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Development of an Approach for Analyzing Supply Chain Complexity


  • Blecker, Thorsten
  • Kersten, Wolfgang
  • Meyer, Christian


Supply chains are faced with a rising complexity of products, structures, and processes. Because of the strong link between a supply chain’s complexity and its efficiency the supply chain complexity management becomes a major challenge of today’s business management. A two dimensional driver concept is introduced and explained to comprehend the major causes of a supply chains’ complexity. To map the effects of the drivers and to understand the different dimensions of complexity, a general complexity model is introduced. A supply chain complexity analysis approach is presented, to evaluate the initial situation and to provide the necessary information for deriving the right actions and strategies for the management of complexity within a supply chain.

Suggested Citation

  • Blecker, Thorsten & Kersten, Wolfgang & Meyer, Christian, 2005. "Development of an Approach for Analyzing Supply Chain Complexity," MPRA Paper 5284, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5284

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Perona, Marco & Miragliotta, Giovanni, 2004. "Complexity management and supply chain performance assessment. A field study and a conceptual framework," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 103-115, July.
    2. Ernst, Ricardo & Kamrad, Bardia, 2000. "Evaluation of supply chain structures through modularization and postponement," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 495-510, August.
    3. Hau L. Lee & V. Padmanabhan & Seungjin Whang, 1997. "Information Distortion in a Supply Chain: The Bullwhip Effect," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(4), pages 546-558, April.
    4. Gupta, Yash P. & Goyal, Sameer, 1989. "Flexibility of manufacturing systems: Concepts and measurements," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 119-135, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nima Hamta & M. Akbarpour Shirazi & Sara Behdad & S.M.T. Fatemi Ghomi, 0. "Modeling and measuring the structural complexity in assembly supply chain networks," Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-17.
    2. Markus Schäfermeyer & Christoph Rosenkranz & Roland Holten, 2012. "The Impact of Business Process Complexity on Business Process Standardization," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 4(5), pages 261-270, October.

    More about this item


    complexity; supply chain; variety; model;

    JEL classification:

    • Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production


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