After the fall of the Berlin Wall, which marked the end of cold war, the Dutch government assumed that an invasion of Dutch soil by an aggressor was something of the past and began to reduce the armed forces. This has led to several budget cuts over the past two decades since the fall off the wall. However, the reduction of the armed forces has never led to an adjustment of the mission statement and the armed forces where now more than ever involved in crisis response operations then it has been in its whole past. These deployments gradually teared down the organization and crippled it. This degradation is particularly visible in the peace time operations during which the military executes training & exercises but lacks the means to adequately prepare for her task. However, times are changing, and budgets are slightly increasing but in response to the increased budget the military relapses into the old habits of stockpiling to cope with uncertainty and variability. This approach, however, exonerates her from thinking and developing an operations and supply chain strategy which guarantees the effectiveness of the organization but also provides an efficient management system. The purpose of this research was to describe how uncertainty and variability in the operating environment of the military play a role in the choice for a supply chain strategy. To answer this question a qualitative study based on a grounded theory combined with a multi/comparative case study approach was used. Cases for data gathering where selected within the Ministry of Defense. Main findings of this study implicate that power play, silos, trust and strategic intent are causing variability and uncertainty in the operating environment and effecting the supply chain strategy. Practical implications are that variability and uncertainty are not only created by demand and supply but are also the product of the lack of strategic intent, power and politics, organizational silos and distrust within the organization. The contribution to science is that this research adds to the field of operations management by extending its context to the hostile military environment.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Supply chain strategy, operations trade-off, lean, agile, leagile
Thesis Advisor M. Stevens, Daniel Stam
Persistent URL
Series Operational Excellence in Services and Supply Chains
Armand Soeleman. (2019, April 15). Align operations to cope with hostility: Managing Uncertainty and Variability. Operational Excellence in Services and Supply Chains. Retrieved from