A Digital Strategy Development Framework for Supply Chains
Digitalisation has provoked the rapid proliferation of changes in the operational landscape, thus requiring prompt decision making across end-to-end supply chains. Notwithstanding the fact that technology is the epicentre of digital transformation, more often than not, organisations fail to effectively adopt innovative applications, harness their full potential and realise growth and competitiveness. Therefore, this research argues that a unique strategy formulation process is required to embrace digitalisation in manufacturing supply chains. However, within the context of manufacturing networks, strategy formulation approaches are limited. To this end, this research adopts a case study approach to extract tacit knowledge across twelve multinational companies within the theoretical boundaries of corporate strategy development. Research findings and a theoretically derived framework demonstrate that there are three typologies of digital strategy development approaches for manufacturing supply chains, namely: (i) top-down; (ii) bottom-up; and (iii) mixed. Every identified typology is supplemented with three determinant criteria for digital supply chain strategy formulation, i.e., number of suppliers, market demand, and product types. Noteworthy, the aforementioned strategies are context-dependent. This research contributes to the Operations Management field by formulating a novel strategy development framework for digital supply chains. The proposed framework, synthesised via strategic management theoretical views and primary evidence, can provide a reference point as companies chart their current and future digital supply chain strategy state.