Responsive supply chain: A competitive strategy in a networked economy

Angappa Gunasekaran, Kee hung Lai, T. C. Edwin Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

621 Scopus citations


Supply chain management (SCM) has been considered as the most popular operations strategy for improving organizational competitiveness in the twenty-first century. In the early 1990s, agile manufacturing (AM) gained momentum and received due attention from both researchers and practitioners. In the mid-1990s, SCM began to attract interest. Both AM and SCM appear to differ in philosophical emphasis, but each complements the other in objectives for improving organizational competitiveness. For example, AM relies more on strategic alliances/partnerships (virtual enterprise environment) to achieve speed and flexibility. But the issues of cost and the integration of suppliers and customers have not been given due consideration in AM. By contrast, cost is given a great deal of attention in SCM, which focuses on the integration of suppliers and customers to achieve an integrated value chain with the help of information technologies and systems. Considering the significance of both AM and SCM for firms to improve their performance, an attempt has been made in this paper to analyze both AM and SCM with the objective of developing a framework for responsive supply chain (RSC). We compare their characteristics and objectives, review the selected literature, and analyze some case experiences on AM and SCM, and develop an integrated framework for a RSC. The proposed framework can be employed as a competitive strategy in a networked economy in which customized products/services are produced with virtual organizations and exchanged using e-commerce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-564
Number of pages16
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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