Towards an understanding of Temporary Supply Chains:a study of organisations and technology

Fernandes, Aline (2018) Towards an understanding of Temporary Supply Chains:a study of organisations and technology. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This thesis is concerned with the understanding of Temporary Supply Chains (TSCs) and with the role of Information Technology (IT) in managing them. These supply chains are characterized by finite-life duration, largely emergent and non-routine tasks, and heterogeneity of organisational members. IT assumes a central role, as these supply chains often involve the integration of independent and decentralized organisations. Furthermore, coordination and communication of many agents in real time are critical aspects that are facilitated by technology. Despite this evident practical application, a deep understanding of IT use in TSCs is lacking. Therefore, this piece of research investigates the nature and dynamics of TSCs, focusing on the role of IT. For this, it builds from three fields of knowledge: Operations and Supply Chain Management (O&SCM), Temporary Organisations (TO), and Information Systems (IS). As main research methods, it adopts qualitative case studies. Specifically, it analyses two polar empirical settings: the 2014/2015 Ebola Response in West Africa and the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Given that this is a PhD by publication, the main research findings are reported in the format of three academic papers, which have different focuses and units of analysis. Paper One unveils the dynamics of TSCs by exploring how these supply chains are initiated, develop, and terminate. Paper Two examines intra-firm coordination in temporary organisations. Specifically, it identifies and explains how operational coordination evolves over time in a particular TO: the 2016 Olympic Games Organising Committee (OGOC). Paper Three focuses specifically on the role of IT and investigates process level IT-business alignment in the OGOC longitudinally. This thesis contributes to theory and practice by developing the understanding on how ‘temporariness’ impacts organisational aspects in different levels of analysis: supply chains, organisations, and processes. Furthermore, it contributes to the understanding of the role of IT in temporary contexts. By analysing TSCs, where the temporal nature of supply chain processes is particularly highlighted, this piece of work provides insights into episodes of temporariness in supply chains more generally. Hopefully, this study’s findings can help both scholars and practitioners better recognise the specificities and related challenges in managing in temporary organisational settings.

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Thesis (PhD)
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18 Dec 2018 11:03
Last Modified:
12 Jan 2023 01:27