According to Morgan (1973), self-organisation is a key competence. Growth, size, and integration (whose chief activities are decentralisation and outsourcing) necessitates a rethink in structural design. Integration is a fundamental concept in supply chain management; organisational structure less so.
Metaphors of the Organisation
Morgan (1986) defined eight (moderately famous) metaphors to describe different organisations:
- information processor/brain, culture,
- psychic prison,
- transformation, and
- instrument of domination.
Of these, several were relevant to the findings of my PhD.
Say you're a multinational with operations spread around various countries. You need to know where you can perform your operations most economically and efficiently, and you also need to factor the corporation tax you pay in different countries.
Some people can't even eat the food, let alone get to grips with the lingo!
Having lived as something of an expat for over a decade (although I was officially "local hire" so never got the perks that were customary in overseas packages), from seeing serious cultural gaffs by guest managers more times than I imagined was even possible, and after hearing hundreds of stories of allegedly competent bosses crashing and burning on foreign soil, I decided to look to the literature for understanding.
In contrast to the first generation of Austrian school economists, Schumpeter proffered that the course of the ceaseless evolution that characterizes economic machination is cyclic in nature. In Schumpeter’s view, the cycle is one of creative-destruction resulting primarily from smaller firms acquiring advantage through innovative practices and eclipsing larger firms. The innovator is made entrepreneur by his/her capacity to propel this cycle by generating and/or manipulating the resources that lubricate and fuel ever-renewing industry. And, since it is innovation that underpins industrial power, the entrepreneur is chief actor. On this premise, entrepreneurialism becomes itself an essential – if not the most essential – resource.
In the influential theorizing of Putnam (2000) and Coleman (1988), the term has undergone elision and is nowadays suggestive more of informal social interconnectedness than the former Marxist definition of social capital as the complement of fiscal capital. The Marxist interpretation is embedded in Marx’s underlying assumptions – that society is stratified according to placement within the productive schema and material dialectics explain the course of human history and the essential nature of human behaviour.
In electronics, Porter’s “Five Forces” are powerful. Logistics represents a means by which economies can be achieved through specific efficiency improvements. Such improvements can translate into better service, which provides differentiation. Resultant cost savings can benefit the customer, who can pay lower prices.
The first section of this article discusses how management information can influence the direction of a business. The section that follows describes how a specific logistics-related information technology affects both the company and the department operating it.
This article concentrates on despatch, a logistical operation that directly affects commercial performance. A description of the despatch process is followed by a discussion of development of a key performance indicator (KPI).
Analysis of the Marketability of the Current Logistics Chain
The following diagram is an approximate illustration of a consumer electronics source-to-UK-customer supply chain.
Mapping a supply chain allows managers to understand the durations, directions, costs, complexities, and constraints of its flows. The principle underlying logistics management is competitive advantage through logistical efficiency. Management of the logistical activities within a supply chain typically begins with a mapping of the major flows. Mapping can thus be considered the first step toward achieving/increasing competitive advantage through improvement/simplification of logistical activities.