‘The map is not the territory’: the subjective and purposive nature of supply chain mapping


  • Fabbe-Costes Nathalie
  • Lechaptois Lucie
  • Spring Martin


  • Supply Chain Mapping
  • Outbound supply chain
  • Case study

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Supply chain (SC) mapping is a stream of research as well as a managerial activity. It is also important in SCM teaching. Despite this importance, very little empirical research has addressed SC mapping and SC maps. Based on a qualitative case study in an industrial company, this paper gives evidence of the discrepancies between how managers define the outbound SC, the SC map they draw and what they say when mapping. It supports the underlying hypothesis about how individual mental representation of SC influences SC mapping. It opens avenues for further research about how using mapping and maps in SCM.

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