Open Access Article

Title: Ambidexterity in the supply chain: studying the apparel industry

Authors: David Güemes-Castorena; Brenda C. Ruiz-Monroy

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering, School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Ave. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, Monterrey, NL, 64849, Mexico ' Department of Industrial Engineering, School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Ave. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, Monterrey, NL, 64849, Mexico

Abstract: Some decades ago, the concept of 'ambidexterity' was introduced in the theory and practice of organisation management, but only recently applied to the management of the entire supply chain. Our goals in this paper are to propose a definition for Ambidextrous supply chains in the field of apparel and to study the three leaders of the industry and identify if they balance their supply chain archetypes in their way to Ambidexterity. The apparel industry is one of the most global and fluctuating industries in the world, and apparel supply chains play a strategic role in the growth of the industry and permanency of the brands through end-consumer responsiveness. An ambidextrous supply chain refers to the ability to maintain daily operations excellence while looking for constant innovation and the ability to keep balance. This balance might be achieved through an ambidextrous supply chain. The three studied cases show how organisations can achieve ambidexterity by managing trade-offs latent in this industry.

Keywords: ambidexterity; supply chain archetypes; apparel industry; innovation process; strategic management; case study; supply chain trade-offs; fast archetype; efficient archetype; agile archetype.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2020.107904

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2020 Vol.13 No.2, pp.130 - 158

Received: 29 Dec 2018
Accepted: 10 Oct 2019

Published online: 26 Jun 2020 *