CABDyN Complexity Centre
Supply Chain Mapping
Understanding firms’ supply chains has become both a key issue for business research, and a central issue for corporations. Firms do not compete as atomistic islands of activity, but in complex webs of other organisations: firms’ fates are tied up with those of their supply chain partners. Over a twenty year period, this idea has achieved central prominence in business: should firms make or buy? Should they form a small number of key and stable relationships, or should they use the power of the market to adaptively draw on a wide pool of suppliers? Should they seek to manage the firms several stages down the chain from them? Although the evidential base of supply chain management is very substantial, much of the work describes only fragments of chains, or rests on the analysis of idealized models which do not reflect empirical reality. The problem is that it is very difficult to draw convincing maps of supply chains – to plot out who supplies whom.
Tomomi Kito, Alexandra Brintrup, Felix Reed-Tsochas, Steve New (Principal Investigator)
Project funded by Saïd Business School Foundation