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Behavioral operations effect of fairness and unfairness concern in the decision of the supply chain production-inventory system

Kaifang Fu (School of Business Administration, Guangdong University of Finance, Guangzhou, China)
Zhixiang Chen (Department of Management Science, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China)
Bhaba R. Sarker (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)

Journal of Modelling in Management

ISSN: 1746-5664

Article publication date: 23 September 2021

Issue publication date: 17 January 2023




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the behavioral operations effect in production inventory decision of supply chain consisting of one manufacturer and one buyer, and analyze how the unfairness concerns impact the decision of production inventory in a supply chain system.


First, a model without the buyer’s unfairness concern is established; then, advantage unfairness concern and disadvantage unfairness concern behavior of buyer are taken into account in the production inventory system. The authors analyze how advantage unfairness concern and disadvantage unfairness concern impact the optimal decisions and channel coordination.


The result shows several important conclusions. First, the buyer’s optimal ordering quantity and expected utility show opposing trend when the buyer has advantage unfairness concern. Second, the stronger bargaining power of the manufacturer results in an increasing buyer’s optimal ordering quantity under the advantage unfairness concern case, but decreasing under the disadvantage unfairness concern case. Third, the supply chain production-inventory can be coordinated under advantage unfairness concern case, but cannot be coordinated under disadvantage unfairness concern.

Practical implications

The study can provide to practitioners with important implications that when the vendor or the buyer in supply chain wants to make the decision of inventory replenishment, taking unfairness concerns into account will lead to different results. Therefore, to effectively improve the operations performance of supply chain, partners of the supply chain should not only care about their own interest, but also need to consider the fairness concern of the other partner, reflecting the cooperation consciousness of supply chain management.


This paper contributes to the new field of creative management–behavioral operations, offering managerial implications for the decision and optimization of supply chain production-inventory problem.



Thanks a lot for the reviewers for their valuable comments. The paper is founded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (71772191) and Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (2020A1515110500).


Fu, K., Chen, Z. and Sarker, B.R. (2023), "Behavioral operations effect of fairness and unfairness concern in the decision of the supply chain production-inventory system", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 94-116.



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