Essence of Teamwork in Supply Chain Management Process
The contemporary business is in challenge as they must provide quality and on time services to the demanding clients. The success of a firm is depending on affiliation and competent dealing with present business demands and at the same time being responsive to the environmental changes which is known as ambidexterity (Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004; Raisch and Birkinshaw, 2008).
Supply chain management is a pattern that continuously changing business and business relationships. It gives us the realization that the product pipeline for a business ranges from vendor to the final customer. This huge supply chain activity requires a joint effort of different concern groups or teams to progress and make an effective SCM. Research in supply chain management has principally focus on the area of operations management, logistics and information technology systems.
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Therefore, researchers obviously concentrate on the operations aspect of supply chains with limited reference to teamwork of SCM (Sanjay T. Menon, 2012). An effective supply chain team work consists of following works: purchasing, product planning, inventory control, warehouse management, item master control, freight coordination, sourcing, contract management, customer service etc. In small companies one person might handle those activities under the extensive parasol of supply chain management.
However, in the large companies there are a team of people who just handle one or a subset of one of those functional area. When each member is aware about the roles and responsibilities of activities that will help to build a flawless supply chain team. For assigning roles and responsibilities manager needs to set them consecutively in the following format: sourcing, contract management, supplier management, purchasing, freight coordination, warehouse management, item master control, inventory control, production planning, customer service.
These are not real precious flow of functions as the necessities of every supply chain is exceptional and depend on company function as some the functions might be more affiliated than others. In case of managing supply chain as different teams are involved to make the process effective so different personalities are also involve in the team which is also a big problem in supply chain team. Moreover, many have asked, explored and deliberated the issue of effective and efficient decision making and decision implementation in teams (Adizes, 1992, 2004; Beirhoff and Muller, 2005; Tjosvold, 2006; Gibson and Saxton, 2005).
It has been found that in diversified organizations there are different stakeholders from different organizational functional areas and organizations are involved in a working team like SCM team and opposing interests, expectations, outlooks, knowledge and acuities may seriously threaten team processes (Elias and Zwikael, 2007). In the same way, Holweg et al. (2005) state that as firms often have separating benefits in the short term, and such struggles of interest alleviate the obligation of SC collaboration and fully sharing demand information.
Data will be collected from overall 100 teams from four firms who are involved in supply chain management process. A list of projects with names and contact information of team members will be collected while team members will be informed that a study about the teamwork of SCM process will be conducted. All the team leaders, team external managers and team members will be chosen randomly for interview. But the participation is strictly voluntary. A completely standardized questionnaire (five-point answer scale) will be used for data collection.
I will consider all the constructs in this study related to the team as the unit of analysis. Consequently, all the measures will be specified on the team level. Therefore, respondents will be asked to assess properties and behaviors of the team. The questionnaire will be administered in the English language. In case of measuring “”effectiveness”” and “”efficiency”” I will follow partially the scale that was used by Gemuenden and Lechler (1997) in their large-scale study of project management in Germany. Data from different respondents will be used to measure the different variables to confirm content validity and avoid a possible common source bias.
In data analysis section, I will conduct a factor analysis (principle component method) on the team level by using aggregated team member responses. Additionally, I will follow the measures recommended by Henik and Tzelgov (1985) to limit the probable halo effect as team members perception about the team success might cause them to provide corelated ratings.
This paper will try to find the relationship between teamwork and supply chain management process. Collecting data regarding team performance from different viewpoints will make it possible to investigate how managers, team leaders and team members collective teamwork influence the overall SCM process. To monitor the complete SCM process an effective supreme alliance team and the hierarchy of the permanent team is responsible to coordinate the functions of all the teams related in the process. I expect this paper will help SCM practitioners to understand the importance of teamwork in all aspect of supply chain management process. Finally, all the arguments made in this proposal will be tested in a diversity of supply chain management groups and to authenticate them for the effective and efficient management of these processes over time.