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Article Critique
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Organizational Behavior (Article Critique Sample)


The sample is a critical review of a 2009 academic article by Hornibrook titled “Exploring the Association between Fairness and Organizational Outcomes in Supply Chain Relationships.” The review summarizes the key points in the article, its strengths and weaknesses, and proposes future research needed in the field. Furthermore, the review examines whether the article is grounded in previous literature, the suitability of the research questions and hypotheses. It also addresses the issues relating to generalizability of the results and comments on the clarity of the article’s conclusion.


Organizational Behavior
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Organizational Behavior
* Key Points in the Article
There are several key points the authors propagate in the article. First, supplier relationships have become increasingly important because in today’s complex and unstable external environment, firms are increasingly outsourcing supplementary functions so they can concentrate on their core activities. The relationships between firms and their suppliers are changing from the traditional arms-partnerships that entail little to no engagement between the parties to collaborative relationships characterized by strategic partnerships that benefit both parties.
Secondly, the authors note that although previous literature views collaborative relationships as superior, recent studies emphasize the need for firms to build a portfolio of different supplier relationships based on the context. The firm level of analysis of buyer-supplier relationships tend to focus on only one relationship. However, there exists several other relationships between the two firms at the service or product level. Parties should, therefore, tailor the relationship to suit their needs and the intended outcomes. The authors also note that the supply chain management strategy should take into account the people aspect. The successful implementation of strategy depends on the actions and reactions of the individuals involved in the supply chain process. One factor that determines people’s actions and reactions is their perception of fairness. The perceptions of distributive, procedural, interpersonal, and informational justice at the individual and firm level have an impact on various organizational dynamics such as supply chain relationships, organizational outcomes, and organizational performance.
Thirdly, Organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behaviors are critical to defining the role of fairness in supply chain relationships. Perceptions of justice – particularly procedural and distributive justice - influence organizational commitment and long-term collaborative relationships between the buying firm and suppliers. Organizational citizenship behaviors are discretionary behaviors indirectly contribute towards the functioning of an organization such as conscientiousness, altruism, courtesy, civic virtue, and sportsmanship. In supply chain management, mutually beneficial outcomes can be achieved through collaborative and close relationships between both parties. Since the collaboration between buyers and suppliers involve interpersonal relationships to a considerable extent, interpersonal justice has an effect on organizational citizenship behaviors which consequently affects organizational outcomes.
* Statement of Future Research Needed in the Field
The present paper develops an organizational justice framework that can be applied to supply chain relationships with the aim of obviating the difficulties associated with the analysis of supply chain management at the firm level, which assumes that there is only one relationship between the buyer and supplier. The authors states that several relationships exist between the two parties at the technical, operational, and strategic levels. Investigating the relationship between fairness and organizational outcomes is thus problematic because of the different perceptions of fairness that exist within the same organization. On the flipside, however, this presents an opportunity for further research on the role of fairness in determining organizational outcomes.
Future research should also focus on the relationship between organizational outcomes and performance in the context of supply chain management. Although the paper delves into the perceptions of justice, behaviors, and attitudes, it does not investigate the relationship between the two variables empirically due to the limitations arising from the operationalization of organizational performance. Other factors such as market trends, industry structures, competitive forces, social changes, technical capabilities, legal requirements, and the economic environment also hinder an empirical analysis. As such, the paper looks at organizational performance from a collaborative advantage perspective in evidencing how organizational justice fits in supply chain relationships. Further research can entail longitudinal studies to determine whether supply chain relationships lead to any competitive advantages.
Moreover, given that previous research has focused on a limited number of sectors including consumer goods, information technology, and automobile industries, future studies can focus on other sectors such as high-risk goods in the pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors. In the current era of market and trade globalization where supply chain relationships transcend geographical borders, future research can address the influence of culture on perceptions of justice and how it affects supply chain relationships and organizational performance.
* Strengths and Weaknesses of the Article
The research article has several strengths. It is written in a concise, organized, and well-laid out manner. The title is unambiguous and clearly summarizes what the article focusses on, that is, the association between fairness and organizational outcomes in supply chain relationships. The abstract provides an accurate and clear overview of the aim of the study, design methodology, findings, and recommendations for future research. It also identifies the purpose of the study, which is to develop a theoretical model for supply chain relationships in order to augment existing empirical evidence in the field of supply chain management.
The literature review is organized logically and provides a critically balanced analysis of the literature. A considerable proportion of the literature is recent. It also establishes the conceptual framework by first demonstrating that the four types of justice (distributive, interpersonal, procedural, and informational) are factors for organizational outcomes, which affects organizational performance. The model then links organizational fairness to supply chain performance. Further, the article contains operational definitions of all the terms, concepts, and theories mentioned. The variables (fairness and organizational outcomes) are adequately described and clearly linked. It outlines the implications for supply chain managers in the management of supply chain relationships and identifies opportunities for future research.
However, in spite of the strengths that enhance the robustness of the research, the article has several limitations. It does not clearly define the research problem. It lacks specific research questions. Although the purpose of the article is to generate a new line of empirical research in the field of supply chain management, it neither contains an empirical analysis nor identify the specific areas for empirical research in the field. It only outlines the challenges of measuring fairness but fails to provide empirical evidence on the relationship between fairness and organizational outcomes or performance. The use of empirical evidence in the study would have enhanced the study’s accuracy and credibility.
* Statement on the Article's Clarity, Relevancy, Accuracy, and Recency
The article is clear and understandable. It contains vivid descriptions and definitions of terms and concepts. It also links the variables of interest, that is, fairness and organizational outcomes, and adequately describes the components of each of the variables and how they affect one another. For example, the elements of organizational fairness are procedural, informational, interpersonal, and distributive justice while the components of organizational outcomes are organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior. The authors clearly illustrate how the elements of the two variables relate and interact within the realm of supply chain management. The key points are also well-elaborated, illustrated, and exemplified. The article is free from ambiguity or confusion and the meaning can be easily grasped.
Relevance implies relating or bearing upon the issue at hand, and whether there is a logical and clear relationship with the matter being discussed (Paul & Elder, 2013). The article is relevant to ongoing research on organizational fairness in supply chain management. As the authors state, literature on the subject has often assumed there is only one relationship between the buying and supplying firms, yet in reality, there are different multi-level relationships between the parties, which makes the perceptions of fairness differ within and across firms. The article fills the gap in research by developing a conceptual behavioral model to demonstrate how the perceptions of fairness in supply chain relationships impact organizational outcomes. It is also relevant to the practice of supply chain management as it outlines the implications for supply chain managers from in the management of supply chain relationships.
The article is also accurate and recent. Accuracy refers to the quality of being free from errors, distortions, mistakes, and the representation of things as they actually are (Paul & Elder, 2013). According to Paul & Elder (2013), accuracy contributes to reliability, verifiability, replicability, and logical consistency. The article contains sufficient reference to previous research allowing for verification of the stated facts and concepts. However, it is not recent as it makes reference to older literature. While a considerable proportion of the reference material is less than eight years old, some of the literature referred to ...

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