Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

William A. Cunningham III, PhD.


Organizational performance has routinely been viewed through a limited scope primarily focused on functions, practices, and resources directly controlled by the focal organization, but supply chain management (SCM) has broadened this scope to incorporate all organizations along the supply chain. This shifted the notion of competition from that of between individual organizations to between supply chains. Supply chain management is an ever growing field; multiple SCM frameworks exist today and are being further developed and defined. Successful firms must reside on the leading edge of management techniques, theories, and practices in order to stay competitive in an ever growing, more constrained, increasingly diverse, and rapidly changing global economy. Supply chain management is at the forefront of such management techniques, theories, and practices. Supply chains vary from firm to firm and from industry to industry. Firms have limited resources and a desire to know if the development and implementation of SCM within their firm is, in fact, going to equate to enhanced organizational performance and competitive advantage. This thesis conceptualized and measured three of the eight key business processes (customer relationship management (CRM), order fulfillment (OF), and returns management (RM)) across the supply chain according to The Global Supply Chain Forum framework. Do these key business processes lead to increased firm performance and a competitive advantage? This thesis developed a survey and collected data from private organizations and, through statistical analysis, measured the strategic development of the CRM, OF, and RM processes of organizations and their relationship to competitive advantage and organizational performance. The results of this thesis found each of the processes were positively related to competitive advantage and organizational performance

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