A Tale of Supply Chain Integration

“Many years ago there lived an emperor …” Rarely do research articles start like a fairy tale. But have supply chain researchers been taken in by a fairy tale for too long? In their article Supply chain integration improves performance: the Emperor’s new suit?, the authors, Fabbe-Costes and Jahre, observe contradictory statements in the SCM literature: Some authors state “that there is a positive relation between supply chain integration […] and performance”. However, other authors suggest “that integration might be more difficult in practice than in theory, that it should be differentiated and that it is more rhetoric than reality”. The article reviews prior studies on relations between integration and performance and conclude that “the contribution of supply chain integration is not as obvious as logistics and supply chain researchers usually think”. Is supply chain integration the Emperors’ New Suit of business? The article was published in 2007 in the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management.

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About Andreas Wieland

Dr. Andreas Wieland is an Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School. His current research interests include supply chain risk management and international logistics strategies.

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