Integration is posited by many authors as a supply chain utopia. Indeed, it is claimed as being synonymous with supply chain management excellence. The primary aim of this research is to verify the link between supply chain integration and competitive performance. Detailed information collected via an 8-year international field study of 50 products and their associated supply chains subjected to an extensive statistical analysis provides rigorous insight into supply chain integration in practice. The breadth of supply chain integration significantly correlates with increased performance, yet in practice, the majority of supply chains are not well integrated. However, most supply chains seem to follow a popular route when seeking to enable seamless operations. This starts with enhanced internal effectiveness followed by upstream streamlining and then finally downstream integration. If practitioners are still struggling with supply chain integration, this research confirms that they are not unique in their predicament. Indifferent practice is indeed the norm. Fortunately, practitioners can follow the popular route established herein when seeking to improve integrative capability.
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