Supply chain (logistics) environmental complexity

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Supply chain (logistics) environmental complexity

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Title: Supply chain (logistics) environmental complexity
Author: Kinra, Aseem
Abstract: The spatial scope of organisations has recently been reemphasised in the context of supply chains and supply chain management. This scope is usually accompanied by uncertainty to organisations, especially for the extended supply chain with geographically dispersed operations and activities, thus posing environmental complexity in the form of risks and costs that organisations need to contend with. The main purpose of this dissertation is to create a deep understanding of this environmental complexity facing the extended supply chain, and the main research objective is to develop a construct, consisting of factors and measures, that can aid in describing its state in the context of logistics. Overall, the dissertation assumes an international business (IB) standpoint in undertaking this task whereby it is argued that countries and borders matter, and that differences between country environments lead to environmental complexity in the geographically dispersed supply chain. Country-oriented constraints may then exist at macro-economic level, or the micro-/meso- e.g. firm, network and industry levels of the business environment. In this dissertation, supply chain (logistics) environmental complexity is developed and operationalised in terms of the range and heterogeneity of country-oriented macro- logistics factors that need to be considered in extended, cross-border, or global supply chain (logistics) operations. The remainder of this dissertation is thereafter dedicated to finding these factors, and their respective information measures, by the application of a decision-making approach. A decision factor is one that influences the decision on selection with regards to environmental complexity, and an information measure is a unit of measurement that aids decision-making by providing some information on the factor. The findings of this dissertation are based upon multiple literature reviews, content analyses and expert opinions, and suggest the importance of 17 such decision factors and 187 different types of information measures, which describe the state of environmental complexity in extended, cross-border, or global supply chain operations. The study is particularly relevant from the perspective of strategy and design issues in global supply chain management, international operations management and international business, and more specifically for environmental scanning and decision-making applications such as site location and transport mode selection. By applying the results of this dissertation decision-makers may, for example, get a preliminary idea of the environmental complexity surrounding their extended supply chains.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/7823
Date: 2009-07-13

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