Innovation management and supply chain management: the same combination between leaness and agility

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Our paper studies the concepts of exploitation and exploration that are fundamental when conciliating of leanness and agility in responsive supply networks as well as when managing simultaneously incremental and radical innovation. First of all, we underline the innovative dimension that is included in leanness and agility. As a matter of fact, leanness is reached through incremental innovation, i.e. continuous improvement of products and processes to eliminate any potential waste. On the other hand, agility is a matter of flexibility towards unexpected change, i.e. radical innovation. Both innovation types, both management principles, are important to ensure the survival of an organisation. To enlighten this duality, we first borrow some images from solid state physics, comparing the firms inside a supply network with the atoms in a network. Afterwards, we propose a model linking both exploitation and exploration needs in a feedback structure where information management plays a central role. We conclude this paper with some research perspectives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the European Forum on Market-Driven Supply Chains
    Subtitle of host publicationCranfield, November 2003
    Place of PublicationWebsite (
    PublisherThe European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • Supply chain management
    • exploration
    • innovation
    • exploitation


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