Digital Transformation and Its Effect on Supply Chain Complexity: A Systematic Literature Review

Kira Katinka Paul & Seo Young Choi

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this thesis is to deepen the understanding of how disruptive technologies impact upon supply chain complexity. While supply chain complexity has been regarded to have substantially increased in recent decades, it is unclear whether the emergence of technologies related to the digitalization trend further accelerate this development or act conversely. These trends are investigated firstly, through conducting a systematic literature review. Through such, a deep understanding about recent technological trends and their benefits, opportunities and challenges within supply chain management is provided. Secondly, the thesis refers to theory that categorizes complexity into complicatedness and uncertainty as well as necessary and unnecessary. It is found that disruptive technologies associated with digitalization increase complicatedness but decrease uncertainty. Furthermore, complexity drivers are viewed in close interrelation as they impact upon each other. This paper provides theoretical implications and guidelines for managers to thoroughly understand supply chain complexity under the emergence of digital technologies. The study is an upto-date research including the very latest technological digitalization trends and how they may impact the development and future configuration of supply chains. A call for further investigation of specific technologies as well as their interrelationships is proposed.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages106
SupervisorsAndreas Wieland