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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2021

Michele Morais Oliveira Pereira, Minelle E. Silva and Linda C. Hendry

This paper aims to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chain (SC) sustainability learning. In particular, it focuses on the learning associated with…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chain (SC) sustainability learning. In particular, it focuses on the learning associated with changes in the sustainability initiatives of emerging economy suppliers.

Design/methodology/approach

Through studying three scenarios (pre-outbreak, buyer-centred peak and supplier-centred peak) over a nine-month period, a multi-case study strategy was used to gain an understanding of the learning of export-oriented Brazilian coffee producers, using both exploitation and exploration capabilities. Content analysis was developed after each data collection phase to investigate how sustainability initiatives had changed.

Findings

Social sustainability was observed to be the main priority by suppliers facing this unprecedented outbreak, in ways that go beyond expected sustainability certification requirements. For instance, there was evidence of outstanding contributions to the local community. Suppliers initially developed their sustainability initiatives during the outbreak without any support from global buyers, certification bodies or government. In spite of this, stronger relationships with buyers ultimately emerged facilitating greater SC sustainability. Consequently, by using both exploitation and exploration learning capabilities, multiple levels of learning were observed (i.e. individual, organisational and SC) as related to planning, new procedures and social awareness.

Practical implications

A greater awareness of supplier learning processes will aid buyers in developing recovery plans that are appropriate for their global SC partners.

Originality/value

This paper provides an understanding of how emerging economy suppliers of global SCs are coping with this unprecedented outbreak in regard to sustainability management. Moving the spotlight from buyers to suppliers, the research demonstrates that supplier learning is central to global SC sustainability.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 October 2018

Linda Caroline Hendry, Mark Stevenson, Jill MacBryde, Peter Ball, Maysara Sayed and Lingxuan Liu

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how local supply chains prepare for and respond to the threats and opportunities presented by constitutional change, thereby…

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4199

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how local supply chains prepare for and respond to the threats and opportunities presented by constitutional change, thereby building resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple case study analysis of 14 firms in the food sector is presented in the context of the UK’s impending exit from the European Union (Brexit). Organisations studied include farmers, processors, retailers and non-government organisations (NGOs). Data from interviews and roundtable discussions has been interpreted using the dynamic capabilities perspective, covering the sensing, seizing, and transforming stages.

Findings

The data highlights the importance of both vertical and horizontal collaboration between supply chain actors as they seek to anticipate the impact of the disruption and influence the future shape of the constitution. There is also evidence to suggest firms in possession of dynamic capabilities can innovate to build resilience and enhance their competitive position. Characteristics of the disruption posed by constitutional change are identified and contrast with those of many other threats more typically described in the literature. As a result, the process of building resilience is different.

Research limitations/implications

The study could be extended to include post-Brexit interviews to further understand the seizing and transforming stages whilst the impact of Brexit on actors that remain within the EU could also be considered.

Practical implications

Practitioners need to work together to influence the future shape of the constitution; and they need to reconfigure their operations and supply chains where necessary to become more resilient to the threat posed by Brexit, such as by reducing their reliance on EU funding streams and trade. The study also has policy implications.

Originality/value

The first study of supply chain resilience to constitutional change and a rare empirical study of resilience across multiple supply chain tiers.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2021

Meng Jia, Mark Stevenson and Linda Caroline Hendry

This study aims to study how first-tier suppliers (FTs) operate as boundary-spanners between the focal firm and second-tier suppliers (STs) in extending…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to study how first-tier suppliers (FTs) operate as boundary-spanners between the focal firm and second-tier suppliers (STs) in extending sustainability-oriented supplier development (SSD) initiatives up the supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory multi-case study approach in the apparel industry is adopted, comprised of four cases focused on occupational health and safety issues. The paper uses primary semi-structured interviews and observation data and secondary documents, and it is informed by the boundary-spanning and social capital theory.

Findings

The influence of downstream social capital on the upstream boundary-spanning actions of FTs is highlighted. More specifically, it is found that the cognitive and relational capital that exists in the downstream relationship between an FT and the focal firm affects whether the FT adopts compliance- or improvement-oriented boundary-spanning actions in their upstream relationships with STs. Particularly important aspects of cognitive and relational capital are highlighted while the phenomenon of FTs adding their own personal interpretation to sustainability requirements when fulfilling their boundary-spanning role is identified.

Research limitations/implications

A distinction is made between compliance- and improvement-oriented boundary-spanning actions. A deeper insight into the boundary-spanning role of FTs in extending SSD initiatives up the supply chain to STs is provided along with a deeper understanding of how this role is impacted by social capital.

Practical implications

Focal firms should seek to build adequate cognitive and relational capital with their FTs before deploying SSD initiatives to extend their reach further upstream in the supply chain. In doing so, it is also important to be cognisant of the social capital that exists between FTs and STs.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the SSD literature by going beyond the buyer–FT dyad to examine the FT's boundary-spanning role in the wider buyer–FT–ST chain relationship. The study theoretically and empirically draws out the importance of relation-specific assets through the social capital lens.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Amy V. Benstead, Linda C. Hendry and Mark Stevenson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how horizontal collaboration aids organisations in responding to modern slavery legislation and in gaining a socially…

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5804

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how horizontal collaboration aids organisations in responding to modern slavery legislation and in gaining a socially sustainable competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

Action research has been conducted in the textiles and fashion industry and a relational perspective adopted to interpret five collaborative initiatives taken to tackle modern slavery (e.g. joint training and supplier audits). The primary engagement has been with a multi-billion pound turnover company and its collaborations with 35 brands/retailers. A non-government organisation and a trade body have also participated.

Findings

Successful horizontal collaboration is dependent on both relational capital and effective (formal and informal) governance mechanisms. In collaborating, firms have generated relational rents and reduced costs creating a socially sustainable competitive advantage, as suggested by the relational perspective. Yet, limits to horizontal collaboration also exist.

Research limitations/implications

The focus is on one industry only, hence there is scope to extend the study to other industries or forms of collaboration taking place across industries.

Practical implications

Successful horizontal collaborative relationships rely on actors having a similar mindset and being able to decouple the commercial and sustainability agendas, especially when direct competitors are involved. Further, working with non-business actors can facilitate collaboration and provide knowledge and resources important for overcoming the uncertainty that is manifest when responding to new legislation.

Social implications

Social sustainability improvements aim to enhance ethical trade and benefit vulnerable workers.

Originality/value

Prior literature has focussed on vertical collaboration with few prior studies of horizontal collaboration, particularly in a socially sustainable supply chain context. Moreover, there has been limited research into modern slavery from a supply chain perspective. Both successful and unsuccessful initiatives are studied, providing insights into (in)effective collaboration.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 10 November 2017

Maysara Sayed, Linda C. Hendry and Marta Zorzini Bell

The purpose of this study is to empirically investigate the impact of institutional pressures, institutional logics and institutional complexity on Sustainable Supply…

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4304

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to empirically investigate the impact of institutional pressures, institutional logics and institutional complexity on Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) practices across mixed public and private sector supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

Multi-case study data were collected from three tiers of food and catering supply chains: the customer/consumer tier; focal public sector UK Universities; and private sector suppliers/contractors.

Findings

The findings indicate that: normative and mimetic pressures are more prevalent in focal Universities, compared to suppliers; there is typically no single dominant logic across these supply chains; and the multiplicity of institutional logics (e.g. sustainability logic versus financial logic) increases institutional complexity. Therefore, in the typical case of homogeneity in terms of institutional pressures and logics, e.g. with a dominant sustainability logic throughout the supply chain, radical change in SSCM practices is facilitated. In contrast, in the more typical case when there is heterogeneity, with competing logics at different supply chain tiers, this limits SSCM to more incremental changes in practices.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to three tiers of the food and catering supply chains of UK Universities.

Practical implications

To aid in the successful implementation of SSCM, this study suggests a need for managers to develop an initial understanding of the prevailing institutional logics and pressures at different tiers of the supply chain.

Social implications

A number of the SSCM practices studied address social sustainability.

Originality/value

No previous studies have empirically investigated the impact of institutional complexity in the context of SSCM practices across supply chains, involving both mixed public and private sector organisations.

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Elliot Simangunsong, Linda C. Hendry and Mark Stevenson

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate effective management strategies for 14 sources of supply chain uncertainty, with a particular emphasis on…

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11495

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate effective management strategies for 14 sources of supply chain uncertainty, with a particular emphasis on uncertainties or strategies that involve ethical issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Manufacturing strategy theory, underpinned by alignment and contingency theory, is used as the theoretical foundation. Multi-case study data are collected from 12 companies in the Indonesian food industry, including four focal manufacturers, four first-tier suppliers, and four first-tier customers (retailers).

Findings

Within the context of appropriately aligned management strategies to address 14 sources of uncertainty, three ethical issues are empirically identified: first, collusion amongst suppliers to ration supplies and increase prices; second, unethical influences on government policy; and third, “abuse” of power by large retailers at the expense of smaller competitors. Joint purchasing is argued to be a key strategy for combatting the first of these ethical issues.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to the Indonesian food industry, and so further research is needed in other cultures/contexts.

Practical implications

Management strategies that aim to reduce an uncertainty at its source lead to better overall supply chain performance than strategies that merely cope with uncertainty, which only have an impact on firm-level performance.

Social implications

The ethical issues identified have implications for fair negotiations between customers and suppliers.

Originality/value

This study is unique in its in-depth case study-based empirical investigation of the management of multiple supply chain uncertainties; and in its discussion of ethical issues in this context.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Linda Hendry, Yuan Huang and Mark Stevenson

The purpose of this paper is to present a successful implementation of a comprehensive workload control (WLC) concept; and to describe the associated implementation process.

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4041

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a successful implementation of a comprehensive workload control (WLC) concept; and to describe the associated implementation process.

Design/methodology/approach

Longitudinal action research using a contingency‐based approach to ensure alignment between the case company and the characteristics of the WLC approach; and the resulting expected improvements in performance. A set of 17 issues and responses from the literature is used as a checklist for implementing WLC.

Findings

Performance improvements include: reduced lead times; significant improvement in lateness and tardiness; reduced costs; improved internal and external co‐ordination; and higher quality. The relevance of 15 of the 17 implementation issues is confirmed along with the same response as in previous research for ten issues and an improved response for five issues. In addition, three new issues are identified and addressed.

Research limitations/implications

Dependability was a more important competitive priority in this company than speed; and, therefore, the ability of WLC to reduce lead times was not fully assessed.

Practical implications

The importance of a contingency‐based approach to production planning and control is confirmed. Comprehensive WLC approaches are closely aligned with the high‐variety/low‐volume context of make‐to‐order (MTO) companies.

Originality/value

This is the first paper that empirically demonstrates performance improvements resulting from WLC alongside a detailed discussion of the implementation process. Few examples of successful implementations have been published previously, and these tend to treat the implementation process as a “black box”. Where more detail on the implementation process has been given in previous studies, evidence of effectiveness in practice was not provided.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1992

Linda C. Hendry

The management of customer enquiries is a particularly pertinentissue for make‐to‐order companies in which each enquiry concerns aunique order. Such companies must make…

Abstract

The management of customer enquiries is a particularly pertinent issue for make‐to‐order companies in which each enquiry concerns a unique order. Such companies must make tenders which are both competitive and realistic in terms of characteristics such as the delivery date and price, if they are to win the order and to secure future orders. Often, the need to ensure that a tender is realistic is given a low priority and thus orders that are won are delivered late and/or made at a loss. Proposes a Decision Support System which assists in determining tenders which are both realistic and competitive. Input/output control is used so that the input in terms of orders is controlled at the same time as the output is controlled in terms of capacity.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 12 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1991

Linda Hendry and Brian Kingsman

A Decision Support System (DSS), specifically designed to addressthe needs of small‐to medium‐sized make‐to‐order companies, is currentlybeing developed. It includes two…

Abstract

A Decision Support System (DSS), specifically designed to address the needs of small‐to medium‐sized make‐to‐order companies, is currently being developed. It includes two of the most important features in such a system. First, it aims to integrate the production and marketing functions within a firm. Second, it is a hierarchical system which addresses two decision levels – the customer‐enquiry stage and the job‐release stage. That part of the DSS developed for the job‐release stage is described. At this stage the aim of the system is to maintain low work‐in‐progress inventory levels whilst ensuring that all jobs are released in time to be delivered by their promised delivery dates. An approach which uses input/output control is proposed to achieve these objectives. The major advance of the proposed approach is its ability to control the total manufacturing lead times of jobs rather than just considering the shopfloor throughput time.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1991

Linda C. Hendry

Make‐to‐order (MTO) companies manufacture goods to customer specification. They produce a large number of different items, each unique because of the particular…

Abstract

Make‐to‐order (MTO) companies manufacture goods to customer specification. They produce a large number of different items, each unique because of the particular requirements of each customer. These companies do not commence production of any item until they have a firm order and have agreed a price and delivery date with the customer. Their characteristics and manufacturing management problems contrast sharply with those of Make‐to‐stock (MTS) companies, which mass produce a small variety of similar items. As most of the research to date has been aimed at the latter type of company, the need to develop manufacturing management systems specifically for the MTO sector is evident. A thorough review of the literature carried out at Lancaster illustrated that even modern manufacturing management systems such as Optimised Production Technology (OPT) and Just‐in‐Time (JIT) have failed to address the specific problems of this sector of manufacturing.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 14 no. 7/8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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