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Toward a contingency theory of supply chains

Peter W. Stonebraker (College of Business and Management, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Rasoul Afifi (College of Business and Management, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 October 2004

Abstract

Despite years of research and application, integrated supply chains remain dynamic, multifaceted, and often misunderstood entities. However, in many environments the potential for process improvement remains. This paper categorizes four historical phases of supply chain development and classifies distinct supply chain strategies that are appropriate for each environment. These historical phases of the emergence of the supply chain are then equated to those of processes, facilities, businesses, and industries. A successful supply chain integration effort is then posited to depend on long‐, mid‐, and short‐term strategies and tactics that balance the differentiation of serial supply chain activities and the integrative effort applied. These relationships offer academics and practitioners a contingency perspective of supply chains and a model to define and anticipate supply chain situations as well as mechanisms to develop appropriate responses.

Keywords

Citation

Stonebraker, P.W. and Afifi, R. (2004), "Toward a contingency theory of supply chains", Management Decision, Vol. 42 No. 9, pp. 1131-1144. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740410565163

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited