Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the relationship between product nature and supply chain strategy, by using Fisher's model as the framework. Design/methodology/approach - The research collected quantitative data by conducting a questionnaire-based survey, with a total of 119 respondent organisations (of which 107 were usable), at an adjusted response rate of 8 per cent. The survey results provide the basis for the testing of Fisher's model relating product characteristics to supply chain strategy. Findings - The results indicate that the association between product nature and supply chain strategy as articulated in Fisher's model is not significant. A hybrid strategy (pursuing both efficiency and responsiveness) is found to be employed by most organisations irrespective of the nature of the primary product they supply. Research limitations/implications - The analysis is based on survey responses gathered within the Australian manufacturing industry. The findings of the study have implications for understanding the drivers of supply chain strategy, and how other factors, in addition to product type, influence supply chain positioning. Practical implications - The study identifies additional factors which might be influential in the determination of supply chain strategy. It provides practitioners with guidance in choosing an appropriate strategy to deal with supply chain partners. Originality/value - The contribution of the study lies in extending the body of knowledge of supply chain strategy. It tests an existing framework which has only very limited empirical validation, and provides a broader understanding of the influence of product nature on the choice of supply chain strategy.
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