On publicness theory and its implications for supply chain integration: The case of criminal justice supply chains

Aline Seepma*, Dirk Pieter Donk, van, Carolien de Blok

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

6 Citaten (Scopus)
170 Downloads (Pure)


The literature has extensively discussed whether and how public organizations differ from private ones. Publicness theory argues that the degree of publicness is determined by ownership, funding, goal setting, and control structure of an organization. However, these theoretical ideas have not yet been extended to the interorganizational level. The need for further research is reflected in the sustained debate on the applicability of for-profit management approaches in public contexts and supply chains. Starting from the premise of the dimensional publicness theory, this study focuses on theory elaboration. We focus our empirical study on the criminal justice supply chain, which encompasses the process of bringing a criminal case to court. This chain provides an interesting public case to explore how specific dimensions of publicness affect or limit supply chain integration mechanisms. The results of our series of embedded cases focusing on Dutch criminal justice supply chains show that control structures, embodied in laws and regulations, define the governance of relationships between supply chain partners. In addition to these formalized ties, extensive known for-profit information and operational integration mechanisms can be observed, along with limited relational integration. Surprisingly, although similar integration mechanisms are used as in for-profit contexts, integration serves a different role in several of the relationships investigated: dealing with tensions stemming from the specific goal setting and stakeholders of criminal justice chains. Although our findings specifically relate to criminal justice supply chains, they have important implications for other supply chains using contracts and laws and those being selective in applying supply chain integration in cases of contrasting objectives. Moreover, we provide a stepping-stone for the extension of publicness theory to the interorganizational level.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)72-103
Aantal pagina's32
TijdschriftJournal of Supply Chain Management
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
Vroegere onlinedatum5-okt.-2020
StatusPublished - 2021

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