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From Supply Chain Management to Value Network Management; from Manufacturing to Ubiquity

Track Chair
Dr Paul Drake, University of Liverpool Management School, UK

Professor Feng Li, Newcastle University Business School, UK
Professor Neil Burns, Loughborough University, UK
Dr David Probert, University of Cambridge, UK
Dr Hossein Sharifi, University of Liverpool Management School, UK

Across all sectors and industries a disaggregation of resources and processes employed in delivering value or other end objectives can be observed; vertical integration is all but extinct. In the private sector, in both manufacturing and services, the supply chain rather than the individual enterprise has become established as the unit of competition, so that supply chain management is now critical in competing. Single enterprises focus on core capabilities and exploit the opportunities of global outsourcing and collaboration, joining or forming supply chains to deliver products or services to the end-customer. Furthermore, such practices now go beyond relatively linear supply ‘chains’ to ‘networks’ of contributors who work together in complex meshes with bi-directional flows of information and material, and dynamic linkages.

Such trends extend to provision of public services where modernisation, privatisation and marketization agendum are re-organising hitherto vertically integrated public sector services, into complex networks of commissioned public and private sector organisations. Arguably, public sector management has become ‘public service network management’. The markets served by the private and public sectors have matured to become most discerning, so that their requirements are at least dynamic and potentially turbulent. Dynamic capabilities are required, which means dynamic network elements and structures. This network economy is fuelled by advances in information and communications technology that have revolutionised the access and exchange of information, the consequences of which are deep and all pervading. At one end of the spectrum new business strategies have been enabled and at the other new ways of socialising have emerged and been facilitated. Information is shared instantly and at low cost across the globe, enabling decentralized control whilst at the same time enabling closer integration. Generally, information sharing is a key, new opportunity that is being exploited to great advantage within networks. As we face this new age of the network economy, there is a need to observe and analyse empirical cases to understand what is happening across the spectrum of organizational settings and contexts; in manufacturing, in services, in the public sector, in innovation and in society. What is the network economy, where is it happening and what is happening? What is and what is not working well? What opportunities and threats are arising? What are the high priority questions for research? Such questions are to be addressed by the first two sessions of this track.

With the dependence upon value networks comes the critical need to advance the theory and practice of the network economy. Issues to be addressed include: network models, strategies and technologies; integrated network operations management; the management of relationships and behaviour; innovation through networks of partnership; network performance measurement; new business models for network managers and integrators; new applications of ICT. This need is to be addressed by the third session of this track. Contributions should be framed to relate to value networks in general whilst drawing upon case studies from a range of specific settings such as manufacturing, the service sector, the public sector and society at large. The track will run over three sessions of the conference and each session will contain 3 or 4 papers.

Keywords: Value networks, outsourcing, agility, industrial, service and public service management