Strategies for Orchestrating and Managing Supply Chains in Public Service Networks


  • Anne Fleur van Veenstra
  • Marijn Janssen
  • Bram Klievink


e-government, joined-up government, Supply Chain Management, SCM, inter-organizational collaboration, governance, integration strategy


Joining‑up is high on the e‑government agenda as this is expected to improve service delivery to citizens and businesses. It requires public and private organizations to cooperate with each other within networks that are formed around public services that cross the boundaries of organizations. Cross‑organizational processes in such a network are called supply chains, aimed at delivering integrated services. The performance of each individual organization within the network influences aspects such as lead‑time and quality of services delivered. In order to effectively integrate the efforts of the various organizations involved, a strategy needs to be in place to orchestrate and manage a service delivery chain. Various types of strategies can be employed. Yet little knowledge is available about which strategies are effective under which circumstances. In this paper we identify four different strategies for managing and orchestrating cross‑organizational service chains. These supply chain management (SCM) strategies are based on literature research and case study analysis. The four strategies are identified based on two dimensions: the level of control (i.e. governance structure) and the architectural approach for systems integration. These four strategies are: merger, orchestra, relay race, and broadcasting. For three of the four strategies, illustrative cases have been found. The strategy selection depends on factors such as the institutional environment, political ambitions and organizational readiness. Furthermore, each strategy has its own merits and demerits. We recommend investigating the relationship between situational characteristics and SCM strategies in further research.



1 Dec 2009