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Paper info: Re-conceptualizing Integration Strategies and Positioning Choices: Beyond the Upstream-Downstream Dimension

Title


Re-conceptualizing Integration Strategies and Positioning Choices: Beyond the Upstream-Downstream Dimension

Authors


Andrea Furlan
University of Padova
Italy
Andrea Furlan and
Lars Huemer
Norwegian School of Management
Norway
Lars Huemer

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.

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Abstract


The structure given by the upstream-downstream limits has taken on an axiomatic recognition in the realms of strategic management and supply chain management alike. It defines vertical integration and constitutes the overall domain of business systems such as value systems, supply chains, and supply networks. But what do we miss by perceiving business systems as being delimited by „upstream‟ and „downstream‟ positions only? In this paper we stress that the boundaries given by these distinctions provide a limited understanding of available integration and positioning strategies. We explore an additional structural dimension and use logistic service providers to illustrate our framework. The study expands current understanding of forward and backward integration and suggests that undercurrent and overcurrent exchange streams constitute an important dimension of vertical scope, which also calls for a redefinition of supply chain management.
Key themes: business system structures, strategic management, supply (chain) management, integration, positioning.