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Modeling reconfigurability in supply chains using total interpretive structural modeling

Pallab Biswas (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India)

Journal of Advances in Management Research

ISSN: 0972-7981

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to identify, analyze, and categorize the major enablers of reconfigurability that can facilitate structural changes within a supply chain in a global scenario. The paper also addresses five reconfigurability dimensions in the perspective of supply chains and the major enablers to attain them. The paper further aims to understand the mutual interactions among these enablers through the identification of hierarchical relationships among them.


A framework that holistically considers all the major enablers of reconfigurability has been developed. The hierarchical interrelationships between major enablers have been presented and interpreted using a novel qualitative modeling technique, i.e., total interpretive structural modeling (TISM), which is an extension of ISM. SPSS 22.0 is employed to carry out a one-tailed one-sample t-test further to test the hypotheses for validating the results of TISM. Impact matrix cross-reference multiplication applied to a classification (MICMAC) analysis has been employed to identify the driving and dependence powers of these reconfigurability enablers.


In this paper, 15 enablers for reconfigurability paradigm have been identified through literature review and expert opinions. The authors established interrelationships and interdependencies among these enablers and categorized them as enablers of each dimension. New product development and customer satisfaction come at the highest level of priority. The levels of these enablers were obtained using TISM. The authors compared the results with the clusters derived from MICMAC analysis, and the results are found to be well within the acceptable range.

Research limitations/implications

The study has implications for both practitioners and academia. The work provides a comprehensive list of enablers that are relevant to reconfigure supply chains in today’s volatile global market. This research will also help decision makers to strategically focus on the top-level enablers and their concerned dimensions. The research is based on an automobile company case study and can be extended to products with volatile and changing demands.


The proposed model for reconfigurability enablers using TISM is a new effort altogether in the area of supply chain management. The novelty of this research lies in its identification of specific enablers to reconfigure a supply chain through different dimensions.



Biswas, P. (2017), "Modeling reconfigurability in supply chains using total interpretive structural modeling", Journal of Advances in Management Research, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 194-221.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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