The data includes practices and performance related to accounting, quality management, technology management, human resource management, strategy, shop floor control and a variety of other areas. Data has been collected from some of the best plants in the U.S., Japan, China, Germany and other countries. It has been used as the foundation for many individual studies that address topics of interest to managers.

Through the provision of detailed feedback reports, participating managers are able to benchmark their practices and performance with that of other plants in their industry, both in their country and in the world. Dr. Flynn believes the best research is based on solving real world problems. Her translational research combines a rigorous methodology and strong theoretical foundation with examination of practical problems that are important to the U.S. economy.

Professor Flynn's global research efforts have a positive impact on the U.S. manufacturing practices and performance and is another example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 27
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    Go Global or Stay Local? Understanding How Fiscal Incentives Reshape Supply Networks
    (Scielo, 2019) Silveira Martins, Ricardo; Siegler, Janaina; Souza-Junior, Armando; Flynn, Barbara; Silveira Martins, Guilherme; Kelley School of Business - Indianapolis
    This study investigates the way firms reconfigure their supply base and reshape their production network to capture value from Free Trade Zone incentives to capture value from incentives. Six production networks located in Manaus, Brazil are analyzed using the Global Production Network framework and factors related to plant type and supplier relationships. A multiple case study was conducted. Data was collected using in-depth semi-structured interviews administered in loco, and the selected the firms were leaders in three different industries: transportation, mechanical assembly and chemicals. The results indicate that, if effectively applied, incentives can impact production network configuration from an embeddedness perspective, causing a firm to change its strategic role. Based on the analysis, we propose five propositions that challenge the relationships among autonomy, value creation, plant types and levels of embeddedness. The propositions are particularly useful for suppliers and distributors, as well as public agencies, including infrastructure providers and policymakers.
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    Supply Chain Trust: A Two-Way Street?
    (Academy of Management, 2018-07-01) Minerbo, Claudio; Flynn, Barbara B.; Carla Farias Pereira, Susana; Outlaw, Ryan
    This research compares differences between customers´ and suppliers´ perceptions of the trustworthiness of their supply chain exchange partners and the implications for performance, applying the organizational behavior and marketing literature on trust to the supply chain context. A survey in the logistics sector in Brazil was used to collect data from two independent samples (customers and suppliers). Three alternative models of the antecedents of trustworthiness perceptions and the relationship between trust and performance were tested using multiple regression. This was followed by a panel session with logistics industry experts to discuss the results and their practical implications. We found that the ability of an exchange partner is important to both suppliers and customers in their perceptions of trustworthiness. In addition, customer integrity is important to suppliers, while supplier benevolence is important to customers. Trust is related to expectations about order accuracy, quality and cost by both suppliers and customers and to suppliers’ on-time delivery expectations. The findings support the contention of social exchange theory that, when there is a trusting relationship between exchange partners, there is heightened commitment to jointly held goals. They also support transaction cost economics theory by showing how trust forms an intangible transaction- specific asset that serves as a governance mechanism against opportunistic behavior. The findings provide a useful guideline for managers seeking to improve trust in their supply chain relationships. This paper extends interorganizational trust models showing that the relationship between trust and performance may not be applicable to customers and suppliers in the same manner.
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    Editorial: Survey Research Design in Supply Chain Management: The Need for Evolution in Our Expectations
    (Wiley, 2018) Flynn, Barbara B.; Pagell, Mark; Fugate, Brian
    Survey research in supply chain management has been and will continue to be an important methodology in advancing theory and practice. However, supply chain scholars have multiple, divergent views regarding what is acceptable in terms of survey design, especially regarding respondents. We build on insights and commentaries provided by JSCM associate editors to develop and share general guidelines we will use during our tenure as editors to consider the rigor of survey research designs. We also outline ways that survey designs for supply chain research can be strengthened. The aim of this editorial was to clearly communicate expectations to the JSCM community, so that authors and reviewers can be more successful in advancing the theory and practice of supply chain management.
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    The best of times and the worst of times: empirical operations and supply chain management research
    (Taylor & Francis, 2017) Melnyk, Steven A.; Flynn, Barbara B.; Awaysheh, Amrou; Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
    We assess the current state of empirical research in operations and supply chain management (OSM), using Dickens’ contrast between the best of times and the worst of times as a frame. The best of times refers to the future that empirical OSM research is now entering, with exciting opportunities available using big data and other new data sources, new empirical approaches and analytical techniques and innovative tools for developing theory. These are well aligned with new research questions related to the digital economy, Industry 4.0, the impact of the millennial generation as consumers, social media, 3D printing, etc. However, we also explore how it is the worst of times, focusing on the challenges and problems that plague empirical OSM research. Our goal is to show how OSM researchers can learn from the worst of times, in order to be poised to take advantage of the best of times. We introduce the research diamond as a vehicle for emphasising the importance of a balanced research perspective that treats the research problem, theory, data collection and data analysis as equally important, requiring alignment between them. By learning and addressing the issues in this period of the best of times and the worst of times, we can take advantage of the opportunities facing our field to generate research that is balanced, insightful, rigorous, relevant, impactful and interesting.
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    The impact of power and relationship commitment on the integration between manufacturers and customers in a supply chain
    (2008) Zhao, Xiande; Huo, Baofeng; Flynn, Barbara B.; Yeung, Jeff Hoi Yan
    Supply chain integration (SCI) has received increasing attention from scholars and practitioners in recent years. However, our knowledge of what influences SCI is still very limited. Although marketing and management researchers have investigated power and relationship commitment issues between organizations, few have examined their impact on SCI. This paper extends the power–relationship commitment theory established in Western marketing literature and links it with SCI in China, through examining the relationship between power, relationship commitment and the integration between manufacturers and their customers. We propose and empirically test a model using data collected from 617 manufacturing companies in China. The results show that different types of customer power impact manufacturers’ relationship commitment in different ways. Expert power, referent power and reward power are important in improving manufacturers’ normative relationship commitment, while reward power and coercive power enhance instrumental relationship commitment. We also found that normative relationship commitment had a greater impact on customer integration than instrumental relationship commitment. These findings are interpreted in light of national culture differences between China and the U.S. in terms of power distance and collectivism, which provide a new perspective on SCI.
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    We've got the power! How customer power affects supply chain relationships
    (2008) Flynn, Barbara B.; Zhao, Xiande; Huo, Baofeng; Yeung, Jeff Hoi Yan
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    All Supply Chains Don't Flow Through: Understanding Supply Chain Issues in Product Recalls
    (2008) Lyles, Marjorie A.; Flynn, Barbara B.; Frohlich, Mark T.
    Our paper conceptualizes and highlights the role of the supply chains in China’s product recall problems. We raise questions about the interrelationships of the focal manufacturer and the supplier firms and the consequences of these relationships. We address some of the causes of the current situation, including a discussion of deep supply chains, the importance of relationships, the role of trust and the impact of cultural misunderstandings. We suggest many future research questions to further understand how the supply chain can cause or deter product recalls.
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    Editorial: Empirical elephants—Why multiple methods are essential to quality research in operations and supply chain management
    (2008) Singhal, Vinod; Flynn, Barbara B.; Ward, Peter T.; Roth, Aleda V.; Gaur, Vishal
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    The impact of supply chain integration on performance: A contingency and configuration approach
    (2010) Flynn, Barbara B.; Huo, Baofeng; Zhao, Xiande
    This study extends the developing body of literature on supply chain integration (SCI), which is the degree to which a manufacturer strategically collaborates with its supply chain partners and collaboratively manages intra- and inter-organizational processes, in order to achieve effective and efficient flows of products and services, information, money and decisions, to provide maximum value to the customer. The previous research is inconsistent in its findings about the relationship between SCI and performance. We attribute this inconsistency to incomplete definitions of SCI, in particular, the tendency to focus on customer and supplier integration only, excluding the important central link of internal integration. We study the relationship between three dimensions of SCI, operational and business performance, from both a contingency and a configuration perspective. In applying the contingency approach, hierarchical regression was used to determine the impact of individual SCI dimensions (customer, supplier and internal integration) and their interactions on performance. In the configuration approach, cluster analysis was used to develop patterns of SCI, which were analyzed in terms of SCI strength and balance. Analysis of variance was used to examine the relationship between SCI pattern and performance. The findings of both the contingency and configuration approach indicated that SCI was related to both operational and business performance. Furthermore, the results indicated that internal and customer integration were more strongly related to improving performance than supplier integration.
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    The impact of supply chain complexity on manufacturing plant performance
    (2009) Bozarth, Cecil C.; Warsing, Donald P.; Flynn, Barbara B.; Flynn, E. James
    This paper puts forth a model of supply chain complexity and empirically tests it using plant-level data from 209 plants across seven countries. The results show that upstream complexity, internal manufacturing complexity, and downstream complexity all have a negative impact on manufacturing plant performance. Furthermore, supply chain characteristics that drive dynamic complexity are shown to have a greater impact on performance than those that drive only detail complexity. In addition to providing a definition and empirical test of supply chain complexity, the study serves to link the systems complexity literature to the prescriptions found in the flexibility and lean production literatures. Finally, this research establishes a base from which to extend previous work linking operations strategy to organization design [Flynn, B.B., Flynn, E.J., 1999. Information-processing alternatives for coping with manufacturing environment complexity. Decision Sciences 30 (4), 1021–1052].