Improving Supply Chain Performance Through Organizational Design: Insights from Key Suppliers to the United States Air Force

Journal of Organization Design, Vol. 1, No. 3, p. 64-72 (2012)

9 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2013 Last revised: 14 Jan 2015

See all articles by David J. Ketchen Jr.

David J. Ketchen Jr.

Auburn University

T. Russell Crook

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

James G. Combs

University of Alabama - Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration

J. David Patterson

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Date Written: December 13, 2012

Abstract

Creating organizational designs that maximize performance is a key goal for many executives. We sought to uncover ways that a giant organization – the United States Department of Defense (DoD) – could improve its performance via organazational design changes. Based on input from 80 executives who collectively represent over 60 defense contractors, we found that the DoD could become more efficient and effective by (1) relying on relational contracting within its supply chains, (2) designing better reward systems, (3) focusing on results rather than processes when managing its suppliers, (4) moving its supply chains toward a best value approach, and (5) investing strategically in its workforce. In drawing implications from our findings for organizations in general, we highlight companies that have reaped rewards from making these five moves in the past.

Keywords: organization design, supply chain management, strategic management, performance

Suggested Citation

Ketchen, David J. and Crook, T. Russell and Combs, James G. and Patterson, J. David, Improving Supply Chain Performance Through Organizational Design: Insights from Key Suppliers to the United States Air Force (December 13, 2012). Journal of Organization Design, Vol. 1, No. 3, p. 64-72 (2012) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2253301

David J. Ketchen (Contact Author)

Auburn University ( email )

Auburn, AL 36849
United States

T. Russell Crook

University of Tennessee, Knoxville ( email )

The Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

James G. Combs

University of Alabama - Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration ( email )

Culverhouse College of Business
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0223
United States

J. David Patterson

University of Tennessee, Knoxville ( email )

The Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

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