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Inventory record inaccuracy in supply chains: the role of workers’ behavior

Manfredi Bruccoleri (Department of Chemical, Management, Software, and Mechanical Engineering, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy)
Salvatore Cannella (School of Industrial Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile)
Giulia La Porta (Department of Chemical, Management, Software, and Mechanical Engineering, University of Palermo, Palmero, Italy)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 3 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of inventory record inaccuracy due to behavioral aspects of workers on the order and inventory variance amplification.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopt a continuous-time analytical approach to describe the effect of inbound throughput on the inventory and order variance amplification due to the workload pressure and arousal of workers. The model is numerically solved through simulation and results are analyzed with statistical general linear model.

Findings

Inventory management policies that usually dampen variance amplification are not effective when inaccuracy is generated due to workers’ behavioral aspects. Specifically, the psychological sensitivity and stability of workers to deal with a given range of operational conditions have a combined and multiplying effect over the amplification of order and inventory variance generated by her/his errors.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of the research is that the authors model workers’ behavior by inheriting a well-known theory from psychology that assumes a U-shaped relationship between stress and errors. The authors do not validate this relationship in the specific context of inventory operations.

Practical implications

The paper gives suggestions for managers who are responsible for designing order and inventory policies on how to take into account workers’ behavioral reaction to work pressure.

Originality/value

The logistics management literature does not lack of research works on behavioral decision-making causes of order and inventory variance amplification. Contrarily, this paper investigates a new kind of behavioral issue, namely, the impact of psycho-behavioral aspects of workers on variance amplification.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Chilean National Science and Technology Research Fund (project: No. 3130548).

Citation

Bruccoleri, M., Cannella, S. and La Porta, G. (2014), "Inventory record inaccuracy in supply chains: the role of workers’ behavior", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 44 No. 10, pp. 796-819. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-09-2013-0240

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited