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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: 2011
Volume: 2
Issue: 3
Pages: 19
Source title: International Journal of Applied Logistics (IJAL)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Lincoln C. Wood (University of Otago, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/jal.2011070103

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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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