School of Business and Management

BUSM091 Global Supply Chain Management


2 (2017/18)

Module organiser

Dr Elena Baglioni


Over the last few decades the business world has become more complex, fragmented, and geographically scattered. As firms outsource a growing portion of the activities and functions that were previously carried out in-house, they become one element of a multifaceted and intricate process of value creation and capture that cut across firms' and states' borders: the supply chain. As value-creating activities and functions are shared between ever more players their linkages increase as well as their interdependence. The study of global supply chains and their management looks at this scattered environment: the linkages and relationships among firms, and among firms and other actors; and focuses on how leading firms attempt to drive this complexity in multiple ways, whether by increasing coherence, consistency and unity in the supply chain, or by shifting costs to other chain members and increasing competitive pressures among them.

The module explores these issues by focusing on a number of industries linked to agriculture and natural resources. These types of industries fuel some of the largest, most complex, and corporate controlled global supply chains in history, e.g. from fruits and vegetables to Tesco and Sainsbury, from cotton to fashion retailers, or from coltan to Nokia and Apple.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Critically analyse and assess the complex nature of global supply chains as diverse, and uneven webs of multiple activities, people and institutions
  • Demonstrate a clear and complex understanding of different spheres, dimensions, strategies, an instances inherent in the management of global supply chains
  • Demonstrate the ability to distinguish, evaluate and apply different theoretical frameworks to analyse different global supply chains and their management

Reading list

  • Bair, J. (ed) 2009, Frontiers of Commodity Chain Research, Stanford: Stanford University Press
  • Bonachic, E. and Wilson, J.B. 2008, Getting the Goods, Ports, Labour and the Logistic Revolution, Ithaca: Cornell University Press
  • Cox, A., Ireland, P.,  Lonsdale, C. and Sand, J. 2002, Supply Chains, Markets and Power. Mapping Buyer and Supplier Power Regimes, London: Routledge
  • Christopher, M. 2011, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, London: Pearson
  • Fawcett, S.E. Ellram, L.M., Ogden, J.A. 2007, Supply Chain Management. From Vision to Implementation, New Jersey: Pearson


70% Exam and 30% Coursework