AN ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT - “Foiling disintermediation of the distributor in the Supply/Value Chain: Action research of TEL company.”

Adeniyi, Samson Adedeji
(2023) AN ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT - “Foiling disintermediation of the distributor in the Supply/Value Chain: Action research of TEL company.”. Doctor of Business Administration thesis, University of Liverpool.

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ABSTRACT The concept of disintermediation eliminates intermediaries such as middlemen, distributor companies, or agency companies in a supply chain. In my company, disintermediation created a work-based problem (WBP) of declining responsibilities of the distributor company, disruption of their economic relevance, the layoff of staff, and the re-configuration of every aspect of the distributor’s company’s commitment to the customer. This research explored some of the theories and arguments constructed around the concept of disintermediation, the underpinning ideologies backing up the idea, the triggers that encourage its practice, its effect, and finally, how a holistic study of all these elements can be applied to thwart disintermediation. Significantly, disintermediation is underpinned by competition theory. The concept of disintermediation, positioned mainly as an effect that happens within the supply chain operating in a competitive environment, was explored from five standpoints: firstly, using mechanistic illustrations; secondly, using behaviourism of an organism as illustrations; thirdly, using systems thinking as illustrations; fourthly using entrepreneurial intentions as illustrations, and fifthly using a complex dynamic system as illustrations. The action research is primarily a stakeholder approach. The research participants comprise Teams A and B. Each with five research team members, who are management staff and heads of departments with supervisor, manager, assistant general manager, and general manager status, respectively. These teams worked with the action researcher to gather, analyze, discuss findings, and make sense of data in exploring the causes of disintermediation in the company and identifying potential solutions. In addition, the consortium of directors, who are company owners, served as my research support group and were involved in the briefing sessions in different forums as the action learning progressed. Also, my personal assistant served as a transcriber. Quantitative and qualitative methods are employed for data collection. Historical financial data was gathered, collated, and analyzed. Plotted graphs, descriptive statistics and correlation matrix were used to analyze the various data. The distributor organization’s top management and the original equipment manufacturer’s top management were interviewed face-to-face. In addition, data was garnered from an online survey of the company and customer staff. Primarily, the action research findings show that triggers of disintermediation are traceable to the inherent need for organizations to survive within their environment. In this study, the WBP stimulus is controlled: firstly, by the decisions made and actioned by us, the agency/distributor company, versus the choices made by our partner, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM); secondly, by customers whose needs and preferences are driven by cost, need for faster service delivery, better product-value contribution and desire for better quality; and thirdly, by the influence of regulatory bodies. The external environment where the business operates includes the Nigerian economy and the business’s physical location. Also, the findings show that the growth or decline of sales revenue, fixed and current assets, operational costs, company overheads, profit after tax, and the company’s total revenue influence disintermediation. Their variance can demonstrate the significance of disintermediation in a company’s operations. Therefore, effectively manipulating all the forces that control revenue, assets, overheads, and profit after tax can be used to control disintermediation. Similarly, the study showed that our company could control or foil the effect of disintermediation primarily by controlling or managing our relationships with the stakeholders, for example, customers and the OEMs. A service level agreement with vital goal congruency between us, the distributor company, and the OEM, and the building of an effective communication channel in the OEM - Distributor - Customer associations have proven effective in foiling disintermediation in this action research context.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Business Administration)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Management
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2023 08:57
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2023 08:57
DOI: 10.17638/03168129
  • Rigg, Clare
  • Sambrook, Sally