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Int. J. Production Economics 147 (2014) 230–238

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Int. J. Production Economics journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijpe

Defining value chain architectures: Linking strategic value creation to operational supply chain design
Matthias Holweg a, Petri Helo b,n a b

Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK Department of Production, Faculty of Technology, University of Vaasa, Finland

art ic l e i nf o
Article history: Received 31 May 2012 Accepted 13 June 2013 Available online 28 June 2013 Keywords: Value chain Supply chain management Operations strategy

a b s t r a c t
Over the past three decades scholars have developed comprehensive insights into the operational and strategic aspect of designing and managing the supply chain. Reviewing this ample body of knowledge however one cannot help but notice a persistent disunion between the “value chain” view that considers aspects of value creation and appropriation, and the operational “supply chain” view that considers strategies and tools for designing and operating efficient inter-firm networks. Commonly these views do not interact: value creation has the aim of capturing the maximum value-added in financial terms, the supply chain view aims for designing operationally efficient supply chains. In contrast to their treatise within the academic literature, from a practical point of view these two aspects are both necessary (and thus in their own right insufficient) components to a firm's supply chain strategy. In this paper we thus turn to an exploratory case study to identify what such a combined view of the value and supply chain would entail. We refer to this purposeful creation as the “value chain architecture” and propose five fundamental decisions that define the latter: (1) the nature of value provision (driven by the core competence of the firm), (2)...

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