2017 | 28 | 74-89
Article title

The impact of complexity on shaping logistics strategies in global supply chains

Title variants
Languages of publication
Aim/purpose – The paper aims to summarize approaches to complexity management by implementing particular logistics concepts within logistics strategies in global supply chains and to highlight a research gap in this regard. Additionally, complexity management concepts are presented. Design/methodology/approach – To achieve the research objective, a systematic literature review was used. 11 research paper were analyzed with use of review protocol. Findings – Approaches to mentioned research problem are heterogeneous in current literature and there is a research gap in complexity studies in logistics, precluding further research, for example, on complexity measurement systems. Research implications/limitations – Identified research gap will require further studies. Studied area requires more empirical research, especially in the field of complexity measurement and management techniques in particular global supply chains. Originality/value/contribution – The paper summarizes current knowledge about logistics concepts helping to manage complexity in global supply chains and defines research gaps. There are no available literature summary of that kind. The article contains a full review of logistics complexity management concepts presented in scientific literature until the end of 2016.
Physical description
  • Department of Logistics. Faculty of Economics. University of Gdańsk, Sopot, Poland
  • Abbasi M. (2008): Perspectives of complexity and intelligence on logistics and supply chain management. (access: 13.05.2016).
  • Ansoff H.I. (1975): Managing strategic surprise by response to weak signals. “California Management Review”, Vol. 18(2), pp. 21-33,
  • Bauernhansl T. (2012): Komplexitätsmanagement in der Automobilindustrie – globale Wertschöpfung zwischen Elektrifizierung und Leichtbau. 13 November, (access: 16.08.2016).
  • Beer S. (1970), Managing modern complexity. “Futures”, Vol. 2(3), pp. 245-257,
  • Bozarth C.C., Warsing D.P., Flynn B.B., Flynn E.J. (2009): The impact of supply chain complexity on manufacturing plant performance. “Journal of Operations Management”, No. 27(1), 2009, pp. 78-93,
  • Christopher M. (1998): Logistics and supply chain management. Biddles, King’s Lynn.
  • Denyer D., Tranfield D. (2009): Producing a systematic review. In: The Sage handbook of organizational research methods. Ed. D.A. Buchanan, A. Bryman. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, pp. 671-689.
  • Długosz J. (2000): Relacyjno-jakościowa koncepcja logistyki w zarządzaniu. Zeszyty Naukowe – Seria II Prace habilitacyjne, nr 160, Wydawnictwo Akademii Ekonomicznej, Poznań.
  • Gang L., Hongjiao Y., Linyan S., Ping J., Lei F. (2010): The evolutionary complexity of complex adaptive supply networks: A simulation and case study. “International Journal of Production Economics”, No. 124, pp. 310-330,
  • Gasparski W. (1978): Projektowanie, koncepcyjne przygotowanie działań. PWN, Warszawa.
  • Gattorna J.L., Chorn N.H., Day A. (1991): Pathways to customers: Reducing complexity in the logistics pipeline. “International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management”, Vol. 21(8), pp. 5-11,
  • Gościński J. (1971): Projektowanie systemów zarządzania. PWN, Warszawa.
  • Gouesbet G., Weill M.E. (1984): Complexities and entropies of periodic series with application to the transition to turbulence in the logistic map. “Physical Review A”, Vol. 30(3), pp.1442-1448,
  • Hicks H.G., Gullett C.R. (1975): Organizations: Theory and behaviour. McGraw-Hill, New York.
  • Hülsmann M., Colmorn R., Bakhrutdzinava V. (2011): Understanding international supply networks as complex adaptive logistics systems – a complexity-based approach for a formal representation. In: Unifying themes in complex systems. Vol. VIII: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Complex Systems. Ed. H. Sayama, A.A. Minai, D. Braha, Y. Bar-Yam. NECSI Knowledge Press, Quincy, pp. 1414-1428.
  • Isik F. (2010): An entropy-based approach for measuring complexity in supply chains. “International Journal of Production Research”, Vol. 48(12), pp. 3681-3696,
  • Koźmiński A.K. (1979): Analiza systemowa organizacji. PWE, Warszawa.
  • Lawler E.L., Lenstra J.K., Rinnooy K., Alexander H.G., Shmoys D.B. (1993): Sequencing and scheduling: algorithms and complexity. “Handbooks in Operations Research and Management Science”, Vol. 4, pp. 445-522,
  • Lechner A., Klingebiel K., Wagenitz A. (2011): Evaluation of product variant-driven complexity costs and performance impacts in the automotive logistics with varietydriven activity-based costing. In: Proceedings of the International MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists 2011. Vol. II, Ed. S.I. Ao, O. Castillo, C. Douglas, D.D. Feng ,J.-A. Lee. Newswood, Hongkong.
  • McMaster M.D. (1996): The intelligence advantage organising for complexity. Butterworth- Heinemann, Oxford.
  • Mesjasz C. (2014): Zalety i wady koncepcji złożoności systemów organizacyjnych. In: Współczesne kierunki rozwoju nauk o zarządzaniu w kontekście dokonań naukowych Profesora Adama Stabryły. Ed. H. Bieniok., Kraków.
  • Nilsson F., Waidringer J. (2004): Logistics management from a complexity perspective. “The ICFAI Journal of Operations Management”, Vol. 3, pp. 59-73.
  • Pathak S.D., Day J.M., Nair A., Sawaya W.J., Kristal M.M. (2007): Complexity and adaptivity in supply networks: Building supply network theory using a complex adaptive systems perspective. “Decision Sciences”, Vol. 38( 4), pp. 547-580.
  • Perona M., Miragliotta G.(2004): Complexity management and supply chain performance assessment. A field study and a conceptual framework. “International Journal of Production Economics”, Vol. 90(1), pp. 103-115,
  • Serdarasan S. (2013): A review of supply chain complexity drivers. “Computers & Industrial Engineering”, Vol. 66(3), pp. 533-540,
  • Sheel O., Hubbert J. (2013): Innovation and complexity management. (access: 10.05.2016).
  • Stabryła A. (1974): Sprawność kierowania w organizacji złożonej. Wydawnictwo Akademii Ekonomicznej, Kraków.
  • Stacey R.D. (1993), Strategy as order emerging from chaos. “Long Range Planning”, Vol. 26, Iss. 1, pp. 10-17.
  • Szmelter A., Woźniak H. (2015): Complexity of logistics systems and its impact on automotive industry. “Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego. Ekonomika Transportu i Logistyka”, No. 56, pp. 159-174.
  • Wanke F.P., Correa H., Hijjar M. (2010): Establishing the relationship between Logistics complexity and supply chain objectives and decision areas in large companies operating in Brazil. “Journal of Operations and Supply Chain Management”, Vol. 3(1), pp. 34-54,
  • Weaver W. (1948): Science and complexity. “American Scientist”, No. 36(4), pp. 536-544.
  • Wilding R. (1998): The supply chain complexity triangle: Uncertainty generation in the supply chain. “International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management”, Vol. 28(8), pp. 599-616,
  • Wong C.W.Y., Lai K., Bernroider E.W.N. (2015): The performance of contingencies of supply chain information integration: The roles of product and market complexity. “International Journal of Production Economics”, Vol. 165, pp. 1-11,
  • Yang B., Yang Y. (2010): Postponement in supply chain risk management: A complexity perspective. “International Journal of Production Research”, Vol. 48(7), pp. 1901-1912,
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.