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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2021

R. Anthony Inman and Kenneth W. Green

Today's businesses are facing a world that is more complex, turbulent and unpredictable than in the past with increasing levels of environmental complexity. Rather than…

Abstract

Purpose

Today's businesses are facing a world that is more complex, turbulent and unpredictable than in the past with increasing levels of environmental complexity. Rather than proposing environmental uncertainty as a mediator/moderator of the relationship between agility and performance as others have done, the authors offer an alternative view where supply chain agility is seen as mediating the relationship between environmental uncertainty and supply chain performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose that supply chain agility is a response to the effects of environmental uncertainty and, as such, environmental uncertainty should be seen as a driver of supply chain agility. Few studies test the direct relationship between uncertainty and supply chain performance, and none simultaneously test for agility's mediation and moderation effect between environmental uncertainty and agility.

Findings

The model was statistically assessed using partial-least-squares structural equation modeling (PLS/SEM) by analyzing survey data from manufacturing managers in 136 US firms. The study results did not indicate a significant relationship between environmental uncertainty and supply chain performance. However, the authors did find a significant positive relationship between agile manufacturing and supply chain performance using measures that were primarily operations-centered rather than financial. Additionally, the authors found that agile manufacturing fully mediates the relationship between environmental uncertainty and supply chain performance.

Originality/value

The authors’ model, though simple, provides a base for future research for them and other researchers who can incorporate other impacting variables into the model. The study results show that uncertainty can be a force for good and that utilizing agile manufacturing can be a new source of opportunity.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2021

Jitendra Nenavani and Rajesh K. Jain

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of strategic supplier partnership and customer relationship on supply chain responsiveness and then to analyse the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of strategic supplier partnership and customer relationship on supply chain responsiveness and then to analyse the influence of supply chain responsiveness on operational performance in the manufacturing industry in India. In addition to that, this study also investigates the moderating effects of demand uncertainty on the relationship between strategic supplier partnership–supply chain responsiveness and customer relationship–supply chain responsiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured self-administered questionnaire was developed to collect data from manufacturing companies in India. This study performed the structural equation modelling and moderated regression for testing the hypotheses after ensuring the validity and reliability of identified constructs.

Findings

Strategic supplier partnership and customer relationship positively influence supply chain responsiveness, and supply chain responsiveness also positively impacts operational performance. In addition to that, demand uncertainty negatively moderates the relationship between strategic supplier partnership and supply chain responsiveness. However, demand uncertainty does not significantly affect the relationship between customer relationship and supply chain responsiveness.

Originality/value

Strategic supplier partnership and customer relationship are firstly investigated as antecedents of supply chain responsiveness. To the best of the author’s knowledge, this study is one of the first to examine the moderating effect of demand uncertainty on the relationship between supply chain practices (strategic supplier partnership and customer relationship) and supply chain responsiveness.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 December 2020

Michael Wang, Bill Wang and Ricky Chan

Due to increasing supply chain complexity, the supply chain uncertainty has become an imperative issue, which hinders the development of modern logistics and supply chain

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1517

Abstract

Purpose

Due to increasing supply chain complexity, the supply chain uncertainty has become an imperative issue, which hinders the development of modern logistics and supply chain management. The paper attempts to conceptualize reverse logistics uncertainty from supply chain uncertainty literature and present the types of reverse logistics uncertainty in a triadic model.

Design/methodology/approach

The concept of reverse logistics uncertainty is developed based on a triadic model of logistics uncertainty and supply chain uncertainty literature. A desk research is conducted to develop a taxonomy of reverse logistics uncertainty. To better depict the reverse logistics uncertainty, we use case studies to discuss the types of reverse logistics uncertainty in the triadic model.

Findings

The study reveals four types of supply chain uncertainties in the reverse logistics. We call them reverse logistics uncertainty. Type-A and Type-B uncertainty are new types of supply chain uncertainty in the reverse logistics.

Research limitations/implications

The types of reverse logistics uncertainty have not been empirically validated in industries. Especially, the two new types including Type-A and Type-B reverse uncertainty need further exploration.

Originality/value

Although reverse logistics has been discussed in the past decades, very few studies have been conducted on the supply chain uncertainty in returns management arena. The paper offers valuable insights to better understand the supply chain uncertainty in the reverse logistics. This also provides suggestions for both managers and researchers to reflect on the reverse logistics uncertainty management and business sustainability.

Details

Modern Supply Chain Research and Applications, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-3871

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2020

Yuji Sato, Ying Kei Tse and Kim Hua Tan

This paper provides a practical framework for managers to develop a sustainable supply chain. Given that rapid globalization has increased supply disruption risk, managers…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper provides a practical framework for managers to develop a sustainable supply chain. Given that rapid globalization has increased supply disruption risk, managers have been forced to establish efficient and responsive supply chain strategies. Nevertheless, diverse uncertainty factors, such as risk perception of strategies, have made practical management difficult. Quantifying managers' risk perceptions and applying them to supply chain strategies allows the authors to propose a structural and practical model for managing supply disruption.

Design/methodology/approach

The existing structural model is refined by taking subjective factors into account using the analytic hierarchy process. The applicability of the refined model is demonstrated through a comparative case study.

Findings

Managers' risk perceptions vary not only among companies but also between managing divisions within a company, which necessitates possible changes in strategy due to environmental turbulence. The principal component analysis (PCA) characterizes managers' risk perceptions that illustrate companies' emphases on disruption risk.

Practical implications

The proposed approach quantifies risk perception, which enables practitioners to deal with subjective information in quantitative form. Comparative studies clarify differences in perception given different business backgrounds. The results provide managers with in-depth insights for establishing supply chain strategies reflecting their risk perception.

Originality/value

Quantification of managers' subjective risk perception clarifies both the trend and the individual features for uncertainties. The results allow the authors to conduct the PCA, which characterizes companies. Comparative studies generalize the results of extant work, shedding light on cross-sectional differences given different business backgrounds. The effectiveness of the approach is confirmed through retrospective interviews with practitioners.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 120 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2020

Christopher M. Durugbo, Zainab Al-Balushi, Abdellatef Anouze and Omar Amoudi

The dynamic nature of uncertainty sources in regional operations represents supply chain management (SCM) imperatives to review uncertainty management frameworks on an…

Abstract

Purpose

The dynamic nature of uncertainty sources in regional operations represents supply chain management (SCM) imperatives to review uncertainty management frameworks on an ongoing basis with a view to identifying and prioritising critical indices of uncertainty for effective SCM. The purpose of this study is to identify the critical indices of uncertainty for regional supply chains and analyse how SCM practitioners perceive uncertainty.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a Delphi-based study with a panel of 70 SCM experts from the Sultanate of Oman in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. It applies three rounds of a Delphi exercise to identify, select and prioritise the critical indices of supply chain uncertainty perceived by panel experts. The thematic analysis also provides theorisations on the process for uncertainty perception and factors shaping perception.

Findings

A total of 39 uncertainty indices were identified from demand, supply, manufacturing, control, technology, competitive, project, transport and geological sources. The Delphi selection round captured the top 12 indices of experts. The research found an accumulative–aggregative duality that explains uncertainty perception and a cost–conformance–connection triadic set of factors underlying the perceived critical indices. Project uncertainty produced the top-ranked index in the final Delphi round.

Originality/value

This paper makes three main contributions. First, it offers a bottom-up based insight into supply chain uncertainty using the Delphi-based study and from a GCC perspective. Second, the research is unique in its focus on Oman and, third, it is of value for the international operations of GCC companies and for international firms with intentions of expanding, moving or outsourcing their operations to a GCC country such as Oman.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2020

Samuel Roscoe, Heather Skipworth, Emel Aktas and Farooq Habib

This paper examines how firms of different sizes formulate and implement strategies to achieve fit with an external environment disrupted by a geopolitical event. The…

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2292

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines how firms of different sizes formulate and implement strategies to achieve fit with an external environment disrupted by a geopolitical event. The context of the study is the pharmaceutical industry and how it managed the supply chain uncertainty created by the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union, or Brexit.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected longitudinally from the pro-Brexit vote on 23 June 2016, until the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 January 2020. Twenty-seven interviews were conducted in the pharmaceutical sector, including nineteen interviews with senior managers at eight case companies and eight interviews with experts working for trade associations and standards institutes. The interview findings were triangulated with Brexit policy and strategy documentation.

Findings

When formulating strategy, multi-national enterprises (MNEs) used worst case assumptions, while large firms, and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) gathered knowledge as part of a “wait-and-see” strategy, allowing them to reduce perceptions of heightened supply chain uncertainty. Firms then implemented reactive and/or proactive strategies to mitigate supply chain risks.

Originality/value

The study elaborates on strategic contingency theory by identifying two important conditions for achieving strategic fit: first, companies deploy intangible resources, such as management time, to gather information and reduce perceptions of heightened supply chain uncertainty. Second, companies deploy tangible resources (supply chain redundancies, new supply chain assets) to lessen the negative outcomes of supply chain risks. Managers are provided with an empirical framework for mitigating supply chain uncertainty and risk originating from geopolitical disruptions.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2010

Vanessa Yanes‐Estévez, Juan Ramón Oreja‐Rodríguez and Ana Maria García‐Pérez

The paper's aim is to develop a diagnosis of the environment of the agrifood supply chain based on members' perceptions of environmental uncertainty.

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1654

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's aim is to develop a diagnosis of the environment of the agrifood supply chain based on members' perceptions of environmental uncertainty.

Design/methodology/approach

Environmental uncertainty is defined as the lack of information about the external environment and is obtained by integrating the perceived dynamism and complexity of the environmental variables. The measurements that are used are the result of applying the Rasch methodology to the information obtained by means of a questionnaire completed by the deciders of firms in the Canary Islands (Spain). Those measures permit the complexity and dynamism perceived by the groups of firms in the supply chain together with the levels of perceived dynamism and complexity of the environmental variables to be jointly positioned on a map.

Findings

According to the perceptions of the members of the agrifood supply chain (agriculture, agrifood industry and distribution), the main sources of environmental uncertainty are demand and competitors. The agricultural sector perceives somewhat more uncertainty than agrifood industry sector, while the distribution sector perceives a stable environment.

Research limitations/implications

The paper presents a useful tool for the business population and public institutions to identify which variables are perceived as the most dynamic and complex and how those variables are perceived by each member of the agrifood supply chain.

Originality/value

The paper operationalises the proposal of Duncan by means of a new application of the Rasch methodology. The results reflect the thinking of the members of all sectors of a supply chain. It is one of the first to study the environmental uncertainty perceived in the agrifood supply chain from a strategic perspective as a fundamental antecedent of the promotion of vertical collaboration in the agrifood supply chain.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 112 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2019

Roya Manuela Akhavan and Dimitar Zvezdov

Gaining a better understanding of various actors’ information demands and developing suitable approaches to fulfilling them is key in managing sustainability performance…

Abstract

Purpose

Gaining a better understanding of various actors’ information demands and developing suitable approaches to fulfilling them is key in managing sustainability performance in supply chains. Sustainability thereby creates different levels of uncertainty and equivocality. This paper investigates the challenges in managing sustainability information flows along several nodes in the supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple case study approach explores the various sustainability information needs along different nodes of supply chains. For this, three automotive triads are investigated, each comprising an original equipment manufacturer, a first-tier supplier and a second-tier supplier.

Findings

The results reveal that fulfilling information demands presents a substantial challenge to each of the three actors, albeit a different one in each case: whereas focal companies seek to figure out what information may be relevant to sustainability performance, their direct suppliers struggle to develop suitable approaches for enabling second-tier suppliers to generate and provide such information.

Practical implications

Depending on the level of uncertainty and equivocality, companies are supported in approaching sustainability information needs by applying individual or collective processing mechanisms. Decisions on such mechanisms and organisational structure can help to allocate resources according to the degree of challenges to achieve a fit between information needs and mechanisms.

Social implications

Reducing uncertainty and equivocality related to sustainability information provides a powerful approach to improving the sustainability performance along supply chains.

Originality/value

Having identified sustainability information challenges, the paper analyses and develops a typology of potentially useful approaches.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2011

Candace Y. Yi, E.W.T. Ngai and K‐L. Moon

The objective of this paper is to illustrate and examine the different flexibility strategies adopted by supply chain participants as a result of different environmental…

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6592

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to illustrate and examine the different flexibility strategies adopted by supply chain participants as a result of different environmental uncertainties.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory multi‐case study, involving five Chinese companies in the textile and apparel industry, was conducted.

Findings

The analysis, based on the supply chain literature, reveals that the unpredictable dynamics of the supply chain can arise from a variety of internal and external sources, including suppliers, operating systems, customers, and competitors. In response to the various environmental uncertainties and risks in the supply chain, four types of flexibility strategy are identified in our case analysis: laggard, conservative, agile, and aggressive. The results also suggest that the adoption of flexibility strategies should match a firm's business environment and that better supply chain responsiveness can be achieved in two ways: by reducing uncertainties and by improving supply chain flexibility.

Research limitations/implications

The key limitation of the study is that it focuses solely on the textiles and clothing industry, which makes it difficult to generalize the results to other industries. Another difficulty arises from the subjective criteria employed in some constructs, such as the perceived aggressiveness of competition, the predictability of customer demand, and the designations of companies in the proposed strategy categories.

Practical implications

The proposed theoretical framework can assist managers in properly diagnosing and deploying supply chain flexibility strategies. The actions identified for promoting supply chain flexibility can also be used to assess the various options for exploiting or acquiring flexibility strategies.

Originality/value

Expanding on the previous research approach of examining flexibility strategies from the perspective of a single firm, this study draws on the multi‐case approach to posit a series of propositions that link the adoption of specific supply chain flexibility strategies to various environmental conditions in a supply chain context and proposes a conceptual framework to illustrate how supply chain responsiveness can be improved in today's volatile market environment.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Pankaj Dutta and Himanshu Shrivastava

This paper aims to design an optimal supply chain network and to develop a suitable distribution planning under uncertainty for perishable product's supply chain. The…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to design an optimal supply chain network and to develop a suitable distribution planning under uncertainty for perishable product's supply chain. The ultimate goal is to help in making decisions under uncertain environments.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, stochastic programming is used under conditions of demand, supply and process uncertainties, and a non-linear mathematical model is developed for perishable product’s supply chain. Authors’ study considers disruptions in transportation routes and also within the facilities and investigates optimal facility location and shipment decisions while minimising the total supply chain cost. A scenario-based approach is used to model these disruptions. The retailer level uncertainty due to demand-supply mismatch is handled by incorporating the newsvendor model into the last echelon of supply chain network. In this paper, two policies are proposed for making decisions under uncertain environments. In the first one, the expected cost of the supply chain is minimised. To also consider the risk behaviour of the decision maker, authors propose the second policy through a conditional value-at-risk approach.

Findings

Authors discuss the model output through various examples that are provided via a case study from the milk industry. The supply chain design and planning of the disruption-free model are different from those of the resilient model.

Practical implications

Authors’ research benefits the perishable products industries which encounter the disruption problems in their transportation routes as well as in the facilities. Authors have demonstrated the research through a real-life case in a milk industry.

Originality/value

The major contribution of authors’ work is the design of the supply chain network under disruption risks by incorporating aspects of product perishability. This work provides insight into areas such as the simultaneous consideration of demand, supply and process uncertainties. The amalgamation of newsvendor model and the approximation of the non-linearity of retailer level cost function especially in the context of supply chain under uncertainty is the first of its kind. We provide a comprehensive statistical study of uncertainties that are present in the supply chain in a unique manner.

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