An Analysis of the Impact of Decision Support Systems on the Performance of Upstream Commodity Chains

Ilkina, VN
(2017) An Analysis of the Impact of Decision Support Systems on the Performance of Upstream Commodity Chains. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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The aim of this research is to evaluate the role and application of Decision Support Systems (DSS) adopted to improve the decision-making capability and visibility of the operations of intermediary trading organisations in upstream commodity supply chains. This research investigates the nature and source of specific challenges associated with upstream commodity supply chains that affect supply chain performance, namely, supply chain governance, access to finance, risk management and operational efficiency. Upstream commodity markets are characterised by high price volatility and low unit value, high risk and lack of visibility. Upstream supply chains are highly complex involving multiple parties, cross-border transactions, information asymmetry and a lack of standardised rules and regulations (Ahumada, 2009). Intermediary commodity trading companies participate as mediators between the supply and demand of commodities worldwide and facilitate the transaction of goods between distant countries which allows them to adopt a key position in managing critical supply chain information and material flows (de Haan et al., 2003). Hence, the performance of intermediaries within the upstream supply chains have great impact on the supply chain overall. Academic literature on DSS, upstream supply chains and intermediation have been reviewed in order to establish a reliable and contextual knowledge base. The relational view provides a theoretical grounding for the work. In order to achieve the research objectives, qualitative multiple case study research was undertaken. The case studies were designed to analyse the changes in the case study company processes and operations before and after the implementation of the DSS, using cross-functional process maps. Three case studies with intermediary trading companies in rubber, coffee and cotton supply chains were undertaken. The research found a positive relationship between DSS adoption and business performance. The findings also reveal a significant mediating effect of DSS on supply chain performance. A triangulation research approach was chosen between collected qualitative data, observation and reviewed literature. Based on this finding and conceptual model, the study has contributed to body of knowledge concerning upstream supply chain practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Management
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2017 08:51
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 06:50
DOI: 10.17638/03012368