A Taxonomy of Supply Networks

Authors

  • Christine M. Harland,

    1. Christine M. Harland is professor of supply strategy in the Centre for Research in Strategic Purchasing and Supply (CRiSPS) in the School of Management at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.
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  • Richard C. Lamming,

    1. Richard C. Lamming is director of the Centre for Research in Strategic Purchasing and Supply (CRiSPS) and CIPS professor of purchasing and supply management in the School of Management at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.
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  • Jurong Zheng,

    1. Jurong Zheng is a research officer in the Centre for Research in Strategic Purchasing and Supply (CRiSPS) in the School of Management at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.
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  • Thomas E. Johnsen

    1. Thomas E. Johnsen is senior lecturer in the Business School at Bournemouth University and a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Management at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.
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SUMMARY

There has been limited research into how different types of supply networks can be created and operated. This article develops a taxonomy of supply networks with a particular focus on managing network creation and operation. The taxonomy is based on a review of network literature from various academic perspectives and extensive empirical data across a variety of industry sectors including automotive, fast-moving consumer goods, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and communications technologies. The main differentiating factors for classifying a matrix of four types of supply network are found to be the degree of supply network dynamics and the degree of focal company supply network influence. Network characteristics and different patterns ofnetworking activities are identified for each type of supply network.

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