Agile supply: rethinking systems thinking, systems practice

Colin Rigby (University of Keele, Staffordshire, UK and CERAM Research Limited, Stoke‐on‐Trent, UK)
Marc Day (University of Keele, Staffordshire, UK)
Paul Forrester (Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
John Burnett (CERAM Research Limited, Stoke‐on‐Trent, UK)

International Journal of Agile Management Systems

ISSN: 1465-4652

Publication date: 1 December 2000


There has been extended debate about how to conceptualise inter‐organizational restructuring in late twentieth century capitalism, giving rise to a number of models that attempt to represent productive change. A number of such conceptualisations of transformation under the banner of “agility” attempt to provide guidance about “managing” physical and social relationships within and between companies in response to growing market complexity. The theoretical argument in this paper is that inter‐firm agility cannot be objectively understood in all cases using simple unidirectional cause and effect as such theories do not take into account more subjective aspects of interaction. Specifically, we argue that to have a vision of agility in action there must be an evaluation of complexity in and between organisational boundaries with a theoretical approach that gives a more robust appreciation of inter‐firm ties. Conceptualising agility in this way captures the essence of tacit knowledge between firms along with the physical dynamics of network functioning.



Rigby, C., Day, M., Forrester, P. and Burnett, J. (2000), "Agile supply: rethinking systems thinking, systems practice", International Journal of Agile Management Systems, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 178-186.

Download as .RIS




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.