Archive | January 2015

More Complexity = More Disruptions?

Trends in management towards a concentration on core competencies and outsourcing of non-core activities have created complex networks, i.e., global supply chains. At the same time, it has been discussed that this increased complexity has also made companies more vulnerable. An interesting paper, Structural Drivers of Upstream Supply Chain Complexity and the Frequency of Supply Chain Disruptions, co-authored by Bode and Wagner, is currently forthcoming in the Journal of Operations Management. Herein, the authors distinguish between three drivers of upstream supply chain complexity: (1) horizontal complexity (= the number of direct suppliers in a firm’s supply base), (2) vertical complexity (= the number of tiers in the supply chain), and (3) spatial complexity (= the geographical spread of the supply base). Based on survey data, the authors find that all of these three drivers increase the frequency of supply chain disruptions. It is further found that these three variables even amplify each other’s effects in a synergistic fashion.

Bode, C., & Wagner, S. (2015). Structural Drivers of Upstream Supply Chain Complexity and the Frequency of Supply Chain Disruptions. Journal of Operations Management, 36, 215–228 DOI: 10.1016/j.jom.2014.12.004

Citations of Excellence Awards 2014

Like every year (see my previous post), Emerald rewards authors of exceptional papers covered in its extensive Emerald Management Reviews database with a Citation of Excellence Award (full list). I went through the latest list of the Citations of Excellence Top 50 papers. This time, the list contains at least two papers from related disciplines that could be useful to influence the way we are conducting research in our field. The first paper by Kim, Ferrin & Rao (2008) presents a trust-based consumer decision-making model in electronic commerce. The results of the study show “that Internet consumers’ trust and perceived risk have strong impacts on their purchasing decisions”. The second paper by Locke, Qin & Brause (2007) asks: “Does monitoring improve labor standards?” The authors find that monitoring alone “appears to have produced only limited results”, but, when “monitoring efforts were combined with other interventions […], working conditions seem to have improved considerably”.

Kim, D., Ferrin, D., & Rao, H. (2008). A Trust-based Consumer Decision-making Model in Electronic Commerce: The Role of Trust, Perceived Risk, and Their Antecedents. Decision Support Systems, 44 (2), 544-564 DOI: 10.1016/j.dss.2007.07.001

Locke, R., Qin, F., & Brause, A. (2007). Does Monitoring Improve Labor Standards? Lessons from Nike. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 61 (1), 3-31 digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/vol61/iss1/1/

Personal Predictions for Supply Chain Management in 2015

Dear readers. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog in 2014. Based on dozens of discussions I had throughout the year, I would like to share my predictions for topics that could become important in supply chain management in 2015 with you. First, I believe that ethical issues will soon play a much more important role than ever, as, so far, social standards or animal rights have too often been neglected in our textbooks. Second, a supply chain consists of relationships between people, who work in teams and groups across independent companies. So, there might soon be a supplementation of the traditional view of the supply chain as a network of black boxes called “suppliers”, “buyers”, “consumers”. Finally, better technologies and algorithms, and, thus, lower transaction costs, might soon make the old SCM dream come true to integrate the end-to-end supply chain. We might soon see totally new business models (enterprise mobility linked to SCM could be a good example). I wish you a good start into 2015.

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