Supply chain management: an integrative review from the agency theory perspective
Keywords:Agency theory, Supply chain management, Relationship management, Integrative review
Purpose – The purpose of the article is to demonstrate how agency theory has been used to address the dynamics involved in supply chain management. It is also dedicated to suggesting an agenda for future research.
Design/methodology/approach – We performed an integrative literature review, based on the process detailed by Botelho et al. (2011), with search filters. The articles were obtained from the Scopus andWeb of Science databases using the keywords “supply chain” and “agency theory”, with a subsequent analytical filter for“management”. The search initially identified 205 articles. After two screenings, 56 articles were selected for analysis.
Findings – Despite attempts to infer the importance of research on agency theory in supply chain management, its application to the discipline is scarce. Clearly, agency theory provides valuable insights into the relationships in the supply chain. In the studies analyzed, the dynamics of performance, risk, sustainability, dyadic and inter-firm relationships, and supplier management are predominant.
Originality/value – When considering unwanted behaviors throughout the supply chain, agency theory fills the explanatory gaps for these facts. It also proves to be a useful tool to answer mainly the dilemmas of underlying theories, such as transaction cost theory, resource-based view and network theory. Rare are the studies that examine the current state of the application of agency theory in the supply chain literature in the management field.