Abstract for: A Supply Chain Paradox

Supply Chain Management is a critical paradigm for success in today’s capitalistic business environment. Among the numerous supply chain theories, however, a major theme of ‘collaboration’ emerges. Should individual businesses in supply chains operate in a ‘winner-takes-all’ mode of capitalistic local optimisation, or should they collaborate, cooperate, and co-exist as a communal and symbiotic organisation where individual partners are willing to compromise and even sacrifice in order to globally optimise for the whole supply chain? Is there some kind of stance between such extremes that makes better sense? This study explores the relationships among supply chain partners through multiple perspectives, including systems theory, systems analogies, and mini case studies. Models and frameworks developed in this paper propose a new research interest area in the dynamics of supply chain collaboration.