An Analysis of Evolutionary Phenomena of Supply Chain Networks from the Perspective of Complex Adaptive Systems and Information Technology
|關鍵字:||供應鏈管理;複雜適應系統;供應鏈演化;資訊科技;績效;Supply chain management;Complex adaptive systems;Supply chain evolution;Information technology;Performance.|
A ‘supply chain network’ (SCN) can be seen as falling within the confines of ‘complex adaptive systems’ (CAS) theory, in which the observable patterns, or forces, that exist are essentially attributable to the interplay between the SCN and its environment; in the present study, we set out to investigate the evolution of SCNs within a dynamic environment. The forces facilitating the evolution of supply chains comprise of the interactions between external conditions and internal factors, with the adoption of information technology (IT) within an SCN representing a critical external condition. Ultimately, the evolution of a supply chain can only be successfully achieved if there is continuing significant improvement in the overall performance of the SCN. Four propositions are developed in this study from a perspective of CAS and IT. Proposition 1 posits that the evolutionary forces of an SCN comprise of the interactions between external conditions and internal factors, with the evolutionary process being seen as a repetitive sequence of these forces, and evolution only being successful if it brings about an increase in the degree of ‘fit’ (hereafter, ‘fitness’) for network agents. Proposition 2 argues that the adoption of IT, as an external condition, will lead to a rise in transaction quantity, whilst Proposition 3 posits that with the adoption of IT, there will be a reduction in both prices and price volatility, along with greater visibility of pricing and long-run pricing equilibrium. Finally, Proposition 4 argues that with the adoption of IT there will be an increase in operational efficiency and a corresponding reduction in wastage losses. This study incorporates a case study involving the cut-flower supply chains in Taiwan; our investigation of the cut-flower industry is undertaken as the means of critically examining our propositions on the evolution of SCNs. Our case study investigation essentially examines the evolutionary phenomena from a macro-study perspective based upon a longitudinal approach, with the evolutionary process being divided into the three stages of ‘supplier-driven’, ‘retailer-driven’ and ‘e-system-driven’ evolution in order to explore the forces facilitating such evolution. Within each evolutionary stage, we can observe the patterns and behavior of the various agents within the supply chain. The primary data for our macro-study perspective are obtained from in-depth interviews and in-house documents. We then go on to confirm the evolutionary outcomes from a micro-study perspective examining the changes in performances between the ‘supplier-driven’ stage (Stage 1) and the ‘retailer-driven’ stage (Stage 2), and between the ‘retailer-driven’ stage and the ‘e-system-driven’ stage (Stage 3), through our empirical analyses of the effectiveness of IT. Time-series data, collected from the ‘Wholesale Information Sharing Hotline’ (WISH) system are adopted to support our propositions in this study. Our results reveal that between Stages 1 and 2, IT intervention, as an external condition, led to the introduction of the Dutch auction mechanism triggering changes in agents, decision rules and connectivity, such as the foundation of four auction houses and the integration of operations and transactions. The evolutionary outcome was soaring growth in the cut-flower market, as posited in Propositions 1 and 2. Between Stages 2 and 3, with IT driving the establishment of the WISH system, the changes amongst the various agents included the integration of information and coding systems, and the coordination of operations through demand management and transshipment systems. The evolutionary outcomes were price visibility and stability and a reduction in wastage losses, thereby providing support for Propositions 1, 3 and 4. During the overall process of supply chain evolution, the idea of managing the whole SCN to achieve global optimization provides an engaging vision and a certain requirement for appropriate decision-making by managers. On the one hand, managers need to be able to respond rapidly to the changing environments and adapt to such changes by modifying the objectives and strategies within the SCN. On the other hand, the adoption of appropriate IT can assist in the achievement of supply chain evolution to further increase the ‘fitness’ of the agents.
|Appears in Collections:||Thesis|