Supply chain flexibility A systematic literature review and identification of directions for future research

Jorieke H. M. Manders*, Marjolein C. J. Caniels, Paul W. Th. Ghijsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose - The conceptualization of flexibility in organizations historically emerged from three views which relate to economic, to organizational and to manufacturing perspectives. Despite the growing number of publications about supply chain flexibility in the area of supply chain management, there is a lack of consensus on how to define and to conceptualize supply chain flexibility from a management point of view. The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive overview of the literature on the supply chain flexibility perspective and contributes to our understanding of the current state of research and its future development.

Design/methodology/approach - The research methodology used is the systematic literature review. In total 92 articles were selected from databases of well-known journal publishers in the field of economics, business studies and management sciences as well as grey literature to cover the topic of supply chain flexibility.

Findings - A limited number of studies in the field of supply chain flexibility apply theories and define the term supply chain flexibility. Instead they focus on a particular part or dimension of the supply chain. Based on the analysis, a distinction is made between flexibility in the supply chain and supply chain flexibility. Based on the function and characteristics of the supply chain, the authors selected 30 flexibility dimensions that cover supply chain flexibility by concentrating on the different business areas involved.

Research limitations/implications - The results support researchers and practitioners by identifying relevant trends and gaps in the field of supply chain flexibility.

Originality/value - The authors review the dimensions and aspects of supply chain flexibility that are currently taken into account in the literature. In this way, the authors provide an overarching perspective on the flexibility literature relating to supply chains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-1026
Number of pages63
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Flexibility
  • Systematic literature review
  • Supply chain
  • Logistics
  • GROUP DECISION-MAKING
  • MANUFACTURING FLEXIBILITY
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
  • AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
  • LINGUISTIC APPROACH
  • VOLUME FLEXIBILITY
  • CONCEPTUAL-MODEL
  • ORDER QUANTITY
  • LEAD-TIME
  • PERFORMANCE

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