Global Supply Chain

Read about Global Supply Chain research from faculty.

Bernardo F. Quiroga, Brent B. Moritz, and V. Daniel R. Guide, Jr. (2021) "The Role of Transparency in Procurement: Revealed Versus Concealed Scoring Rules in Sealed Bid A+ B Auctions," Journal of Operations Management67 (1), pp. 71-81.

We investigate the impact of using a clear scoring rule in a sealed bid multi-dimensional (A+B) procurement auction, as frequently used in government procurement. The central procurement agency in Chile (ChileCompra) asked for help to understand how concealing the scoring rule affected buyers. Using an experiment, we analyze the effect of transparently communicating the scoring rule on bidding outcomes by comparing the buyer's surplus and supplier profits when buyers expressly communicate the weight they place on a nonmonetary (B) attribute, versus when this information is concealed from bidders. In addition, we compare outcomes where the scoring rule is made visible only after the offers are submitted. If the scoring rule is not disclosed, outcomes are poorer for buyers, and sellers see their profits increase. 

Jason Acimovic, Chris Parker, David Drake, and Karthik Balasubramanian. (2020) "Show or Tell? Improving Inventory Support for Agent-Based Businesses at the Base of the Pyramid," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.

Firms providing products and services to low income Base of the Pyramid (BOP) customers are increasingly utilizing independent contractor agents rather than employees in their distribution models. Providing goods and services to these customers is difficult for traditional firms because most retail activity occurs at small-scale independent outlets. Improving agent performance can help firms reach customers in this environment. In partnership with a Tanzanian mobile money operator, we perform a randomized controlled trial with 4,771 agents to examine how differing types of guidance, and whether in-person training is offered, impact agents' inventory management. We find that those agents given only explicit recommendations (as opposed to summary statistics or both) who were invited to in-person training (as opposed to simply received an automated notification) improve their performance. We show empirically how firms can better manage agents, thereby improving the value proposition of serving BOP customers. We show the utility of segmentation based on agent heterogeneity. This can improve firm performance, agent profits, and customer service.

Verónica H. Villena and Suvrat Dhanorkar. (2020)  “How institutional pressures and managerial incentives elicit carbon transparency in global supply chains,” Journal of Operations Management, 66 (6), pp. 697-734

Carbon transparency, once a niche practice, is increasingly becoming institutionalized. Firms are now required to report not only their operations' carbon emissions but also their suppliers'. This research explores the institutional pressures emanating from buyers and industry peers driving supplier firms to disclose high-quality carbon emission publicly—our concept of carbon transparency. Many firms are increasingly adopting incentives to engage their employees in corporate climate change programs. Thus, we study the impact of three institutional pressures—coercive, mimetic, and normative—and examine when these pressures are more (or less) effective for driving supplier carbon transparency depending on the presence of climate change incentives. We used Carbon Disclosure Project's supply chain program (CDP-SCP) as our research context. To gain deeper insight into the CDP-SCP as well as the drivers and challenges of suppliers' carbon transparency, we conducted interviews with three CDP officials, three CDP-SCP members (i.e., buyers), and six CDP-SCP participants (i.e., suppliers). To test our hypotheses, we used a unique dataset from CDP-SCP and complemented it with four other archival datasets for a sample of 835 suppliers operating in 41 countries during the 2013–2015 period. The results show that suppliers without climate change incentives are more vulnerable to coercive and mimetic pressures, whereas suppliers with climate change incentives are more receptive to normative pressure in terms of how much carbon transparency they exhibit. Thus, our study proposes an extensive concept of supplier carbon transparency, provides a comprehensive analysis of its external/internal drivers, and reveals when institutional pressures are more/less effective in eliciting supplier carbon transparency. This research also provides strategies for how buyers, suppliers, and CDP can foster more carbon transparency in supply chains.

Brent Moritz. (2020) "Supply Chain Disruptions and COVID-19," Supply Chain Management Review27, pp. 14-17. 

C. Swift, Suresh Muthulingam, and V. Daniel Guide. (2019) "Does Supply Chain Visibility Affect Operating Performance? Evidence from Conflict Minerals Disclosures," Journal of Operations Management, 65, 406-429.

Firms are increasingly held accountable for their suppliers’ transgressions. Consequently, firms need to develop upstream visibility to exercise control over their supply chains. An emerging body of work has recognized the importance of supply chain visibility and has examined it using analytical models, behavioral methods, and case studies. Still, large‐sample empirical evidence on the benefits of supply chain visibility remains elusive. We seek to bridge this gap by examining conflict minerals disclosures (mandated by the 2010 Dodd‐Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) and financial reports to evaluate whether firms with greater visibility into their conflict minerals supply chains achieve improved operating and market performance. We use the data from conflict minerals disclosures (Form SD) to distinguish between firms that have high or low visibility into their conflict minerals sources. Then, we use event study methods to analyze differences in operating and market performance between firms with high visibility and firms with low visibility. We find that firms with high visibility into their conflict minerals supply chains achieve higher profitability than comparable firms with less visibility. In addition, we find that firms with high visibility into their conflict minerals supply chains realize improved sales performance and stock market valuations. Our results are relevant to managers because they show that firms can attain operational and market benefits by improving visibility in their supply chains.

Andy A. Tsay, John V. Gray, In Joon Noh, and Joseph T. Mahoney. (2018) “A Review of Production and Operations Management Research on Outsourcing in Supply Chains: Implications for the Theory of the Firm,” Production and Operations Management, 27 (7), pp. 1177-1220.

This paper reviews the state of the art in Productions and Operations Management (POM) academic research regarding outsourcing in supply chain contexts. We first acknowledge the “Theory of the Firm” (ToF), the venerable and vast body of thought regarding where the firm draws the boundary between what it performs in-house and what it outsources. Despite the clear linkage between outsourcing and POM, the ToF literature is most closely associated with the fields of strategy and economics. This disconnect might in part be due to a difference in theoretical lenses and terminology, which we address for the POM audience by providing a ToF tutorial. Our review of publications by the POM community from 2000 to 2016 includes a framework that organizes the in-scope papers and a structured summary of each work. We partition the research into empirical/conceptual and analytical sub-literatures, each of which gets its own critical assessment and discussion of open opportunities. Along the way, we articulate the features of the POM lens that distinctively position POM researchers to contribute further to the ToF, a convergence which we hope to encourage through this study. A deeper conversation among strategy, economics, and POM would enrichen the rigor and the relevance of each field.