Foresight Applications for Future Oriented Supply Chain and Logistics Management
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Purpose of the article: The research topic undertaken by the author, aimed at answering the question: whether and how the use of foresight studies can help to meet the challenges in the process of improving the supply chains. Identification of the challenges faced by supply chains carried out at the initial stage of the research and directions of evaluation of supply chains presented in the literature constituted for the author the justification for seeking new solutions for supply chain and logistics management. The dynamics of the changes in the logistics companies’ business environment forces the decision makers to focus on the future, which, on the one hand, is aimed at capturing the changes, and on the other, on dealing with uncertainty. Foresight is one of such tools. Diversity of the existing applications of the foresight research indicates the increased possibility of its application also to the needs of prospective supply chain management. The article presents the current range of applications of foresight studies in the area of supply chain management (including logistics), and three new categories of foresight research, taking into account the supply chains specificity, were suggested. Methodology/methods: The methodology used for the needs of the research process includes a review of the literature and an analysis of foresight projects in the area of supply chain and logistics management. Scientific aim: Proposing new types of foresight studies focused on supply chain and logistics management was the main purpose of the article. According to the proposed new types of foresight studies, possibilities of its application, reasons for it uses by particular users were identified. Findings: Taking into account the types of foresight projects acknowledged in the literature and used in practice and various application areas of foresight research, the author has attempted to expand the existing classification of the foresight studies with three types taking into account the specificity of determinants of supply chains and logistics processes: chain foresight, the process foresight and strategic project foresight. Conclusions: Since the conducted studies are theoretical, they require orientation of further research on the process of operationalization of the foresight research methodology, aiming at the selection of research methods, selection of experts, identification of the goals and results of research. Limitations of the carried out literature studies stem from heretofore narrow achievements in the application of foresight studies in the area of supply chain and logistics management. Subsequent foresight initiatives in the analysed area should enrich the achievements with solutions of both theoretical-methodological and practical nature (in the form of, for example, good practice).
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