Teaching Note | HBS Case Collection | June 2001

Coordinating + Managing Supply Chains: Course Overview Note TN

by Ananth Raman

Abstract

Describes the MBA elective course on supply chain management at HBS. Coordinating and Managing Supply Chains focuses on the managerial aspects of supply chains. Acquaints students with practical issues in a variety of supply chains and then identifies barriers to, and frameworks and tools for, improving supply chain operations. The course emphasizes the difficulty of achieving the vision of supply chain integration that has been argued effectively by many authors and makes clear that suitable information technology and appropriate algorthims are a necessary, but not sufficient, ingredient for supply chain integration. Cases in the course illustrate that barriers to integrating supply chains often relate to behavioral (e.g., misaligned incentives and change management) and process (e.g., execution problems in stores and distribution centers) issues that fall squarely in the domain of the general manager. Because effective supply chain management necessitates the crossing of functional as well as organizational boundaries, the course draws upon students' knowledge of diverse functional areas, such as finance, marketing, operations, and organizational behavior. Consequently, it is most effectively employed in MBA or Executive Education programs oriented toward general management.

Keywords: Finance; Framework; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Management Practices and Processes; Managerial Roles; Marketing; Supply Chain Management; Performance Improvement; Planning; Behavior; Integration;

Citation:

Raman, Ananth. "Coordinating + Managing Supply Chains: Course Overview Note TN." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 601-159, June 2001.