What is it about?

Changing material delivery schedules (MDSs) frequently entails repercussions upstream in the supply chain that at least perpetuate, if not cause, bullwhip and ripple effects. This article sheds light on the role of a less explored complexity dimension—namely dynamic complexity—in destabilizing MDSs at three automakers.

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Why is it important?

Building on complexity literature, the authors operationalize complexity transfer and develop a framework for analyzing dynamic complexity in SCs, focusing on complexity interactions. The identification and categorization of interactions provide a granular view of the dynamic complexity that generates MDS instability. The identified and proposed importance of readiness of the SC to absorb complexity challenges the literature focus on external factors for explaining complexity outcomes. The results can be used to operationalize such dynamic interactions by introducing new variables and networks of relationships. Moreover, the work showcases how a complexity perspective could be used to discern the root causes of a complex phenomenon driven by non-linear relationships.


I hope this article opens up for engaging with dynamic complexity for tackling supply chain issues.

Dr. Hafez Shurrab
Penn State Erie the Behrend College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Untangling the complexity generating material delivery “schedule instability”: insights from automotive OEMs, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, October 2022, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/ijopm-02-2022-0105.
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