Cross-Functional Alignment in Supply Chain Planning: A Case Study of Sales & Operations Planning

Oliva R, Watson NH. 2011. Cross-functional alignment in supply chain planning: A case study of Sales & Operations Planning. Journal of Operations Management 29(5):434-448

Mays Business School Research Paper No. 3041241

47 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2017

See all articles by Rogelio Oliva

Rogelio Oliva

Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

Noel Watson

Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC)

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

In most organizations, supply chain planning is a cross-functional effort. However, functional areas such as sales, marketing, finance, and operations traditionally specialize in portions of the planning activities, which results in conflicts over expectations, preferences, and priorities. We report findings from a detailed case analysis of a supply chain planning process that seemingly weathers these cross functional conflicts. In contrast to traditional research on this area, which focuses on incentives, responsibilities, and structures, we adopt a process perspective and find that integration was achieved despite formal functional incentives that did not support it. By drawing a distinction between the incentive landscape and the planning process, we identify process as a mediator that can affect organizational outcomes. Thus, organizations may be capable of integration while functions retain different incentives and orientations to maintain focus on their stakeholders’ needs. Through iterative coding, we identify the attributes of the planning process that can drive planning performance—information, procedural, and alignment quality—but also find evidence that achieving alignment in the execution of plans can be more important than informational and procedural quality. In addition to process attributes, we also identify social elements that influenced the performance of the planning process and place the information processing attributes within a broader social and organizational context.

Keywords: Operations Interface, Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Chain Planning, Case Study

Suggested Citation

Oliva, Rogelio and Watson, Noel, Cross-Functional Alignment in Supply Chain Planning: A Case Study of Sales & Operations Planning (2011). Oliva R, Watson NH. 2011. Cross-functional alignment in supply chain planning: A case study of Sales & Operations Planning. Journal of Operations Management 29(5):434-448; Mays Business School Research Paper No. 3041241. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3041241

Rogelio Oliva (Contact Author)

Mays Business School, Texas A&M University ( email )

430 Wehner
College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States

Noel Watson

Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC) ( email )

PLAZA, c/Bari, 55
Edif. Nayade, Bloque 5
Zaragoza, Zaragoza 50197
Spain

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