6th European International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management

Supply Chain Responsiveness: Dimensions, Relationships and Impact on Performance

Carla Cruz & Luís Ferreira
Publisher: IEOM Society International
0 Paper Citations
Track: Doctoral Dissertation Competition

The increasing pace in the industry and the growing complexity of supply chains worldwide are incremental phenomena demanding changes and adaptation in terms of Supply Chain Management (SCM). However, no one could anticipate the profound impact caused by changes in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, the magnitude of the disruptions, and their effects for such a long period. Companies need to reorganize and transform to accommodate and respond to shortages, market shifts, or product changes. More than being efficient, supply chains need to be responsive. Responsiveness enables supply chains to deliver the right product, at the right place, within an adequate time frame. However, research on how to develop responsive strategies applied to SCM is still scarce. As a concept, Responsiveness is well-defined and accepted as a relevant topic in the field. Some studies present conceptual models of responsiveness based on dimensions to be developed and managed by companies. Volume, product, and process have been proposed as dimensions of responsiveness. More recently, a new foundational theory emerged, addressing the dynamic potential of the supply chain and identifying responsiveness as the base upon which to build knowledge. According to this theory, responsiveness is achieved by combining five dimensions: adaptability, flexibility, agility, improvisation, and resilience. On the one hand, these dimensions represent no novelty to the field of SCM; on the other hand, there needs to be a clear indication of the right combination to achieve the desired level of responsiveness. In addition, it is relevant to ascertain the relationships identified between the dimensions. When an improvement in one of the dimensions leads to the same result in another one, synergies might be harvested. Still, it is necessary to consider the hypothesis of having dimensions competing for the same resources. In situations where such tensions arise, it is essential to discern and manage conflicting perspectives.

This study adopts a theoretical responsiveness model proposed in the literature as the starting point for the work developed. The responsiveness dimensions included in the model are studied from two perspectives: first, the right combination of dimensions for the intended level of responsiveness and, second, the tensions between the different dimensions. In what concerns the first perspective, dynamic capabilities facilitate reaching the adequate combination of dimensions and pursuing the right strategy to achieve responsiveness. Regarding the second perspective, paradox theory provides a framework for understanding and managing tensions between responsiveness dimensions arising from competition for resources and inner conflicts. Finally, the impact of responsiveness on performance is studied, considering the moderating role of industry clockspeed, as different industries vary in pace, the company´s position in the supply chain, and environmental uncertainty.

Published in: 6th European International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management, Lisbon, Portugal

Publisher: IEOM Society International
Date of Conference: July 18-20, 2023

ISBN: 979-8-3507-0547-8
ISSN/E-ISSN: 2169-8767