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Design of global production and distribution networks: A literature review and research agenda

Jan Olhager (Department of Industrial Management and Logistics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
Sebastian Pashaei (Department of Industrial Management and Logistics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
Henrik Sternberg (Department of Design Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 2 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to systematically and critically review the extant literature on the design of global production and distribution networks to identify gaps in the literature and identify future research opportunities. The design aspects deal with strategic and structural decisions such as: opening or closing of manufacturing plants or distribution centres, selection of locations for manufacturing or warehousing, and making substantial capacity changes in manufacturing or distribution.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine the peer-reviewed literature on global production and distribution networks written in English. The search strategy is based on selected keywords and databases. The authors identify 109 articles from 1974 to 2012.

Findings

The authors categorize the literature according to research methodology: case studies, conceptual modelling, surveys, and mathematical modelling. The amount of literature up to 2,000 is rather sparse, while there is a positive trend from 2,000 and onwards. The content analysis shows that different research methodologies focus on different but complementary aspects. The authors propose a research agenda for further research on design of global production and distribution networks.

Research limitations/implications

The authors identify research opportunities related to complementary actor perspectives, extended supply chains that explicitly include transportation and suppliers, contingency factors, and new perspectives such as facility roles within production and distribution networks.

Originality/value

This paper is to the author’s knowledge the first broad review that investigates the design aspects of the interrelationships between production and distribution facilities as well as transportation in global production and distribution networks across multiple research methodologies.

Keywords

Citation

Olhager, J., Pashaei, S. and Sternberg, H. (2015), "Design of global production and distribution networks: A literature review and research agenda", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 45 No. 1/2, pp. 138-158. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-05-2013-0131

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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