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International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Kirstin Scholten, Pamela Sharkey Scott and Brian Fynes

Organisations must build resilience to be able to deal with disruptions or non-routine events in their supply chains. While learning is implicit in definitions of supply…

Abstract

Purpose

Organisations must build resilience to be able to deal with disruptions or non-routine events in their supply chains. While learning is implicit in definitions of supply chain resilience (SCRes), there is little understanding of how exactly organisations can adapt their routines to build resilience. The purpose of this study is to address this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is an in-depth qualitative case study based on 28 interviews across five companies, exploring learning to build SCRes.

Findings

This study uncovers six learning mechanisms and their antecedents that foster SCRes. The learning mechanisms identified suggest that through knowledge creation within an organisation and knowledge transfer across the supply chain and broader network of stakeholders, operating routines are built and/or adapted both intentionally and unintentionally during three stages of a supply chain disruption: preparation, response and recovery.

Practical implications

This study shows how the impact of a supply chain disruption may be reduced by intentional and unintentional learning in all three disruption phases. By being aware of the antecedents of unintentional learning, organisations can more consciously adapt routines. Furthermore, findings highlight the potential value of additional attention to knowledge transfer, particularly in relation to collaborative and vicarious learning across the supply chain and broader network of stakeholders not only in preparation for, but also in response to and recovery from disruptions.

Originality/value

This study contributes novel insights about how learning leads both directly and indirectly to the evolution of operating routines that help an organisation and its supply chains to deal with disruptions. Results detail six specific learning mechanisms for knowledge creation and knowledge transfer and their antecedents for building SCRes. In doing so, this study provides new fine-grained theoretical insights about how SCRes can be improved through all three phases of a disruption. Propositions are developed for theory development.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 21 July 2020

Hendryk Dittfeld, Kirstin Scholten and Dirk Pieter Van Donk

Risks can easily disrupt the demand–supply match targeted by sales and operations planning (S&OP). As surprisingly little is known of how organizations identify, assess…

Abstract

Purpose

Risks can easily disrupt the demand–supply match targeted by sales and operations planning (S&OP). As surprisingly little is known of how organizations identify, assess, treat and monitor risks through tactical planning processes, this paper zooms in on the S&OP set-up and process parameters to explore how risks are managed through S&OP.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case study analyzes the S&OP processes of seven organizations in the process industry, drawing on 17 in-depth interviews with high-ranking representatives, internal and external documents, and a group meeting with participating organizations.

Findings

The study finds that organizations proactively design their S&OP based on their main risk focus stemming from the planning environment. In turn, such designs proactively support organizations' risk identification, assessment, treatment and monitoring through their S&OP execution. Reactively, a crisis S&OP meeting – making use of the structure of S&OP – can be used as a risk-treatment tool, and S&OP design can be temporarily adapted to deal with emerging risks.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to empirically elucidate risk management through S&OP. S&OP design, execution and adaption are identified as three interconnected strategies that allow organizations to manage risks. The design enables risk management activities in the monthly execution of S&OP. The reactive role of S&OP in risk management is particularly novel.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Kirstin Scholten and Anna Dubois

Drawing on a novel approach to active learning in supply chain management, the purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze how the students’ learning process as well…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on a novel approach to active learning in supply chain management, the purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze how the students’ learning process as well as their learning outcomes are influenced by the learning and teaching contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study of a master’s level purchasing course carried out at two universities in which students work in projects resulting in jointly authored books.

Findings

The findings show how the teaching context influenced the learning process and the learning outcomes. Active involvement, self-directed learning, collaborative learning and learning from practice enabled by the set-up of the course are identified as key mechanisms for the learning outcomes in relation to skills and content.

Originality/value

Increasingly, supply chain management graduates have to develop professional, practical, research as well as metacognitive and life-long learning skills during their university education. This paper identifies mechanisms and illustrates how educators can use the set-up of a course to enable students to engage in a learning process resulting in a variety of skills as well as specific content-based aspects of knowledge.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 37 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Hendryk Dittfeld, Kirstin Scholten and Dirk Pieter Van Donk

While systems theory explicitly considers interactions as part of a system’s complexity, supply chain complexity (SCC) is mostly conceptualized and measured as a linear…

Abstract

Purpose

While systems theory explicitly considers interactions as part of a system’s complexity, supply chain complexity (SCC) is mostly conceptualized and measured as a linear summation of several aspects. The purpose of this paper is to challenge the general understanding by explicitly investigating interactions between and across different types (detail and dynamic) and levels (plant, supply chain, environment) of SCC.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory multiple case study methodology is adopted drawing on in-depth semi-structured interviews with respondents from eight manufacturing plants in the food processing industry.

Findings

On the one hand, it is found that different types add and increase overall SCC. On the other hand, the study also shows the opposite: interactions between detail and dynamic complexity can reduce the overall SCC experienced. Additionally, the findings highlight the specific food processing characteristics such as the variability of quality and quantity of raw materials that underlie interactions between types and levels of SCC.

Originality/value

This study adds to theory by empirically showing that interactions across and between types and levels do not automatically increase, but might also reduce SCC. As such, the findings contribute new detail to the concept of SCC: aspects of complexity do not necessarily add up linearly. Additionally, this study is one of the first to demonstrate how specific contextual aspects from the food processing industry relate to SCC.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Manda Broekhuis and Kirstin Scholten

The purpose of this paper is to investigate purchasing practices in service triads by exploring the link between ex ante contracting and ex post contract management and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate purchasing practices in service triads by exploring the link between ex ante contracting and ex post contract management and how these practices influence the satisfaction of buyers and suppliers (in concessionary arrangements) with their relationship in terms of meeting the needs of the buyer’s customers.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth exploratory multiple case study was carried out in a shop-in-shop context. Multi-method and multi-source data collection included interviews, documents and the contracts between buyer and supplier, providing evidence of the formal and relational structures in both the contracting and contract management stages.

Findings

The case findings provide evidence that behavioural standards established in a social contract are important prerequisites for the establishment and subsequent management of a formal contract. Second, this study shows that, when outsourcing core services in a service triad, a combination of performance-oriented and behavioural-oriented contract terms, covering a mix of topics related to both the customer-experience and to buyer-supplier-oriented aspects, contribute to aligning the buyer’s, suppliers’ and customers’ interests. The main findings are presented in a causal model and formulated as propositions.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first studies to explore how core services are outsourced in a service triad. It provides evidence that the social contract between buyer and supplier influences the establishment of the formal contract as well as contract management, and a mix of contract topics, some related to the customers’ experience and others purely buyer-supplier oriented, contribute to the alignment of buyer’s, suppliers’ and customers’ interests.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Ernst-Jan Prosman, Kirstin Scholten and Damien Power

The purpose of this paper is to explore factors influencing the effectiveness of buyer initiated behavioral-based governance methods (BBGMs). The ability of BBGMs to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore factors influencing the effectiveness of buyer initiated behavioral-based governance methods (BBGMs). The ability of BBGMs to improve supplier performance is assessed considering power imbalances and the resource intensiveness of the BBGM. Agency Theory is used as an interpretive lens.

Design/methodology/approach

An explorative multiple case study approach is used to collect qualitative and quantitative data from buying companies involved in 13 BBGMs.

Findings

Drawing on Agency Theory several factors are identified which can explain BBGM effectiveness considering power differences and the resource intensiveness of the BBGM. The data show that even high resource intensive BBGMs can be implemented effectively if there are benefits for a powerful supplier. Cultural influences and uncertainty of the business environment also play a role.

Originality/value

This study develops a series of propositions indicating that Agency Theory can provide valuable guidance on how to better understand the effectiveness of BBGMs. Underlying mechanisms are identified that explain how power imbalance does not necessarily make improvement initiatives unsuccessful.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Kirstin Scholten and Sanne Schilder

This paper aims to explore how collaboration influences supply chain resilience. Collaborative activities and their underlying mechanisms in relation to visibility…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how collaboration influences supply chain resilience. Collaborative activities and their underlying mechanisms in relation to visibility, velocity and flexibility are investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory case study consisting of eight buyer–supplier relationships in the food processing industry was conducted.

Findings

Key findings show how specific collaborative activities (information-sharing, collaborative communication, mutually created knowledge and joint relationship efforts) increase supply chain resilience via increased visibility, velocity and flexibility. Underlying mechanisms and interdependencies of these factors within the supply chain network are identified.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to provide in-depth insights into collaboration as a formative element of resilience in a supply chain setting. A series of propositions explain the specific influence of collaborative activities on supply chain resilience beyond a single company perspective.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2010

Kirstin Scholten, Pamela Sharkey Scott and Brian Fynes

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of agility in the context of supply chains of humanitarian aid (HA) organizations, particularly non‐government…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of agility in the context of supply chains of humanitarian aid (HA) organizations, particularly non‐government organizations (NGOs). This responds to the increasing pressure on NGOs to use their resources more strategically if they are to gain donor trust and long‐term commitment.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature‐based approach that extends the commercial supply chain concept of agility to NGOs is combined with the first exploratory semi‐structured interviews of these concepts with five NGO supply chain directors.

Findings

The commercial concept of agility when responding to disaster relief holds strong potential for increasing efficiency and effectiveness, but this application is restrained by the absence of supporting information technology (IT) and the relegation of supply chain management (SCM) to the “back office” by NGOs. This has potential implications for NGOs and other HA agencies.

Research limitations/implications

This paper represents an exploratory study, and an extended pool of interviewees would reinforce the qualitative findings. Planned future research will address this issue.

Practical implications

Practical guidance on how NGOs can proactively manage their organization's ability to respond with agility in a highly pressured environment is provided.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to offer practical guidance to managers of NGOs on strategies available to improve their organization's flexibility and agility, based on theoretical concepts and initial exploratory data. In addition, evidence of how commercial tools apply in a different arena may prompt commercial managers to be more innovative in utilizing and customizing supply chain principles to their particular context of operation.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 40 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Kirstin Scholten, Pamela Sharkey Scott and Brian Fynes

This study aims to combine theory and practice to develop an integrated supply chain resilience framework by investigating the inter-dependencies between the strategic…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to combine theory and practice to develop an integrated supply chain resilience framework by investigating the inter-dependencies between the strategic literature based concept of supply chain resilience and operational practitioner based disaster management processes.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising an in-depth qualitative case of a collaborative agency, this study identifies best practices within disaster management for insights on the operationalisation of supply chain resilience.

Findings

The empirical data leads to the development of an integrated supply chain resilience framework capturing the interplay of disaster management processes and capabilities required to build supply chain resilience. The critical importance of mitigation processes in building supply chain resilience is highlighted.

Practical implications

The generic supply chain resilience framework represents a valuable guide for managers when directing resources and planning for building the capabilities required in each phase of disaster management, while remaining strategically focused. The value of the framework is demonstrated by a retrospective analysis of aid operations in response to Hurricane Katrina.

Originality/value

The study's results are the first to bridge theory and practice on supply chain resilience. By utilising the unique humanitarian aid disaster supply chain management context, a two-way knowledge and learning flow between humanitarian and commercial organisations is established.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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