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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/7546

Document Type: Article
Title: Towards a theory of supply chain alignment enablers: a systematic literature review
Authors: Wong, C.Y.
Skipworth, Heather
Godsell, Janet
Achimugu, Nemile
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Purpose - The importance of supply chain alignment has been discussed since the birth of Supply Chain Management. Yet it remains a major challenge for supply chains. This paper aims to systematically review the cross disciplinary literature on supply chain alignment in order to identify, and develop constructs for enablers to alignment, and an associated set of hypothesise culminating in a theoretical model. Design/methodology/approach - A systematic approach has been taken to the literature review which ensures it is auditable and repeatable. The selection criteria are clearly aligned with the review question ensuring all literature pertinent to the question is identified and reviewed. Relevant information is extracted from the selected papers and synthesised into a theoretical model. Findings - Six main constructs for the enablers of alignment are identified and defined. While the literature is disparate, across different disciplines there is good support for these enablers. The relationships between supply chain alignment and shareholder and customer value are also argued with the support of the literature. Though each of the enablers is argued to positively affect shareholder and customer value, their interactions with each other are not well supported in the literature, either theoretically or empirically, and therefore this could be an area for further research. Research/practical implications - While the model remains theoretical, it is now possible to test this model and understand the relative significance of the various enablers to alignment. Further, the significance of shareholder and customer alignment on the delivery of shareholder and customer value can be examined, thus building a theory of supply chain alignment. This is needed since in practice companies are struggling with supply chain alignment. Originality/value - The existing literature on supply chain alignment is disparate and multi-disciplinary as our descriptive analysis shows, with 72 papers published in 43 different journals. Moreover, most of the papers focus on particular enablers, while this paper brings together six key enablers from the literature to produce one theoretical model.
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13598541211246567
Appears in Collections:Staff publications - School of Management

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