Professor, Operations Management
Director, Ivey Purchasing Managers Index
Leenders Supply Chain Management Association Chair
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Richard Ivey Building 2374
- Supply Chain Management
- Purchasing and Supply
- Lean Operations
- Turnarounds and Restructurings
- Operations Improvement Assessment and Planning
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Fraser Johnson is the Leenders Supply Chain Management Association Chair at the Ivey Business School, Western University, where he teaches courses in supply chain management and operations. Professor Johnson is also the Director of the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index, one of the most widely watched and utilized indicators of future economic activity in Canada. Prior to accepting a faculty position, Fraser worked in the automotive parts industry where he held a number of senior management positions in both finance and operations.
Professor Johnson is an active researcher in the area of supply chain management and he has authored articles that have been published in a wide variety of magazines and journals. His textbook, Purchasing and Supply Management, published by McGraw-Hill Irwin, is now in its sixteenth edition. Dr. Johnson is currently an associate editor for The Journal of Supply Chain Management.
Professor Johnson has worked with a number of private and public sector organizations in both consulting and corporate education assignments. He is currently a member of Advisory Committee for Signal Hill Equity Partners.
- Operations (HBA, MBA, EMBA)
- Supply Chain Management (HBA, MSc, MBA)
- BA, Hons Bus - Western
- MBA, Western
- PhD, Western
Recent Refereed Articles
Shafiq, A.; Johnson, P. F.; Klassen, R. D., 2022, "Building synergies between operations culture, operational routines, and supplier monitoring: implications for buyer performance", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, November 42(5): 687 - 712. Abstract: Pressured by various stakeholder groups to improve the sustainability performance of their emerging economy suppliers, multinational firms continue to expand their supplier monitoring. Leveraging the strategy literature on alliances and the buyer-supplier relationship management literature, the authors propose that a buyer firm's efforts to proactively develop cultural sensitivity and operations cognizance to understand the operational culture and routines of its suppliers can ameliorate some shortcomings of supplier monitoring, thereby improving the performance of the buyer firm. Using primary survey data from a sample of US manufacturing firms, combined with secondary data of supplier monitoring and financial performance, this research examines the relationship between supplier monitoring, cultural sensitivity, operations cognizance, and buyer firm performance. Supplier monitoring was associated with positive but diminishing returns for financial and sustainability performance for the buyer. Second, increasing cultural sensitivity and operations cognizance for suppliers in emerging economies were associated with improved buyer performance. Finally, the synergistic use of supplier monitoring and operations cognizance was associated with improved buyer firm financial performance. While the buyer-supplier relationship literature has mainly treated organizational differences between dyadic supply chain partners as exogenous to the context in which their relationship evolves, the authors posit that buyer firms' efforts to understand such differences can affect the value of buyer-directed interactions, such as supplier monitoring. This research adds to the theoretical understanding of the process of developing relational mechanisms with emerging economy suppliers. In particular, efforts of buyer firms to better understand the operational culture and routines of their suppliers can complement monitoring and are associated with a positive impact on performance.
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Johnson, P. F.; Klassen, R. D., 2022, "New Directions for Research in Green Public Procurement: The Challenge of Inter-Stakeholder Tensions", Journal of Cleaner Logistics and Supply Chain Abstract: Public sector spending represents a significant portion of gross domestic product in most countries, and holds much promise to advance calls to improve the sustainability of goods and services provided by supply chain partners – but only if multiple objectives can be reconciled. Public procurement also tends to heavily emphasize outcome-based specification practices that rely on traditional tendering for supplier selection, thereby stifling potentially innovative improvements. Drawing on stakeholder theory, we consider how potential inter-stakeholder tensions contribute to both the challenges and opportunities for green public procurement (GPP) practices. In addition to conventional categories of internal and external stakeholders, we identify a third category of stakeholders who ‘bridge’ across these two groups. This framing helps to delineate complex interactions among multiple stakeholder groups and enables a mapping of each group’s weighting of priorities and influence in decision making. Doing so highlights potential sources of inter-stakeholder tensions that must be balanced or resolved to advance GPP. Moreover, process-based collaboration can engage multiple groups of stakeholders, attenuate inter-stakeholder tensions, and foster cooperative, novel solutions for improved environmental outcomes. Drawing from an initial case study, new research directions emerge when we combine both process- and outcome-based practices that engage supply chain partners and multiple stakeholders to develop and advance new green technologies and evaluate complex considerations in public sector procurement.
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Shafiq, A.; Johnson, P. F., 2020, "Managing Supply Risks for Low Cost Country Sourcing: The Mediating Role of Purchasing Teams and Implications for Firm Performance", Journal of Supply Chain and Operations Management, December 18(2): 274 - 296. Abstract: Drawing on agency theory and using a combination of a survey of large U.S. firms and archival data, this research examines how low-cost country sourcing and supply risk (supplier operations risk and market risk) impact the use of purchasing teams and affect firm performance. Results indicate that purchasing team use fully mediates the relationship between supply risk and firm performance, representing a behavior-based risk management strategy that improves firm financial performance when confronted with supply risk. The recent Covid-19 outbreak has highlighted the need for greater insights towards risk management and this paper fills a gap in the global sourcing literature by examining approaches to mitigate supply risk. From a managerial perspective, while low-cost country sourcing can improve firm performance, firms engaging in low-cost country sourcing, or contemplating doing so, should consider complementing traditional sourcing practices with capabilities to implement behavior-based risk management strategies to address supply risk.
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Shafiq, A.; Johnson, P. F.; Awaysheh, A., 2019, "Emerging Economy Sourcing: Implications of supplier social practices for firm performance", International Journal of Production Economics, December 218: 148 - 158. Abstract: As firms search the world for suppliers that provide the best combination of cost, quality and latest technology, they have been confronted with the challenges of managing the sustainability performance of their global supply chains. Specifically, companies have come under increased scrutiny from various stakeholder groups for the labour and human rights practices of suppliers located in emerging economies. Drawing on the sustainability, supplier relationship management, and stakeholder literature, this research examines the relationship between emerging economy sourcing, the use of purchasing teams, and the impact on enforcement of supplier social practices, and firm financial performance. Using data from a survey and archival sources from a sample of large U.S. firms, findings confirm the mediated role of the use of purchasing teams resulting in better enforcement of supplier social practices and improved firm performance. Findings also provide important implications for supply chain and purchasing executives. While the results of this research demonstrate the performance benefits of sourcing from emerging economies, findings also suggest that organizations should make investments to support capabilities related to enforcement of supplier social practices. Opportunities for future research are also identified.
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Shafiq, A.; Johnson, P. F.; Klassen, R. D.; Awaysheh, A., 2017, "Exploring the Implications of Supply Risk on Sustainability Performance", International Journal of Operations and Production Management, October 37(10): 1386 - 1407. Abstract: Purpose: Firms are increasingly being pressured by the public, regulators and customers to ensure that their suppliers behave in a socially and ecologically sound manner. Yet, the complexity and risks embedded in many supply chains makes this challenging, with monitoring practices offering one means to attenuate supply sustainability risk. Drawing on agency theory, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between sustainability and operations risk, supplier sustainability monitoring practices, supply improvement initiatives and firm performance. brbr Designmethodologyapproach: This research uses data from a survey and archival sources from a sample of large US firms to empirically examine the relationship between sustainability and operations risk, supplier sustainability monitoring practices, supply improvement initiatives and firm performance. brbr Findings: Findings indicate that higher levels of perceived sustainability risk is related to greater monitoring of supplier sustainability practices by focal firms. Perceptions of higher operations risk are indirectly related to greater social monitoring through investment in supply improvement initiatives. Monitoring of supplier sustainability practices is also found to have a positive effect on focal firm performance. brbr Practical implications: Findings suggest that managers process operations risks and sustainability risks independently. Greater sustainability risk leads to increased sustainability monitoring, while greater operations risk leads to increased investment in supply improvement initiatives, which in turn leads to increased social monitoring. The research also indicates that behavior-oriented approaches, such as monitoring of supplier environmental and social practices, are an effective approach to improving firm sustainability performance. However, due to resource constraints, a challenge for supply chain managers is where and when to invest in behavior-oriented approaches for suppliers. brbr Originalityvalue: This research advances supply risk literature by exploring the effects of supply sustainability risk on the use of monitoring practices to manage supplier environmental and social behavior. Using a combination of survey and archival data to independently assess the implications of sustainability monitoring practices on firm sustainability performance, this study provides a methodology for evaluating the impact of sustainability monitoring practices on the triple bottom line in supply chain management.
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Shafiq, A.; Klassen, R. D.; Johnson, P. F.; Awaysheh, A., 2014, "Socially Responsible Practices: An Exploratory Study on Scale Development using Stakeholder Theory", Decision Sciences, August 45(4): 683 - 716. Abstract: Socially responsible practices (SRP) of firms have evolved into an important area of research in operations management however, it remains challenging to identify specific scales that capture multiple dimensions of such social practices. In this exploratory study, we use stakeholder theory to develop new multi-item measurement scales linked to multiple groups (i.e. internal, supplier, customer and community stakeholders). Furthermore, we empirically test a higher-order multidimensional construct that collectively assesses the socially responsible practices of a firm. Using these stakeholder-derived constructs as taxons in a cluster analysis, we identify important patterns in the way that multiple groups of stakeholders are engaged. Finally, we demonstrate that the set of social practices are complementary and concentrating on one group can yield spillover effects to other specific stakeholder groups.
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Johnson, P. F.; Shafiq, A.; Awaysheh, A.; Leenders, M. R., 2014, "Large Supply Organizations in North America: A Twenty-Four Year Perspective on Roles and Responsibilities 1987-2011", Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, June 20(2): 130 - 141. Abstract: The recent completion of a major survey of 249 large North American supply organizations in 2011 permits a longitudinal perspective on supply roles and responsibilities over a 24 year period. The latest survey complements three earlier CAPS studies in 1987, 1995 and 2003, thereby providing a valuable opportunity to examine trends and changes over time. Data was collected from 112 firms that responded in 2003 and 2011, which included 53 firms that responded in 1995, 2003 and 2011 and 24 firms that responded to all four surveys. Major areas of investigation included supply organizational structure, purchase category and supply chain responsibilities, supply involvement in major corporate activities, teams, and CPO reporting line, title and background. Findings indicate that the pace of organizational change remains high, which can represent significant challenges for supply executives. Cluster analysis was used to assess the relationship between supply organizational changes and firm performance. Firms in the underperforming category more frequently changed their supply organizational structure, and these changes were more likely directed towards greater centralization, compared to the growing and profitable clusters. Findings provide important implications for supply executives and opportunities for future research are also identified.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2010, "Minding the supply savings gaps", MIT Sloan Management Review, December 51(2): 25 - 31. Abstract: For most companies, the single largest cost category is the total spend with suppliers. However, figuring out how to identify the best areas for supply savings - and then how to measure and report them presents major challenges. Both understatement and overstatement of supply savings gaps signal the wrong reality, leading to an overemphasis on low-yielding cost saving initiatives, misdirected corporate resources and employees being rewarded for the wrong behavior. Moreover, supply savings gaps conceal the strategic contribution Suppliers can provide. In studying the supply management practices at 30 large North American and European companies, the authors identified a variety of measurement and reporting practices for supply savings. They conclude that correct measurement Of Supply savings is almost impossible and that there are frequently gaps between reported savings and reality. They explore why gaps exist, what practices lead to under and overstatement of savings, the consequences of poor supply savings measurement and what can be done to recognize supply savings gaps. To overcome the measurement and reporting challenges, the authors recommend that executives do three things: Focus on the total cost of ownership categorize the different types of savings and hardwire savings to the budget.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2009, "Changes in Supply Leadership", Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, March 15(1): 51 - 62. Abstract: The chief purchasing officer (CPO) plays a critical role in ensuring the supply function contributes effectively to organizational goals and strategies. Furthermore, the executive in the organization to whom the CPO reports, the executive report (ER), plays a vital role in breaking down corporate roadblocks, setting priorities and ensuring the proper profile for supply within the organization. This research focuses on supply leadership changes in which an incumbent CPO is replaced andor the CPO reporting line is changed. Using a case-based methodology in 30 large North American and European organizations a total of 41 CPO replacements and 43 reporting line changes were documented. Data collection and analysis covered drivers, CPO background, key decision makers and tenure for both the outgoing and incoming CPOs and reporting line. The potential implications of these research findings for supply executives are discussed along with opportunities for future research.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2008, "Building a Corporate Supply Function", Journal of Supply Chain Management, July 44(3): 39 - 52. Abstract: The chief purchasing officer (CPO) plays a critical role in ensuring supply contributes effectively to organizational goals and strategies. The selection of the individual who will become the company's first CPO is especially important. A reporting line establishment occurs at the same time as an appointment of a first CPO when a large organization centralizes a previously decentralized supply function. Using case-based methodology, this research in large North American and European organizations examined 26 appointments of the first CPO and corresponding reporting line establishments. Data collection and analysis covered six aspects: drivers, CPO background, reporting line, the key decision makers and influencers involved in the decision, tenure of the first CPO and tenure of the first reporting line. It was found that changes in corporate strategy accounted for nearly 80 percent of the first CPO appointments and the CEO had a major say in decisions related to who would be hired as the first CPO as well as his or her reporting line. Almost 30 percent of internally recruited CPOs did not have any supply experience. However, externally recruited CPOs always had supply experience, but did not necessarily come from a CPO position. The CPOs reported to a variety of different positions, with the CEO and VP shared services being the most popular. The average tenure for the first CPO was more than one year longer than his or her reporting line. The potential implications for supply executives are explored. Opportunities for future research are also identified.
Johnson, P. F.; Klassen, R. D.; Leenders, M. R.; Awaysheh, A., 2007, "Selection of Planned Supply Initiatives: The Role of Senior Management Expertise", International Journal of Operations and Production Management, December 27(12): 1280 - 1302. Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to assess the selection of planned supply initiatives and the role of senior management expertise. The drivers that influence the selection of particular supply initiatives by firms are of major interest to both practitioners and academics, as choices indicate priorities for resources, potential performance gaps and needs for future research. Moreover, theory indicates that senior management expertise and firm-level resources might influence the likelihood of selecting particular initiatives. Designmethodologyapproach - A synthesis of the literature supported the development of a five-dimensional framework of major supply initiatives. Logistic regression was conducted with data from a survey of chief purchasing officers at large North American firms. The impact of firm-level resources and senior management expertise, including background and experience, was assessed for the selection of supply initiatives. Findings - After controlling for general industry-level factors, both firm resources and senior management expertise were found to systematically affect the likelihood of a firm planning to pursue particular initiatives. First, hiring senior management from outside the firm decreased the likelihood that network-based initiatives were planned, while senior management who last worked in supply were found to be negatively related to planned supply strategy initiatives. Second, firms with greater use of e-business technologies favored additional investment in supply networks. Research limitationsimplications - This research focused on large firms in developed countries, and additional research is needed to explore the generalizability to small and medium-sized enterprises and less-developed countries. Moreover, additional work is needed to explore trade-offs between planned and emergent initiatives, as only the former were empirically assessed. Originalityvalue - Senior management expertise has received relatively little attention in prior research, yet was found to be a significant factor influencing strategic, process and network-related supply initiatives. Moreover, the framework of supply initiatives provides a basis for assessing and benchmarking firm-level supply chain strategy and investment patterns. Finally, empirical evidence emerged that both firm and individual-level factors influenced the probability of selecting particular initiatives.
Johnson, P. F.; Klassen, R. D.; Leenders, M. R.; Awaysheh, A., 2007, "Utilizing E-Business Technologies in Supply Chains: The Impact of Firm Characteristics and Teams", Journal of Operations Management, December 25(6): 1255 - 1274. Abstract: This paper presents findings from an exploratory study that analyzes the drivers and outcomes of e-business technology use in the supply chain. Using a combination of case studies and survey data from a diverse sample of industries, the research examines how industry context, firm characteristics and firm-level strategic resources, such as purchasing teams, influence the exploitation of e-business technologies and the relationship between e-business technology use and firm performance. Based on a synthesis of related literatures from transaction cost economics and the relational view of the supply chain, a two-dimensional framework for e-business technology is proposed with transactional and relational dimensions. However, empirical analysis indicated that transactional technologies can be further subdivided into two factors: dyadic cooperation and price determination. Significant differences were found between the two dimensions in terms of their overall levels of adoption, with dyadic coordination being the most widely adopted. In addition, the development of strategic resources expanded, in particular internal and customer teams, the use of e-business technologies expanded. Purchasing organizational structure and firm size also were positively related to the adoption of transactional e-business technologies. Finally, of particular importance to practitioners, e-business technologies targeted at reducing dyadic coordination costs lead to improved financial performance.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2006, "A Longitudinal Study of Supply Organizational Change", Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, December 12: 332 - 342. Abstract: This research examines the high level of change in supply organizations of large North American companies using data collected from 51 large North American supply organizations in 1987, 1995 and 2003. Analysis is supplemented by an additional 55 companies for which data were collected in 1995 and 2003. The availability of longitudinal data from individual companies over a 16-year period provided a unique opportunity to trace changes made to each company’s supply organizational structure and their roles and responsibilities. Findings suggest that the respondents made major changes in supply organizational structure, supply chain responsibilities.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R.; Fearon, H. E., 2006, "Supply's Growing Status and Influence: A Sixteen Year Perspective", Journal of Supply Chain Management, April 42(2): 33 - 43. Abstract: The recent completion of a major survey of large North American supply organizations in 2003 permits a longitudinal perspective on supply roles and responsibilities over a 16-year period. The latest survey complements two earlier studies in 1987 and 1995. All three surveys counted at least 280 responding large North American supply organizations, thereby providing a valuable opportunity to examine trends and changes over time. Major areas of investigation for respondents in both the manufacturing and services sectors include supply organizational structure, supply chain responsibilities, and chief purchasing officer (CPO) reporting line, title and background. This research provides solid evidence that in both manufacturing and services, today's CPOs have greater responsibilities, report higher in the organization and carry more significant titles than their predecessors. The conclusion is that, at least in large North American companies, supply has grown substantially in corporate status and influence since 1987, a particularly welcome discovery.
- Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2004, "Implementing Organizational Change in Supply Towards Decentralization", Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, December 10(4-5): 191 - 200.
- Assistant Professor, Transportation & Logistics, The University of British Columbia (1996-1998).
- Assistant Professor, Ivey Business School, Western University (1998-2003)
- Associate Professor, Ivey Business School, Western University (2003-2011)
- Professor, Ivey Business School, Western University (2011-present)
- Supply chain management
- Purchasing & supply