Dancing the Supply Chain

Rarely have I put as much passion into an article as in the case of my new one, entitled Dancing the Supply Chain: Toward Transformative Supply Chain Management (JSCM, 2021). Herein, I argue that “[i]t is time to replace the modernist tropes of designing, planning, and optimizing the supply chain with a new metaphor that accounts for the transformative power of management: that of dancing the supply chain“. The article starts by challenging the conventional static and reductionist assumptions of the supply chain and reinterprets it as a social-ecological system. I then use the adaptive cycle from panarchy theory to describe the supply chain’s behavior: “An adaptive cycle sequentially accounts for growth and stability, as well as change and variety”. A panarchy is then presented as “a structure of adaptive cycles that are linked across different levels on scales of space, time, and meaning” (supply chain level, political-economic level, planetary level). I then analyze cross-level linkages within the panarchy, which reveals that these adaptive cycles interact. The article ends with a new research agenda “that will allow understanding the world’s empirical complexity differently and challenging the effectiveness and relevance of SCM research in a turbulent and uncertain environment”. I wrote this article in a way that allows it to be integrated in course curricula (M.Sc. & Ph.D.). I hope you will enjoy reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Wieland, A. (2021). Dancing the Supply Chain: Toward Transformative Supply Chain Management. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 57 (1), 58–73. https://doi.org/10.1111/jscm.12248

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About Andreas Wieland

Andreas Wieland is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at Copenhagen Business School. His current research interests include resilient and socially responsible supply chains.

4 responses to “Dancing the Supply Chain”

  1. Lars Magnusson says :

    Andreas,
    Indeed an interesting approach to a hugely relevant subject. I am curious if you have looked at the opportunity to combine your line of thought with the possibility to describe the involved elements needed to be transformed as SCM Capabilities. The capabilities describe not HOW to do things as you do in a process view (https://scor.ascm.org/ ) but WHAT we need and to do as well as identifying critical, but not obvious, linkages (see https://dcm.ascm.org/ ). This could be a way to identify the “dance partners” you should include in the panarchy state review.

    • Andreas Wieland says :

      Dear Lars. Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. There is certainly some overlap between dynamic capabilities and the dynamic character of panarchy theory that might be an interesting path to study.

  2. Valentina Carbone says :

    Bravo Andreas. This is definitely one of the papers I enjoyed the most reading in these gloomy times.

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