Deconstruction of a Multi‑Embedded Supply Chain Coordination Problem Using Mixed Methods
Keywords:mixed methods, coordination, supply chain management, malaria therapies
AbstractIt is without doubt that there are many overviews of mixed methods research in supply chain management. However, there is relatively little research and representation on the application of robust methodological approaches and techniques that take into account the dynamic nature of a multi‑embedded and specialised medicine supply chain coordination (SCC) problem. In Uganda, the distribution of artemisinin‑based combination therapies (ACTs) involves a multi‑embedded supply chain that runs across the macro, market, and micro levels of stakeholders. The multi‑embedded levels have created a coordination challenge tied to stock‑outs and unavailability of ACTs to the detriment of the patients. This study aimed to: 1) demonstrate how a mixed methods approach facilitated a better understanding of a multi‑embedded and specialised supply chain coordination problem, and 2) reveal the major factors for coordinating a multi‑embedded supply chain that can improve the availability of ACTs in the general hospitals of Uganda. An exploratory sequential mixed method approach was employed to disentangle the problem. In the first phase, focus group discussions were predominantly used to collect qualitative data, the findings of which acted as the foundation for the quantitative survey questionnaire. A Confirmatory Factor Analysis was used to determine and validate the market and macro supply chain dimensions that emerged from the survey results. The results showed that the most influential supply chain market environment dimensions that affect the availability of ACTs include information sharing with external stakeholders and supply chain interdependence. The results from the macro‑environment showed that the socio‑cultural, economic, technological, and legal dimensions influence the availability of ACTs. The contribution of this paper advances the use of mixed methods in deconstructing a complex embedded supply chain problem with implications for supply chain academics and practitioners and government bodies.
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