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Eliciting and representing the supply chain strategy of a business unit

Roberto Joaquin Perez-Franco (Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia) (Center for Transportation and Logistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Shardul Phadnis (Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation, Shah Alam, Malaysia) (Center for Transportation and Logistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 13 July 2018

Issue publication date: 26 October 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a practical method to elicit – in a manner grounded in fact – the “as is” supply chain strategy that a business unit currently has in place. It also proposes a framework to represent the supply chain strategy of a business unit in a clear and actionable manner.

Design/methodology/approach

A framework to represent the supply chain strategy of a business unit was developed through inductive theory generation. A method to elicit the current, “as is” supply chain strategy of a business unit was developed through collaborative management research projects and validated by several third-party projects.

Findings

In different projects – many conducted by third parties – the method was found to be a useful approach to elicit the “as is” supply chain strategy of a business unit. Practitioners found value in representing a supply chain strategy as a conceptual system serving as a logical bridge between the overall strategy and the supply chain operations of the business units.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed framework may have limited scalability beyond a single business unit. The proposed method may be less useful when the supply chain strategy is undergoing a dramatic transformation, or when the participants from the company are either not fully engaged in the exercise or knowledgeable about the strategic rationale behind activities.

Originality/value

The paper provides an innovative approach to tap into the tacit knowledge of the organization to reveal the patterns of decisions underpinning its current supply chain strategy and to characterize the supply chain strategy of a business unit as a conceptual system.

Keywords

Citation

Perez-Franco, R.J. and Phadnis, S. (2018), "Eliciting and representing the supply chain strategy of a business unit", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 1401-1423. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-05-2016-0128

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited