Year

2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering

Abstract

Supply chain literature highlights the increasing importance of effective supply network configuration decisions that take into account such realities as market turbulence and demand volatility, as well as ever-expanding global production networks. These realities have been extensively discussed in the supply network literature under the structural (i.e., physical characteristics), spatial (i.e., geographical positions), and temporal (i.e., changing supply network conditions) dimensions. Supply network configuration decisions that account for these contingencies are expected to meet the evolving needs of consumers while delivering better outcomes for all parties involved and enhancing supply network performance against the key metrics of efficiency, speed and responsiveness. However, making supply network configuration decisions in the situations described above is an ongoing challenge.

Taking a systems perspective, supply networks are typically viewed as socio-technical systems where SN entities (e.g., suppliers, manufacturers) are autonomous individuals with distinct goals, practices and policies, physically inter-connected transferring goods (e.g., raw materials, finished products), as well as socially connected with formal and informal interactions and information sharing. Since the structure and behaviour of such social and technical sub-systems of a supply network, as well as the interactions between those subsystems, determine the overall behaviour of the supply network, both systems should be considered in analysing the overall system.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.