Understanding the meaning of collaboration in the supply chain

Mark Barratt (Mark Barratt is Assistant Professor in the Department of Supply Chain Management at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA.)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Publication date: 1 February 2004


Despite its infancy, some authors are already suggesting that the writing may be on the wall for supply chain collaboration. It has been reported that supply chain collaboration has proved difficult to implement; there has been an over‐reliance on technology in trying to implement it; a failure to understand when and with whom to collaborate; and fundamentally a lack of trust between trading partners. This paper proposes that a supply chain segmentation approach, based on customer buying behaviour and service needs, is the most appropriate context for collaboration. The paper also proposes the need for a greater understanding of the elements that make up supply chain collaboration, and in particular how the relevant cultural, strategic and implementation elements inter‐relate with each other.



Barratt, M. (2004), "Understanding the meaning of collaboration in the supply chain", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 30-42. https://doi.org/10.1108/13598540410517566

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