Jonsson, P. (2011), "Supply chain management research at the EurOMA 2009 conference", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 41 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijpdlm.2011.00541caa.001Download as .RIS
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Supply chain management research at the EurOMA 2009 conference
Article Type: Guest editorial From: International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Volume 41, Issue 3
About the Guest Editors
Patrik JonssonProfessor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. He has an MSc in Logistics Engineering from Växjö University and a PhD in Production Management from Lund University. He is currently in the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management. He was the Co-Chair of the 16th International Annual EurOMA Conference, 2009. His research interests focus on manufacturing enterprises and include sourcing and supply management, supply chain planning, operations planning and control, and the role of supply chain planning systems and information exchange.
Dan Andersson Associate Professor in Logistics Management at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. He has an MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management and a PhD in Logistics Management, both from Linköping University. His research interests include third-party logistics, service procurement, outsourcing, international distribution and global purchasing.
This special issue contains a selection of supply chain management-oriented papers from the 16th International Annual EurOMA Conference, which was held in 2009 at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference was organized by the Department of Technology Management and Economics. EurOMA is an operations management (OM) association and supply chain management has evolved to be a dominating research field in OM research, which has been shown in literature reviews and also from the papers submitted to the EurOMA conference. The call for extended abstracts attracted 549 submissions. The abstracts were double-blind reviewed, and resulted in 323 accepted abstracts, and finally 285 accepted and presented full papers and about 420 participants. The majority of the presented papers were related to supply chain management. A selection of these is included in this special issue.
Based on literature reviews of the major OM journals, it has been concluded that the OM research field has been moving towards supply chain management and this area has now been positioned at the forefront of the OM research agenda (Pilkington and Fitzgerald, 2006; Pilkington and Meredith, 2009; Taylor and Taylor, 2009). As a consequence, the term operations and supply chain management has evolved.
It was consequently not surprising that supply chain management was the dominating theme also among the 16th EurOMA Conference papers. The proportion of supply chain papers was even larger at the conference compared to the Taylor and Taylor (2009) study of papers published in the International Journal of Operations & Production Management (The official journal of EurOMA). Based on our coding, 56 percent of all conference papers were related to supply chain management and 44 percent had supply chain management as main theme. The 160 papers, which were related to supply chain management, were grouped into 17 sub-themes (Figure 1). The following were the largest sub-themes each consisting of more than 20 papers:
Supply chain design and strategy. This theme relates to operations strategy, and covers issues such as outsourcing/offshoring, global operations networks and performance effects of supply chain management.
Sourcing and supplier relations. The second largest group of papers has an inbound logistics focus. Sourcing strategies, supplier relations and procurement issues are studied.
Supply chain planning and inventory management. Both supply chain planning issues such as multi-site master scheduling, distribution network planning and analytical inventory control approaches are included.
Supply chain collaboration and integration. The papers on collaboration and integration deal with various collaboration and integration conditions and capabilities, for example, uncertainty, complexity, trust and commitment.
Supply chain information sharing and ICT. Different aspects of information sharing in supply chains are covered, as well as different information and communication technologies, for example, ERP and APS systems, EDI and RFID and eProcurement.
Other important themes, each containing more than ten papers, are: supply chain responsiveness, sustainable supply chains and reverse logistics, distribution networks and third party logistics, supply chain risk management, demand management and customer relationship management and supply chain performance (Figure 1).
We have shown that the research themes of the conference correspond to the increasing importance of supply chain management research, however, we could not identify a corresponding amount of papers with a dyad, supply network, or production network (multi-site organization) as unit of analyses. Most of the papers still took a focal company’s perspective on supply chains. Previous reviews of supply chain management and logistics research show that function or firm is the most common unit of analysis, but that dyadic, chain and network approaches are also common. Sachan and Datta (2005) reviewed the articles published in the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management (IJPDLM), Journal of Business Logistics and Supply Chain Management: An International Journal (SCMIJ) between 1999 and 2003. About a third of the articles in IJPDLM and SCMIJ had dyadic, chain or network perspectives. In the Nordic countries, this is even more articulated, where about two thirds of the logistics and supply chain management researchers considered their main unit of analysis to be a dyad, chain or network (Arlbjørn et al., 2008).
The EurOMA conference papers do predominantly apply a case study approach (with a mix of single and multiple case studies, see Figure 2) and almost all case papers are based on qualitative analysis. There are also several papers based on survey studies, conceptual, and mathematical modeling and simulation. Compared to the reviews of published papers in OM journals (Taylor and Taylor, 2009) and logistics and supply chain management journals (Spens and Kovacs, 2006), there were more case-based papers and papers with qualitative analyses at the conference.
The supply chain management-oriented papers at the EurOMA conference do include a wide area of supply chain management topics. Many papers have an inbound logistics focus and some papers have studied outbound logistics. Several have a customer and demand focus. The domination of inbound perspective is not surprising but is in line with the OM traditions.
Five conference papers have been selected for this special issue and these cover most methodological approaches described above. In the first paper in this special issue, Nathalie Fabbe-Costes, Christine Roussat and Jacques Colin propose a framework and a list of targets for scanning a company’s environment. It is conceptual and based on secondary data. The second paper is written by Sakun Boon-itt and Chee Yew Wong. They use a survey methodology to analyze the moderating effects of technological and demand uncertainties on the relationship between supply chain integration and customer delivery performance. The third paper by Jan Stentoft Arlbjørn, Per Vagn Freytag and Henning de Haas use a mixed-method approach to study service supply chain management, with a focus on lean applications in the municipal sector. The fourth paper by Janet Godsell, Thomas Diefenbach, Chris Clemmow, Denis Towill and Martin Christopher, is a single case study on supply chain segmentation through demand profiling. The fifth paper written by Holger Schiele, Philipp Horn and Bart Vos uses cross-functional cost-savings workshops for analyzing expected financial impact of international sourcing in relation to savings potential from other sourcing tactics.
Patrik Jonsson, Dan AnderssonGuest Editors
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