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Managing structural and dynamic complexity in Supply Chains: insights from four case studies

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JournalProduction Planning and Control
DateSubmitted - 31 Jan 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Nov 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jan 2019
DatePublished (current) - 16 May 2019
Issue number8
Volume30
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)611-623
Early online date8/01/19
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Complexity is regarded a major impediment to Supply Chain (SC) performance. However, very few studies aid SC managers adopt adequate practices in response to structural and dynamic complexity. This study offers a comprehensive review of the practices that four manufacturing companies employ in their SC function to manage the structural and dynamic complexity of their product portfolio, internal SC, and supplier and customer bases. Moreover, leveraging the results of the inductive in-depth case studies, a classification of complexity management practices consisting of four clusters is advanced: variety reducing, confinement and decoupling, coordination and collaboration and decision support and knowledge generation. Each cluster’s distinctive logic and limitations are discussed and propositions on their managerial scope are introduced, therefore providing managers with relevant insights to design effective complexity management approaches in their organisations.

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© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • Complexity management, case study research, dynamic complexity, structural complexity, supply chain management

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