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Towards a Unified Definition of Supply Chain Management: The Four Fundamentals

Towards a Unified Definition of Supply Chain Management: The Four Fundamentals
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Author(s): Edward Sweeney (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 19
Source title: Technological Solutions for Modern Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): ZongWei Luo (The University of Hong Kong, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2773-4.ch004

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Abstract

A wide range of definitions of supply chain management (SCM) have been developed over the last three decades. The philosophy of SCM is based firmly on a recognition that it is only by working in a more integrated manner that competitive advantage can be maximised. However, for this to become a reality the development of common definitions and understandings between supply chain partners is a critical success factor. The corollary of this is that a lack of definitional consistency and a common understanding is an inhibitor to the successful adoption of SCM thinking in practice. This paper reviews a number of definitions of SCM, as well as discussions and analyses of such definitions. This leads to the central point posited in the paper – the need for a ‘unified definition’. Such a definitional construct, labelled the Four Fundamentals of SCM, is proposed with the core of the paper providing a narrative description of this construct based on a wide range of literature.

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