Understanding and development of supply chain agility and flexibility: a structured literature review

Published on Oct 1, 2017in International Journal of Management Reviews13.419
· DOI :10.1111/IJMR.12096
Sajad Fayezi8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Swinburne University of Technology),
Ambika Zutshi19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Deakin University),
Andrew O'Loughlin5
Estimated H-index: 5
(La Trobe University)
This paper provides a review of the literature while contributing to academic understanding of the concepts of agility and flexibility within the supply chain. The research identified 83 peer-reviewed articles through a structured review technique, which is based on a three-stage refinement process. Data reduction procedures using codification, sentence strings and a review of keywords, title, abstract and conclusion were used in the search. The papers identified focused on organizational and supply chain agility and flexibility. The acknowledged gaps in understanding and development of agility and flexibility in supply chains were identified and categorized in terms of conceptual, contextual and methodological gaps. Subsequent to the gap analysis, this paper argues that effective relationship integration with key partners is a fundamental mechanism for mitigating the problem of control dissipation, which has hindered academic understanding with respect to development and application of agile and flexible capabilities in supply chains. The findings in this paper will help academics to gain a better understanding and to develop the concepts of supply chain agility and flexibility. In addition, the findings indicate that supply chain stakeholders need to address the issue of relationship integration when undertaking, or participating in agility and flexibility development programmes, so as to maximize supply chain performance. The paper concludes by highlighting implications for managers and researchers, and proposes a number of areas for future investigation.
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