Information sharing across supply chains: the Absolut truth

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


To explore demand related information sharing in a multi-tier supply chain and propose contingency factors that impact benefits of information sharing across three or more tiers.

Through an in-depth case study a range of methods are used to collect data from companies representing three different tiers, including focal company, 1st tier suppliers and 1st tier customers along a seven-tier supply chain. The collected data is analysed by applying contingency theory as theoretical lens.

The results indicate that there is no information sharing across three or more tiers in the studied supply chain. Reasons for the lack thereof are analysed to propose contingency factors that impact benefits of information sharing, namely product volume and range, capacity flexibility/constraints and demand uncertainty.

Research limitations/implications
The studied supply chain represents production and distribution of a functional product. Based on the findings a supply chain is characterized where information sharing between three or more tiers is most likely to increase performance. The findings challenge the general recommendation to provide each stage of the supply chain with complete access to customer demand.

Practical implications
Several challenges are highlighted related to information sharing across three or more tiers in a supply chain. Opposite to general recommendations in academic literature the study indicates that companies in certain cases may be better off emphasizing dyadic information sharing.

The main body of information sharing literature investigates dyadic relationships. By mapping a seven-tier supply chain and collecting data from companies representing three tiers this study is original and provides valuable insights to key system dynamics.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Transport Systems and Logistics


  • Supply chain, information sharing, contingency theory, demand data, bullwhip effect
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusUnpublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Event25th NOFOMA Conference, 2013: Past and Future in Logistics Research. - Göteborg, Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 2013 Jun 32013 Jun 5
Conference number: 25


Conference25th NOFOMA Conference, 2013