Journal of Supply Chain Management

Article Abstracts

Vol. 48, No. 4
Fall 2012

  • Special Topic Forum on Services Supply Chains

    Service Supply Chains: Introducing the Special Topic Forum

    We are excited to present this Special Topic Forum (STF) on Service Supply Chains (SSCs). The field of supply chain management and the field of services management have each experienced notable progress over the past few decades. Services represent the vast majority of economic activity in developed economies, yet the study of service supply chains has rarely been addressed in an academic and rigorous way (Niranjan and Weaver 2011; Sengupta, Heiser, and Cook 2006). Ellram, Tate, and Billington observe that "services have been largely ignored in supply chain research" (2004, p. 29). This STF is intended to help fill that gap.
    Scott E. Sampson, Ph.D., is the James M. Passey Professor of Global Supply Chain Management in the Department of Business Management at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; and
    Martin Spring, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer in the Department of Management Science at the Lancaster University Business School in Lancaster, England (UNITED KINGDOM).

  • Service Supply Management Structure in Offshore Outsourcing

    This research examines the relationship between strategy and structure in the highly complex services offshore outsourcing environment. The analysis uses data from the in-depth case studies of six organizations that purchase services (primarily call center services) to assess how the strategy of offshore outsourcing of services affects organizational structure, and to develop a better understanding of the offshore outsourcing of services phenomenon. While organizations often have local buying offices and very formal structures for buying materials globally, the same is not true for purchased services. The issue of proper organizational structure for effectively managing offshore outsourced services has not been assessed. This research also aims to add to the growing body of literature related to Service-Dominant Logic, which recognizes that services cannot be effectively studied through the lens of manufacturing. This research applies case study findings to assess how the elements of structure, namely ? centralization, formalization and complexity ? are affected by offshore outsourcing of services. All of the organizations studied here indicate that their processes evolved, and that pursuing an offshore services purchasing strategy led to structural adaptations in terms of more centralized, team-based structures; more formalized processed; and more complex structures. However, most of the organizations tried to retain some level of flexibility in order to allow for continued adaptation and improvement.
    Wendy L. Tate, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee; and
    Lisa M. Ellram, Ph.D., is the Rees Distinguished Professor of Distribution in the Department of Marketing at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

  • Customer Roles in Service Supply Chains and Opportunities for Innovation

    This article conceptualizes service supply chains according to the Unified Service Theory, which defines services as bidirectional supply chains that have customers both providing resources to and receiving resources from service providers. The authors establish how eight traditional roles in manufacturing supply chains are assumed by customers in service supply chains. Those service-customer roles include component supplier, labor, design engineer, production manager, product, quality assurance, inventory and competitor. The authors describe how these eight roles are manifest in both B2C and B2B service contexts. They confirm the distinctiveness of these eight customer roles through an initial empirical study and show how the roles are manifest across different types of services. The authors then demonstrate how these distinctive customer roles can form the basis for service supply chain innovations.
    Scott E. Sampson, Ph.D., is the James M. Passey Professor of Global Supply Chain Management in the Department of Business Management at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; and
    Martin Spring, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer in the Department of Management Science at the Lancaster University Business School in Lancaster, England (UNITED KINGDOM).

  • An Attribution Approach to Consumer Evaluations in Logistics Customer Service Failure Situations

    The primary goal of this study is to investigate the roles of expectations and purchase criticality on consumers' brand perceptions and attribution behaviors in service delivery failures. The provision of logistics services is often a crucial point in supply chain management that can influence brand perceptions of customers. Indeed, the level and the quality of customer service provided may determine whether the organization will retain existing customers or even attract new ones. As a consequence, a failure in logistics customer service and its effect on overall perceptions of a brand should not be underestimated. Furthermore, the involvement of a third party logistics (3PL) company in this failure situation can create considerable shifts in the responses of consumers especially in the attribution behavior for cause of failure.

    By applying scenario-based experiments, this study demonstrates the dynamics by which customer expectations, purchase criticality and 3PL companies affect consumer brand perceptions and attributions. The results suggest the presence of two expectation-based buffering effects in delivery failures. The first buffering effect is revealed in overall brand evaluation and repurchase intention, while the second buffering effect is observed in consumer brand attributions. The findings indicate that higher expectations may protect the brand and cause more attribution to the third party service provider. Additionally, it is shown that criticality of the purchase has crucial impacts on brand evaluations and attributions.
    Bengü Sevil Oflaç, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Logistics Management at Izmir University of Economics in Izmir, Turkey,
    Ursula Y. Sullivan, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois; and
    Tunçdan Baltacıoğlu, Ph.D., is a professor of marketing and Rector at the Izmir University of Economics in Izmir, Turkey.

  • Service Supply Chains: A Customer Perspective

    Given the central role of customers in services, it is striking that the predominant view of service supply chain management is primarily based on the perspective of the organization. In this conceptual paper, the authors explore the conceptualization and management of service supply chains from a customer perspective, i.e., how a customer manages, coordinates and integrates service provision to create value. They have used a systems thinking lens and, in particular, Checkland's characterization of systems (1981) to guide their analyses, world-view, boundaries, hierarchies, and mechanisms of control. As a result of this perspective, the authors have identified eight features of service supply chains and suggested four research opportunities.
    Roger Maull, Ph.D., is a professor of management systems and Head of the Department of Management at the University of Exeter Business School in Exeter, England (UNITED KINGDOM),
    Joana Geraldi, Dr., is a lecturer for project management at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management in the University College London in London, England (UNITED KINGDOM); and
    Robert Johnston, Ph.D., is a professor of operations management at the Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick in Warwick, England (UNITED KINGDOM).