Supply Chain Integration through Performance Measurement

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


This Ph.D. thesis is about how the design of measurement systems may influence-or even drive-the integration of firms in supply chains, and is based on research presented in my licentiate thesisR. The research aims at providing a conceptual framework for designing measurement systems in supply chains, and at supporting firms in their quest for ways of developing closer relationships with suppliers and customers in supply chains.

Based on a post-positivistic paradigm, a case study research strategy including three cases was deployed to collect empirical data. The theoretical framework relies on systems thinking and inter-organisational relationship building theory, which are used to expand the concept of measurement systems from single firms to supply chains. Research on measurement system design contributes to the refining of a conceptual model of a measurement system, including a performance model, performance metrics, and measurement methods.

The research suggests that many of the problems firms experience today are the result of insufficiently developed systems thinking. In other words, firms consider their own results more important than those of the supply chain. By expanding the scope of measurements beyond the borders of a single firm to encompass a larger-but limited-number of actors, measurement activities may contribute to the integration of supply chains. In contrast with firms working at arm's length distance, the research shows that firms engaged in close collaborative relationships include joint measurements as an integral part of maintaining or developing relationships. Those firms deploy mutual assessment of performance to ensure that shared processes are not sub-optimised.

Firms are recommended to define a performance model, which means to reveal the business logic of the supply chain, and define the scope, structure and level of integration between actors, before defining specific metrics and measurement methods. The research also suggests that measurements at the supply chain level contribute to identifying and changing substandard supply chain structures, which implicitly means that it might be more important to think of how performance is measured than exactly what is being measured.


  • Stefan Holmberg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Transport Systems and Logistics


  • Produktionsteknik, integration, supply chain, Production technology, performance measurement system, Teknik, Technological sciences
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2000 Dec 18
  • Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University
Print ISBNs91-628-4562-4
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2000-12-18 Time: 13:15 Place: Room M:E External reviewer(s) Name: Speh, Thomas Title: Professor Affiliation: Miami University, Ohio, USA ---