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Working Paper

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Business logistics -- Research, Business logistics -- Management, Strategic alliances (Business)


Supply networks are prevalent industry structures which, like the academic literature, are complex, confusing and short on practical guidance. We evaluate the current position of empirical research to expose the main constructs that can be used to study cooperative supply network relationships, to identify emergent themes, gaps and shortcomings, to share insights with managers and, to propose future research approaches. Five significant drivers of supply network relationship behaviors are identified: complexity, power, alignment of objectives, knowledge management and coordination. This paper provides a unique, topical 'map' of the supply networks field and proposes a theoretical model for integrating the many diverse concepts into a general framework. This will enable researchers to focus more effectively on its relational dynamics. We also give managers some key guidance for successful operations within these essential structures.


©SCCI Ltd White Paper Nov 2012

Note: At the time of writing, Carlos Mena was affiliated with Cranfield University.

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