A Case Study about Understanding Inter-Organizational Decision Coordination
Abstract: Purpose: This article develops a theoretical framework to investigate the interaction and coordination of decision-making processes in a supply chain with multiple and inter-dependent suppliers and customers. Approach: Three longitudinal case studies on the decision coordination processes between a European toy supplier and three retailers. Findings: The case studies found different mental models, decision-making behaviours, coordination behaviours and ordering behaviours even though the toy supplier and the three retailers observed quite the same material flow behaviours. The study found explanations for these diverse behaviours by analyzing the mental models and decision-making behaviours of each involved party.
Introduction: A supply chain is fully coordinated when all decisions for accomplishing global system objectives are aligned (Sahin and Robinson, 2002). Particularly, ordering decisions of supply chain members have to be coordinated so that the rate of order fulfilment is synchronized with the rate of consumption at the lowest possible cost (Dyer and Singh, 1998; Simatupang et al., 2002). Despite the importance of interorganizational decision coordination, much of the logistics and supply chain literature (e.g. Thomas and Griffin, 1996; Metters, 1997; Lewis and Talalayevsky, 2004) seldom considers the influence of inter-organizational decision coordination on material (physical) flows (Malone and Crowston, 1994).
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