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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

Nathalie Fabbe-Costes, Lucie Lechaptois and Martin Spring

To empirically examine the usefulness and value of supply chain mapping (SC mapping), which has been neglected despite its importance in research and practice.

Abstract

Purpose

To empirically examine the usefulness and value of supply chain mapping (SC mapping), which has been neglected despite its importance in research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on three combined theoretical perspectives, we conducted a case study on a car manufacturer's managers mapping their downstream supply chain (SC). We conducted semi-structured interviews and a mapping exercise with them, followed by a focus group.

Findings

We find differences between individual and corporate SC maps and between how managers define the outbound SC, the SC map they draw and what they say when mapping. The three theoretical perspectives allow us to enrich SC mapping thinking. We focus on boundary objects to formulate propositions. SC mapping and maps are discussed with respect to contemporary SCs and SCM.

Research limitations/implications

Based on a single case study on one firm's outbound SC. Research could be expanded to the company's external partners and follow the development and use of maps in real time.

Practical implications

Highlights the usefulness and difficulties of SC mapping, for individuals and organisations. For the company, it opens avenues for further development and use of SC mapping to improve inter-functional and inter-organisational collaboration.

Social implications

Confirms the need for SC mapping competences in SCM and consequently the usefulness of teaching SC mapping courses in logistics and SCM programs.

Originality/value

Highlights the usefulness of SC mapping and rekindles interest in SC mapping and maps in SCM. Introduces boundary objects into SCM research.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2007

Nathalie Fabbe‐Costes and Marianne Jahre

In the literature authors state that there is a positive relation between supply chain integration (SCI) and performance. They claim that this relation is widely discussed…

Abstract

Purpose

In the literature authors state that there is a positive relation between supply chain integration (SCI) and performance. They claim that this relation is widely discussed and supported empirically. Other authors, however, suggest that integration might be more difficult in practice than in theory, that it should be differentiated and that it is more rhetoric than reality. As integration has been core of logistics and supply chain management since the 1980s, the purpose of this paper is to investigate these somewhat contradictory statements and analyse prior studies regarding definitions and measures of integration and performance as well as the reported empirical evidence on their relation.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an extensive and systematic review of integration articles within four highly ranked academic journals in logistics, supply chain and operations management, this paper presents and discusses the results of prior empirical studies on relations between integration and performance.

Findings

The analysis of the relevant articles indicates that empirical evidence cannot permit to clearly conclude and that integration as well as performance is defined, operationalised and measured in different and often limited ways. This might be a problem and the paper concludes with a provoking question of whether SCI might be the Emperors' New Suit of business.

Originality/value

The paper's departure point is a controversial hypothesis: the contribution of SCI is not as obvious as logistics and supply chain researchers usually think. The rigorous selection and analysis of previous studies contributes with systematic knowledge within an important question.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 37 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

François Fulconis and Gilles Paché

The majority of studies on supply chain management (SCM) emphasize the importance of cooperative relationships for improving the integration of business processes into a…

Abstract

The majority of studies on supply chain management (SCM) emphasize the importance of cooperative relationships for improving the integration of business processes into a supply chain. It seems accepted that SCM will be a source of competitive advantage if, and only if, firms that participate in it formalize a strategic partnership between each other beforehand. This article questions whether this really is the case, given that the corporate cultures currently in place are largely founded on a tradition of adversarial relationships, the creation of large groups and the development of vertical concentrations. SCM could, in contrast, in such a case be the catalyst for powerful future strategic partnerships that could gently break arm’s‐length competition.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Article
Publication date: 28 April 2014

Nathalie Fabbe-Costes, Christine Roussat, Margaret Taylor and Andrew Taylor

The purpose of this paper is to explore the empirical reality of environmental scanning (ES) practices in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) contexts. In…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the empirical reality of environmental scanning (ES) practices in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) contexts. In particular it tests a conceptual framework proposed in 2011 by Fabbe-Costes et al.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data for this research were obtained from 45 semi-structured interviews with key informants, combined with a discussion of the main results with a focus group of supply chain experts. These data are compared with the literature and brought to bear on the framework.

Findings

The research finds both breadth and depth in the scope of sustainability scanning practices of the respondent group and provides evidence of multi-level scanning, with all respondents describing scanning activity at the societal level. It further demonstrates the adoption of multiple and diverse scanning targets at all levels in the conceptual framework. The articulation and ranking of scanning targets for SSCM at all levels informs the development of priorities for practice. The paper also makes some observations about the boundaries of the scanning process.

Practical implications

The results provide managers with concrete guidance about what to scan in sustainable supply chain contexts. The validated framework can serve as a practical tool to assist managers with the organization and prioritization of their ES activities.

Originality/value

The paper is among the first to address the role of ES in sustainable supply chain contexts. It highlights the need for a multi-level framework for such scanning activities and opens up a debate about their implementation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2008

Nathalie Fabbe‐Costes and Marianne Jahre

The purpose of this paper is to analyse papers studying the link between supply chain integration (SCI) and performance, and to discuss reported empirical evidence…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse papers studying the link between supply chain integration (SCI) and performance, and to discuss reported empirical evidence relating to this fundamental question for logistics and supply chain management.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic analysis of 38 papers published in nine important journals in logistics, supply chain and operations management during the period 2000‐2006 is offered. Using a multidimensional framework to sort and classify selected papers, structured results are provided for the purpose of contributing to discussion of the topic.

Findings

More SCI does not always improve performance. Definitions and measures of SCI and performance are diverse to the extent that a conclusion such as “the more (SCI) the better (the performance) cannot be drawn”. On the contrary more empirical research, with use of clear definitions and good measures, are needed. The conclusions drawn from the analytical literature review provide a basis from which further research can be developed, both in respect of research approaches, definitions of main concepts and the choice of theoretical basis.

Research limitations/implications

Additional journals could be included. The framework could be more detailed. More details on SCI and performance measures, as well as the items used in the papers, could be provided and discussed.

Practical implications

Results encourage researchers and practitioners to be more cautious concerning SCI and its impact on performance and to have a more conscious and differentiated view of SCI.

Originality/value

Through a rigorous analysis of prevailing research, the paper questions a common assumption in business logistics and SCM. Propositions for further research are suggested.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2006

Nathalie Fabbe‐Costes, Marianne Jahre and Aurélien Rouquet

Logisticians have always viewed standards as solutions for improving operational compatibility and coordination. This paper aims to contribute to a greater understanding…

Abstract

Purpose

Logisticians have always viewed standards as solutions for improving operational compatibility and coordination. This paper aims to contribute to a greater understanding of how standards, upon which logistics systems are designed, developed and coordinated, interact with each other and with other resources in a logistics network for the purpose of improving efficiency and effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature review permits: defining standards as a coordination mechanism focusing on development, use and evolution of interconnected standards; pointing out the importance of standards for logistics efficiency and effectiveness; and analysis of interrelatedness referring to increasing returns, basic technology and dominant design. The empirical evidence is based on a meta‐case from the automobile industry with information collected from nine case studies based on observations, documents, drafts of standards and interviews.

Findings

The case study illustrates major points in prior literature and provides new propositions that enrich the theory and have important managerial implications. Main findings include a better understanding of how standards interact over time, and how they help, as well as hinder technological development in logistics networks. Being exploratory in nature, the paper concludes with theoretical propositions for further research.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the understanding of an issue is been important, but still not much addressed in prior logistics literature: the use of standards. The combining of literature from three streams of research: logistics, industrial networks and technology development provides interesting insight on which the case analysis is based and from which further research can be developed.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Marianne Jahre and Nathalie Fabbe-Costes

– The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the use of standards and modularity for improving responsiveness in the humanitarian context.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the use of standards and modularity for improving responsiveness in the humanitarian context.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a conceptual framework and a systematic literature review, the authors conducted a longitudinal, explorative case on the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) concept in the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Society (IFRC), focussing particularly on the Health ERU in the Norwegian Red Cross.

Findings

The authors found that the ERU concept makes use of many types of standards that complement and influence each other, and that the focus on modularity is increasing due to a growing need for responsiveness. Main challenges are trade-offs between autonomy and adaptability to the context resulting in more modularization which may be in danger of breaking the concept.

Research limitations/implications

Results from this study could be refined by surveying staff involved in all types of ERU deployments. To explore the generalizability of the findings and test the propositions developed, more studies should be conducted.

Practical implications

The study provides more understanding of the use of standards and modularity for improving responsiveness. Practitioners can use the framework as a check-list to identify potential means for improvements. The case can be used for training, discussions, and reflections. The research feeds into IFRC’s and NORCROSS ongoing work to their global response tools.

Social implications

The results of the study can support improvements in humanitarian supply chains, thereby providing affected people with cost-efficient, rapid, and better-adapted responses.

Originality/value

The authors develop a framework for categorization of standards and modularity in the humanitarian context. The authors provide the first empirical study on how humanitarian organizations use standards and modularity to improve responsiveness concluding with a set of propositions on how the concepts are linked.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2009

Nathalie Fabbe‐Costes, Marianne Jahre and Christine Roussat

Considering the importance of supply chain integration (SCI) in literature and the increasing outsourcing of logistics, this paper aims to study the role of logistics…

Abstract

Purpose

Considering the importance of supply chain integration (SCI) in literature and the increasing outsourcing of logistics, this paper aims to study the role of logistics service providers (LSPs) in supporting SCI and clients' performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on a two‐step approach: a literature review on supply chain integration (SCI) and performance regarding how LSPs are taken into account; and an analysis of web sites of LSPs concerning how they communicate their role and whether they themselves consider they have a role in improving the SCI and performance of their clients. Results are then discussed in view of some major works on third party logistics.

Findings

Some surprising conclusions are drawn. Among the analysed articles very few take LSPs into consideration. The web site analysis shows LSPs varying in their communication. Some do not consider SCI as part of their job, others balance between being pure “resource providers” and taking the riskier role of “supply chain designers”. The analysis of the roles LSPs can play in supply chains enriches the understanding of the SCI phenomenon.

Research limitations/implications

In this paper SCI performance papers are analysed. A review of papers on LSPs could be another relevant starting point. The web site analysis concerns LSPs' communication. Further research could complement with the shippers' perspectives.

Practical implications

Results suggest different dimensions to structure LSPs' strategies vis‐à‐vis clients' SCI and performance.

Originality/value

The main contributions of this paper are questioning and analysing what role LSPs play in SCI and performance, and expanding the framework for SCI studies.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 58 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2011

Nathalie Fabbe‐Costes, Christine Roussat and Jacques Colin

Companies that try to build sustainable supply chains or that have to reengineer their supply chains to face sustainable development issues are confronted with such a…

Abstract

Purpose

Companies that try to build sustainable supply chains or that have to reengineer their supply chains to face sustainable development issues are confronted with such a complex and uncertain context that scanning their environment becomes more than ever necessary. This paper makes up the first stage of a research program. It aims to find an adequate scanning approach for sustainable supply chain design.

Design/methodology/approach

The research follows a two‐steps methodology. First, it looks for appropriate scanning frameworks by reviewing the dedicated literature. Second, it gathers ideas and knowledge combining an analysis of sustainable supply chain empirical studies with the collection of experts' scanning know‐how, by means of semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

This first stage of the research program suggests use of a multi‐and interrelated levels scope for sustainable scanning with a network perspective. The renewed target approach it promotes results in modifying scanning priorities. The overall findings shape up the first draft of a sustainable scanning framework, including a multi‐levels scope of analysis, a list of sustainable targets and a first contribution concerning scanning methods and attitudes.

Research limitations/implications

The relevance of our scanning framework needs further testing to validate its usefulness and provide recommendations for managers.

Practical implications

The paper proposes a scanning framework and a list of targets that could be implemented by professionals.

Originality/value

The contribution in this paper is to link environmental scanning and sustainable development adding a supply chain orientation, and to propose a conceptual “sustainable scanning framework”. It is hoped that further research will prove that it has interesting managerial implications for companies challenged by sustainable development issues.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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