Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal Inter-functional coordination in the supply chain: myth or reality? Have an opinion? Submit today!

Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal

Is inter-functional coordination in the supply chain a myth or reality? 

If you have an opinion consider submitting to our special issue that aims to answer the question. You can submit here today!

Following Mentzer et al. (2001) Supply Chain Management is defined “as the systemic, strategic coordination of the traditional business functions and the tactics across these business functions within a particular company and across businesses within a supply chain”. Accordingly, the coordination of business functions within a firm is an indispensable element of the SCM concept. Ballou et al. (2000) support this view and postulate three dimensions of SCM, namely: (1) intra-functional coordination, (2) coordination of inter-functional activities, and (3) coordination of inter-organizational supply chain activities.

Consequently, the necessity to incorporate cross-functional considerations into supply chain management is obvious. Comprehensive managerial knowledge of inter-functional coordination is so essential to achieve cross-functional alignment. Nevertheless, the focus of research in SCM is on inter-organizational coordination. Despite some important contributions (e.g. Ellinger 2000, Min 2001, Stadtler 2005, Mentzer et al. 2008, Oliva and Watson 2011), comparatively little attention has been devoted to the subject of inter-functional coordination inside a particular company in the context of SCM.

This raises the question of the extent to which companies actually coordinate their functions like manufacturing, logistics, purchasing and marketing inside SCM. It is also necessary to ask whether supply chain managers consider the inter-functional coordination of manufacturing, logistics, purchasing and marketing as their very own personal challenge. Perhaps the inter-functional coordination is a myth rather than reality.

What can I contribute?

The special issue should contribute to answering these questions. Submissions may address but are not restricted to the following topics:

  • The need for coordination across production, logistics, purchasing and other business functions
  • Links between SCM and the management of distinct business functions
  • The use of tools and methods to enhance inter-functional coordination
  • The role of advanced planning systems
  • The tasks and responsibilities of SCM
  • The existence of inter-functional organization structures
  • Human resources efforts to support inter-functional coordination
  • The impacts of inter-functional coordination on performance
  • Supply Chain Management myths and fashions 

Submission instructions

Submissions will be subject to a double blind peer review process. Online submissions to Supply Chain Forum: an International Journal are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system.

Registration and access is available at

Publication schedule:

The deadline for submissions is: June 1, 2018
Notification of Final Acceptance for Publication: March 1, 2019
The special issue is expected to appear in June 2019

Questions should be addressed to the guest editors:

Rudolf O. Large
Professor of Logistics, Purchasing and Supply Management, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Nathalie Merminod
Assistant Professor, Purchasing and Supply Management, CRET-LOG, Aix Marseille University

Editorial information

  • Guest Editor,: Rudolf O. Large,, Professor of Logistics, Purchasing and Supply Management, University of Stuttgart, Germany, (
  • Guest Editor: Nathalie Merminod,, Assistant Professor, Purchasing and Supply Management, CRET-LOG, Aix Marseille University, (