رابطه پیچیده بین کنترل موجودی و تنظیم سازمانی: تئوری و عمل
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5358||2005||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volumes 93–94, 8 January 2005, Pages 273–284
Within companies it is widely recognised nowadays that the performance of inventory systems is not only determined by the way the inventory system is planned and controlled but also by its organisational architecture. Notwithstanding its importance, the field of production and operations management still lacks however, a comprehensive body of knowledge integrating both control and organisational aspects of inventory systems. One of the reasons for this shortcoming seems to be a lack of understanding of how inventory planning interacts with its organisational embedding in practice. In this article, this interdependence is further explored. Firstly, a conceptual framework is presented. The framework has been the starting point for five case studies performed during the last years. In this article data gathered over a period of more than fifteen years concerning one company is further explored. One of the main conclusions derived from this longitudinal case study is that organisations often try to neutralise shortcomings in the inventory planning and control system by applying organisational measures. In addition to this positive congruence, negative forms of congruence were also found. Shortcomings in the inventory control system are then negatively re-enforced by its organisational setting. The findings of the case study also suggest that companies often do not apply a clear and well-defined policy regarding the organisational setting of advanced inventory planning and control systems. We end this article by arguing that objectified notions on (re)designing inventory planning and control and its organisational design often under-emphasise irrational behaviour of the parties involved. A further elaboration of the framework presented in this article integrating operations management concepts and organisational theory therefore seems to be worthwhile.
Traditionally, the fields of Operations Management and Operations Research draw heavily on the quantitative modelling of inventory decisions. During the last ten years however, the attention has gradually shifted towards more qualitative elements of inventory systems including also organisational aspects like the allocation of authorities and responsibilities, the application of cross-functional teams in improving inventory management decisions and the changing relationship between production and inventory. It is well recognised nowadays that the performance of inventory systems not only depends on the planning algorithms that are used but also heavily relies on the organisational context of the inventory system. One can conclude therefore that the field of inventory management no longer is an isolated field solely dealing with optimising inventory-decisions but instead has evolved into a management area of eminent importance including a wide array of management topics. The awareness that inventory management no longer is an isolated field but a management area that relates to many different management and organisational issues makes the (re)design process of inventory systems often a very complex decision-making process. This decision-making process not only consists of defining operational day-to-day decisions but also includes many strategic issues. As a consequence, strategic decisions on the design of inventory systems are not only restricted to Production and Sales but relate to almost all the management areas of the company. This article reviews some important strategic and tactical aspects of organising inventory systems. On a strategic level it is argued that in the decision-making process three dominant factors are of importance, e.g. the physical setting of the inventory system, the overall planning and control structure of the production and distribution system involved and the organisational setting and context of the inventory system. These factors are worked out and conceptualised by means of a framework. One of the central themes of the framework is that to a certain degree the ‘performance’ of the inventory system depends on the accomplished fit between the above-mentioned variables. In the second part of the article the framework is confronted with practice. This is done by presenting the results of a longitudinal case study. The case study describes and analyses succeeding changes in the inventory system of a Dutch paint manufacturer over a period of more than fifteen years. The case study indicates that an integrated perspective on inventory control including both the physical, planning and organisational context of the inventory system is very helpful in trying to understand the performance of inventory systems. In Section 4 the evolution of the inventory system of the company that was studied is further explored and discussed. In this analysis our main focus will be on the interaction and the interrelationship between inventory control and the organisational context of the inventory system. The last section of this article elaborates on some of the major findings of the case study. One conclusion derived from the case study is that the interaction and interrelationship between inventory control and its organisational setting can vary from positive re-enforcement to negative re-enforcement. This conclusion and its implication is more underpinned and discussed in the last section.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This article examined the interaction and interdependence between the planning and control of inventory systems and its organisational design in more detail. Nowadays, many organisations are facing the problem how the inventory system should be embedded in the organisation. Although some research has been performed the focus in the field of operations management is often on inventory planning and control itself and not so much on the organisational setting of the inventory system. We therefore developed a framework that can be used to explain driving forces behind the overall performance of inventory systems. The main fundament of this framework is in the notion that three subsystems can be distinguished, e.g. the physical setting of inventory systems, the planning and control system, and the supplementary superstructure and the structure of positions regarding the inventory system. As we have illustrated these three subsystems are interacting with one another in a very complex and sometimes unpredictable way. From our empirical study it can be concluded that not only the characteristics of each separate subsystem but particularly the interaction between the subsystems involved seems to be of importance in explaining and understanding the ‘behaviour’ of inventory systems. Based on five (longitudinal) case studies the understanding that the above mentioned subsystems can interact with one another considerably has shown to be very useful and clarifying. It is indicated by the case studies for instance that not merely the allocation of authorities or the inventory planning and control system being applied is responsible for the performance of the inventory system. Based on the case studies there are many indications that especially the overall configuration consisting of the physical setting, the planning and control system, the superstructure as well as the structure of positions is far more important for the performance achieved. The complexity of the interdependence between these subsystems is illustrated by the concept of the direction of the interdependence. One of the main conclusions drawn from the case studies is that organisations often try to neutralise shortcomings in the inventory planning and control system by applying organisational measures. In addition to this positive congruence, negative forms of congruence were also found. Shortcomings in the planning and control system are then negatively re-enforced by the organisational setting of the inventory system. It can therefore be argued that individual organisations seem to develop their own design strategies and their own unique solutions to accomplish a better fit between the inventory planning and control system being applied and its organisational setting. In conclusion, our study suggests a need to broaden the perspective on the organisational design of inventory systems. The results of the case studies indicate that there is some evidence that a simple linear design strategy based on the assumption that a fit should be accomplished between contingency factors and the overall design of the production system is not in line with design strategies applied in practice. Based on the results of longitudinal case study as described in this article it seems that the appropriation process between the elements distinguished in the model presented in Section 2 is shaped by a process of muddling-through. In this process, the existing inventory situation is in many cases taken as a starting point. Often, shortcomings in the existing situation are taken for granted and are tried to be countervailed by additional organisational measures. At best, this leads to some sub-optimal situation. If worst comes to the worst, the inventory system, the planning system being applied and the organisational setting of the inventory system fall into a downward movement. We consider our study to be only ‘exploratory’ in nature. It will be clear that there are a number of limitations to our study which should be addressed in future research. Our study for example, was only based on five in depth case studies. Although a number of important issues were addressed, future research should try to expand the analysis to a larger number of organisations to insure more generalisable results. In addition, the framework presented in this article needs more refinement. We did not operationalise for instance the effects of the variables depicted in Fig. 1 on the performance of the inventory system in a quantitative way. To improve our understanding of the organisation design of inventory systems we also think that it is of importance that future research should focus more on examining quantitative measures. Hopefully, this will lead to a more integrated body of knowledge relying on both the field of operations management and organisation theory.