Adaptation and adaptability in logistics networks


  • Jahre Marianne
  • Fabbe-Costes Nathalie


  • Logistics
  • Adaptation
  • Resource
  • Package
  • Network
  • System

document type



Most logistics and supply chain management studies take a “systems view”, where all elements are to be understood by how they affect/are affected by other elements with which they interact. Supply chain integration requires that elements be adapted to each other. However, the literature suggests that there may be trade-offs between previous and present adaptations and future adaptability. A case is used to illustrate such trade-offs and the relevance of choice of system borders when such trade-offs are analysed. In logistics, the view on what the relevant system borders are has changed over the years, from local optimisations to a “network view”. The paper contributes to the understanding of system boundaries, integration problems and complementarities between chain and network approaches in logistics. Conclusions regarding further research are drawn. In particular, the paper challenges the optimisation question and change of management levels, comparing the prevailing chain view with a wider network view.

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