A conceptual and empirical examination of the management concept Supply chain management
Abstract (Summary)The management concept "supply chain management" was introduced in early 1980s and since then the concept has recieved increasing attention within the fields of logistics. Supply chain management is viewed by many as a highly novel management concept, but comparison with earlier work reveals similarities. The main objective of this study is to examine the concept of supply chain management in order to seek the essence of the concept. A subordinated objective is to give some indication of the degree of novelty of supply chain management. Supply chain management is viewed in this study as a management concept or management theory and a method of five different examinations based on literature studies is developed. Firstly, the "reference network", the references within the examined literature, is established and examined. Secondly, the stated objectives and the stated fundamental beliefs are examined and thirdly, the stated definitions and stated theory relations are examined. These three examinations lay the foundation for the fourth, where the extent to which the different views of supply chain management in the examined literature share a common set of ideas and beliefs is examined. Finally, the extent to which the fundamental beliefs of supply chain management can be distinguished from the ideas and beliefs of its forerunners within logistics is examined. The examination reveal that it is possible to relate the stated objectives of supply chain management to each other in a "hierarchical weave" and that it is also possible to view the concept as constituted by a set of primitive fundamental beliefs. Tentatively, the following set is identified as the primitive fundamental beliefs of supply chain management, coordination and integration along the material flow, win-win relationships and end customer focus. Further, the examinations reveal that few stated definitions exist and that there are only vaguely stated theory relations. The most common stated theory relation is Poster's value chain. Based upon the examinations the conclusion is that supply chain management is a homogenous management concept, where its interpreters share common ideas and beliefs. However, the comparison with the forerunners shows that the ideas and beliefs of supply chain management also can be found in prior works. Accordingly, the degree of novelty is not judged as very high. Although most of the ideas of supply chain management may be found in the work by its forerunners it is concluded that their ideas are more fragmented and less apparent than the ideas of supply chain management.
School:Luleå tekniska universitet
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/1997