Role-playing: a learning process to aid supply chain integration
Purpose – This paper introduces an alternative use of an existing learning mechanism to aid in gaining acceptance of others' roles within a supply chain. This view places an emphasis on role-playing as a means to improve supply chain integration. Design/methodology/approach – This paper is conceptual and introduces a learning technique to enable both “hard” and “soft” systems orientated participants to be better understood between chain partners. Findings – The findings presented in this paper are conceptual. However, the technique offered has partially proven success in other management scenarios and yet to be tested in supply chain management. Practical implications – By embracing role-playing, practitioners have opportunities to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation about other roles that participate in the same supply chain as themselves, creating an opportunity for enhanced integration between roles within their supply chain. Originality/value – The value of this paper is to invite the reader to consider role-playing as a mechanism to encourage and educate supply chain participants in the roles of others who participant in the same chain from another perspective. This learning technique will contribute towards integration internally between functions of the organization and in an inter-organizational capacity along the supply chain.