Complexity and Adaptivity of Buyer-Supplier Networks

Buyer-Supply networks are composed of multiple numbers of firms from a variety of interrelated industries. Such networks are subject to shifting strategies and objectives within a dynamic environment, guided by (micro factors) internal factors of the individual firms and also by the (macro factors) industry dynamics of the same. Today, supply chain management  involves adapting to changes in a complicated global network of organizations. As a result, buyer-supplier network decisions and the optimization of the same have become the center stage and concerns the scrutiny of the top level managers.

Two emergent challenges that managers frequently have to address when making these decisions are the structural intricacies of their interconnected supply chains and the need to learn and adapt their organization in a constantly changing environment to ensure its long-term survival. Complex interconnections between multiple suppliers, manufacturers, assemblers, distributors, and retailers are the norm for industrial supply networks. When decision making in these networks is based on non-complex assumptions problems are often hidden, leaving plenty of room for understanding and improving the underlying processes.

Along with managing the complexity inherent in the inter-connectivity of their supply networks, organizations have also started to learn the benefits of being adaptive in their behavior. Because organizations exhibit adaptivity and can exist in a complex environment with myriad relationships and interactions, it is a natural step to identify a supply network as a CAS. Research indicates that that supply networks should be recognized as CAS by providing a detailed mapping of each property of CAS to a supply network.

  1. A CAS consists of entities that interact with other entities and with the environment by following a set of simple decision rules (i.e., schema). These entities may evolve over time as entities learn from their interactions. In contrast to relational modeling, which tries to use one set of variables to explain variation in another set of variables, CAS examines how changes in an individual entity’s schema lead to different aggregate outcomes.
  2. A CAS is self-organizing. Self-organization is a consequence of interactions between entities. Self-organization is defined as a process in which new structures, patterns, and properties emerge without being externally imposed on the system. Because the behavior in complex systems comes from dynamic interactions among the agents and between the environment and the agents, the changes tend to be nonlinear with respect to the original changes in the system.
  3. A CAS coevolves to the edge of chaos, just like coevolution, positing that a CAS reacts to and creates its environment so that as the environment changes it may cause the agents within it to change, which, in turn, cause other changes to the environment.
  4. A CAS is recursive by nature, and it recombines and evolves over time. Furthermore, from a macroeconomic viewpoint, it can be posited that industry supply networks are interrelated within a national or international context and interact together as a CAS in a larger context.

Supply chain research has gained a lot ever since the conceptualization of buyer-supplier networks was done through CAS. What do you think should be the way ahead?

adapted from pathak et al.,2007

The Role of Karma in Organizations

“Karmanye vadhika raste ma phaleshu kadachana, Ma karma phala hetu bhurba te sangostav karmani” — (Chapter 2:47) Bhagwat Gita.

[You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to doing your duty.] Continue reading “The Role of Karma in Organizations”

Growth Strategies of Web Based New Generation Firms

The cyber world has really come alive with the onslaught of WEB 2.0 technologies. Today, many start ups are being formed by students and entrepreneurs across the world. The web based firms with often no brick and mortar presence have been generating enviable returns, considering the low investments made on them. No wonder, students and young entrepreneurs have started viewing these businesses as endless oceans of opportunities. Continue reading “Growth Strategies of Web Based New Generation Firms”

Schneider-What matters is not the Sex but the Beer

Schneider, the Beer manufacturing major, created a lot of waves with this banner advertisement. This caught the active imagination of the youth and created quite a stir. With an overdose of sexual content, yet not actually displaying the same, this suggestive advertisement became of of the most recognized advertisement of recent times, with a very high brand recall. Continue reading “Schneider-What matters is not the Sex but the Beer”

Rethinking the way MBA is taught

David Garvin, Harvard Business School professor, explains why today business education is at a crossroads. Is MBA only a platform for launching a student, or is there a need to provide something different for the students.Should business schools start preparing students on other finer aspects of life like skills and responsibilities? What is missing in our educational system. Continue reading “Rethinking the way MBA is taught”

How Companies Expand in Emerging Markets for Sustainable Growth

Growth has been always competitive in already developed markets. So for sustainable growth, emergent markets are being targeted by all MNCs. Krishna Palepu, Harvard Business School Dean, explains how multinationals and local companies can win in emerging markets. Check out this fascinating video. Continue reading “How Companies Expand in Emerging Markets for Sustainable Growth”

‘Feel Good’ for summer!

Summer is here – let’s hear a BIG cheer!

Now whether you are getting ready for a cruise around the world, a trip to Paris or simply a few days away to the coast, Boots are keen to let all women know that they can lend a helping hand with the holiday packing process… whether it’s finding the right suncream, insect spray, fake tan, sunglasses etc etc etc Boots wants women all over the UK to ‘Feel Good’ this summer. Continue reading “‘Feel Good’ for summer!”

TV Idents becoming more inspiring…

For a long time TV channels have wanted to brand themselves apart from others using ‘idents’. Idents are the clips you see between programmes clearly branding the channel you are watching. The use of this method of branding has become ever more popular with different TV channels, due to the rise in the number of channels available to the viewer now (what with digital channels becoming a popular fixture in people’s lives). Continue reading “TV Idents becoming more inspiring…”

The evolution of Gmail

Gmail, the number one web based email platform, used by billions of users, globally, has evolved in leaps and bounds over the years, from the html mail it used to be, to the advanced functions which it has incorporated in recent times. Today Gmail is a free, advertising-supported webmail, POP3, and IMAP service provided by Google that billions of users use every minute on this planet, making Google the most used website with the Number 1 Alexa ranking. Continue reading “The evolution of Gmail”

What motivates better performances in organizations

What makes some employees tick?

Employees need various kinds of motivational incentives in organizations. Not always the best paying organization has the highest employee satisfaction score, and thus a higher performance. So what makes employees deliver their best. Check out this wonderful video. Continue reading “What motivates better performances in organizations”