Balancing responsiveness to market requirements with overall efficiency is an important issue in supply chain design and management. The objective of the system dynamics model introduced in this paper is to capture generic structures and the intrinsic dynamic behaviour modes of supply chains considering aspects of responsiveness and efficiency. The research strives for a better understanding of these aspects: what are the structural consequences of implementing strategies striving for efficiency or responsiveness in the real world, and how can they be represented in a System Dynamics model? Furthermore, simulations will be used to assess the dynamic consequences of these different strategic alternatives. Future research will then focus on identifying policies to balance responsiveness and efficiency in a specific industry and by that resolve the trade-off between the two.