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Paradoxes in OSCM - EurOMA 2020 special track

  • 1.  Paradoxes in OSCM - EurOMA 2020 special track

    Posted 12-02-2019 08:25
    EurOMA 2020 special track: Paradoxes in OSCM

    Dear Colleagues,

    I am pleased to announce that we
     are organizing a special track on Paradoxes in operations and supply chain management at EurOMA 2020 at the University of Warwick. Please submit your 500 words abstract to the special track by Jan 14, 2020, through the conference website (Call for abstracts)

    Track Title: Paradoxes in OSCM 

    Track Chairs:

    -Dr. Rima Al Hasan

    Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

    -Prof. Pietro Micheli
    Warwick Business School, Warwick University, United Kingdom.


    -Dr. Alok Choudhary
    School of Business and Economics Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom. 


    Track overview:

    The pace of technological change and of the growing complexity of business environments are increasingly forcing organizations "to grapple with new or evolving tensions" and find new solutions (Smith et al. 2017, p. 304). As a consequence, several scholars have questioned traditional perspectives over problem framing and solving, which typically rely on mutually exclusive choices between conflicting goals (Smith and Lewis, 2011), and have proposed alternatives which draw on both/and types of approaches (Andriopoulos and Lewis, 2009, Smith and Lewis, 2011).
     In this context, paradox has been defined as the "persistent contradiction between interdependent elements"  (Schad et al., 2016, p. 10). Researchers have increasingly adopted a paradox lens to explore tensions in various areas in management research, including leadership (Smith and Tushman, 2005), innovation management (Andriopoulos and Lewis, 2009), sustainability (Jay et al., 2017) and to understand and reframe various tensions such as those between efficiency and innovation (Raisch and Birkinshaw, 2008, Papachroni et al., 2016), exploitation and exploration (Andriopoulos and Lewis, 2009), and alignment and adaptability (Gibson and Birkinshaw, 2004). In doing so, research examined paradox types (organizing, belonging, learning and performing), management (integration or differentiation) and relationships (Andriopoulos and Lewis, 2009, Smith and Lewis, 2011). 
    Compared to other management disciplines, relatively little research adopting a paradox lens has been conducted in the field of Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM). Traditionally, OSCM research has adopted "a trade-off, sequencing, or separation of opposing demands" approach (Smith et al., 2017, p. 304) to manage contradictory goals in organizations.  A well-known example is one of the trade-offs among operations performance objectives (Skinner, 1969, Schroeder et al., 2011, Ferdows and Meyer, 1990, Nand et al., 2013). While this perspective is useful to understand that, at least in the short term, an organization "cannot simultaneously provide the highest levels among all competitors of the product quality, flexibility, and delivery, at the lowest manufactured cost" (Schmenner and Swink, 1998, p.106), authors have explored only to a limited extent the interplay (rather than the sequence) between performance objectives. For example, rather than asking which performance objectives should be prioritized over others (e.g., flexibility over cost), or what the best sequence for improving various performance objectives is, the adoption of a paradox lens would prompt questions such as: how can an organization perform well against various performance objectives simultaneously and what are the antecedents of doing so? What are the tools, systems, managerial practices, and strategies that can enable individuals within an organization to perform well against various priority areas?
    Moreover, organization theorists have discussed different types of paradoxes in organizations; for example, Smith and Lewis (2011) have proposed four types: organizing, belonging, performing and learning. OSCM researchers could identify and explore the types of paradoxes existing in their areas of interest, including supply chain management, product and service development, process management and improvement, and performance management.

    Topics of Interest: 
    This special track welcomes research that explores the paradoxes in OSCM phenomena and use the paradox lens to identify, explore and manage tensions in OSCM research. It welcomes research that employs various methods including case studies, survey and experiments. Following are some indicative topics:
    • Articulating how a paradox perspective can inform and/ or alter the trade-off perspective of performance priorities in OSCM.
    • Revisiting the dichotomy view (either/or) of various poles in management research (such as standardization and creativity, exploration and exploitation) from an OSCM perspective
    • Identifying and managing paradoxes in various areas such as lean management, supply chain, product development, sustainability, and service operations
    • The role of operations capability in embracing and achieving contradictory goals at a strategic level.

    Andriopoulos, C. And Lewis, M. W. (2009), "Exploitation-Exploration Tensions And Organizational Ambidexterity: Managing Paradoxes Of Innovation", Organization Science, Vol. 20, pp. 696-717.
    Ferdows, K. And Meyer, A. D. (1990), "Lasting Improvements In Manufacturing Performance: In Search Of A New Theory", Journal Of Operations Management, Vol. 9, pp. 168–184.
    Gibson, C. B. And Birkinshaw, J. (2004), "The Antecedents, Consequences, And Mediating Role Of Organizational Ambidexterity", Academy Of Management Journal, Vol. 47, pp. 209-226.
    Jay, J., Soderstrom, S. And Grant, G. (2017), "Navigating The Paradoxes Of Sustainability". In: Smith, W., Lewis, M., Jarzabkowski, P. And Langley, A. (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook Of Organizational Paradox.
    Nand, A., Singh, P. And Power, D. (2013), "Testing An Integrated Model Of Operations Capabilities An Empirical Study Of Australian Airlines", International Journal Of Operations And Production Management, Vol. 33,  pp. 887-911.
    Papachroni, A., Heracleous, L. And Paroutis, S. (2016), "In Pursuit Of Ambidexterity: Managerial Reactions To Innovation-Efficiency Tensions", Human Relations, Vol. 69, 1791-1822.
    Raisch, S. And Birkinshaw, J. (2008), "Organizational Ambidexterity: Antecedents, Outcomes, And Moderators", Journal Of Management, Vol. 34, pp. 375-409.
    Schad, J., Lewis, M., Raisch, S. And Smith, W. K. (2016), "Paradox Research In Management Science: Looking Back To Move Forward", The Academy Of Management Annals, Vol. 10, pp. 5-64.
    Schmenner, R. And Swink, M. (1998), "On Theory In Operations Management", Journal Of Operations Management, Vol. 17, pp. 97–113.
    Schroeder, R., Shah, R. And Peng, D. (2011), "The Cumulative Capability 'Sand Cone' Model Revisited: A New Perspective For Manufacturing Strategy", International Journal Of Production Research, Vol. 49, pp. 4879-4901.
    Skinner, W. (1969), "Manufacturing – Missing Link In Corporate Strategy", Harvard Business Review, Vol. 47, pp. 136–145.
    Smith, W., Erez, M., Jarvenpaa, S., Lewis, M. And Tracey, P. (2017), "Adding Complexity To Theories Of Paradox, Tensions, And Dualities Of Innovation And Change: Introduction To Organization Studies Special Issue On Paradox, Tensions, And Dualities Of Innovation And Change", Organization Studies, Vol. 38, pp. 303–317.
    Smith, W. And Tushman, M. (2005), "Managing Strategic Contradictions: A Top Management Model For Managing Innovation Streams", Organization Science, Vol. 16, pp. 522-536.
    Smith, W. K. And Lewis, M. W. (2011), "Toward A Theory Of Paradox: A Dynamic Equilibrium Model Of Organizing", Academy Of Management Review, Vol. 36, pp. 381-403.


    Rima Al Hasan
    Warwick business school, University of Warwick