34440 - Value Stream Management (Graduate Course) (A-K)

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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Decent work and economic growth

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

Class participants will be challenged to acquire skills related to the vertical relationships which lead to the accomplishment of three course goals:

1) understand their strategic importance;

2) acquire some technical and managerial competences in order to take strategic decision

3) develop some organizational competences for managing these relations.

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Course contents

Requirements/Prior knowledge

A prior knowledge and understanding of the basic and fundamental principles of firm’s strategy and organization is required to attend with profit this course. This knowledge usually comes from the successful attendance of these two prior courses: Economics and Business Organization T-1, and Business Management T-AB.

In addition, students should master performance management skills and are able to understand the theoretical models provided during the course.

All lectures will be in Italian, except for occasional seminars held by international guests (either managers or scholars from other Universities). Some of the readings required are in Eniglish. Accordingly, fluent spoken and written Italian and English are necessary pre-requisites.

Course Contents

The course includes 4 key parts.

The first one is focused on the basic aspects of supply chain management and purchasing. It presents the structure and organization of a supply chain as well as key theoretical frameworks that are normally used to explain them. It presents the elements of activities such as supplier scouting and selection, negotiation, contracting, management and evaluation.

The second one is focused on supplier relationship management, particularly in terms of contract management and trust. It presents the main issues of contract incompleteness and remedy measures.

The third one is focused on supply chain strategy. The main strategies developed in the literature and proposed, and special emphasis is put on the role of market and product characteristics in shaping the strategy.

The fourth is focus on supply chain internationalization and global sourcing. Threats and opportunities are presented and discussed, and the main skills to successfully undertake a supply chain internationalization process are shown.


Course program and readings follow the course’s scheme, which is based on 4 fundamental parts.


G. Spina: “La gestione dell'impresa: Organizzazione, processi decisionali, marketing, acquisti e supply chain”, ed. Etas, II° edition (2008)
Ch. 14 (“Le scelte strategiche di make-or-buy: pp.493-523), full;
Ch. 15 (“Gli acquisti: processi e strumenti”: pp.524-574), full, except par. 15.4.1;
Ch. 16 (“La gestione della partnership”: pp. 575-603), full;
Ch. 17 (“Supply chain management: Gestione di una rete complessa di imprese”): par. 17.1 (pp.604-609); par. 17.3 (pp. 624-630); par. 17.4 (pp. 631-635)

E. Baglieri: “La gestione strategica degli approvvigionamenti”, ed. Etas (2004)
Ch. 3, par. 3.4 (“Il marketing d’acquisto”): Introduction and sect. 3.4.1 (“La leva prodotto”), pagg. 59-72

R. Monczka, R. Trent, R. Handfield: “Purchasing and Supply Chain Management”, ed. South-Western College Pub., 3rd Ed. (2005)
Cap. 7, “Developing a Supplier Evaluation and Selection Survey”, pp. 222-227.


K. W. Artz, P.M. Norman: “Buyer-Supplier contracting: Contract choice and ex post negotiation costs”. Journal of Managerial Issues. Vol. 14, Nr. 4 (Winter 2002)
“Contracting”: pp. 400-401

K.J. Crocker, K.J. Reynolds: “The efficiency of incomplete contracts: an empirical analysis of air force engine procurement”. RAND Journal of Economics. Vol. 24, Nr. 1 (1993)
Par. 1 (Introduction), par. 2 (Economic Issues in contract design): pp. 126-129

S. Castaldo: “Fiducia e Relazioni di mercato”, ed. Il Mulino (2002)

Ch. 7 (“Un modello per l'accrescimento della fiducia”): par. 1, 2, 3 (pp. 219-237)

J.H. Dyer: “Collaborative advantage: Winning through extended enterprise supplier networks”, ed. Oxford University Press (2000)
Ch. 4 (“Creating Trust in the Extended Enterprise”: pp. 87-109)


M. Fisher: “What is the right supply chain for your product?”. Harvard Business Review. Vol. 75, Nr. 2 (March-April 1997)
Full, pp. 105-116

H.L. Lee: “Aligning Supply Chain Strategies with Product Uncertainties”. California Management Review. Vol. 44, Nr. 3 (Spring 2002)
Full, pp. 105-119

V.G. Narayanan, A. Raman: “Aligning Incentives in Supply Chains”. Harvard Business Review. Vol. 82, Nr. 11 (November 2004) – Full, pp.1-8


G. Nassimbeni, M. Sartor: “Approvvigionamenti in Cina: Strategie, metodi, esperienze”, Ed. Il Sole 24 Ore (2004)
Ch. 1 (“Approvvigionamenti internazionali: La letteratura”): par. 1.0, 1.1, 1.4.1 (Modello di Monczka e Trent); 1.4.2 (Modello di Rugman); 1.4.4 (Modello di Monczka e Giunipero): pp. 1-5; 16-25, except Modello di Swamidass (p. 23)

K. Ferdows: “Making the Most of Foreign Factories” pp. 73-79; e pp. 82-88

K. Ferdows: “Managing the Evolving Global Production Network”
[Tratto da R. Galavan, J. Murray, C. Markides, “Strategy, Innovation, and change” – Oxford University Press (2008)]
Full, pp. 149-162

Teaching methods

Class lectures are generally held by the professor in charge for the course. All the key topics are extensively presented and discussed. In addition, questions similar to those included in the final evaluation test are also presented in class, to provide the students with sufficient knowledge of how the test is structured. Guests from the industry and from Academia are also invited to hold seminars.

Assessment methods

Achievements will be assessed by the means of a final exam. This is based on an analytical assessment of the "expected learning outcomes" described above. The exam consists of a written session that is held in one of the School’s labs, through a desktop and a proprietary software suite. Exam duration is 1 hr-time and the use of books and other study materials is not allowed during the execution of the exam.

The exam consists of 3 parts. Part 1 is a multi-quiz test consisting of 25 questions and 4 items for each of them. Each item can be true of false. In total, students are requested to respond to 100 “true-of-false” items. Maximum score is therefore 100 points, corresponding to 100 correct answers. Students are allow not to respond to single items, if they prefer. Wrong answer is penalized more than blank answer. Minimal admission score depends on the overall class performance in that particular session, however, students can immediately visualize their score at the end of the multi-quiz test and they can decide at the moment whether they prefer to continue, or to leave.

Parts 2 and 3 are open-ended questions, that will be based on the various topics included into the course’s program. Max 1,500 characters (space included) are allowed for part 2, and max 1,200 characters (space included) are allowed for part 3. Evaluation criteria for the answers to parts 2 and 3 are: correctness of the content; clarity; completeness; appropriateness of the written form.

The final score is the weighted average among the multi-quiz score and the average score of parts 2 and 3.

Teaching tools

All the books and additional readings are available at the Library of the School of Engineering and Architecture and at the Library of the Department of Management. Slides are projected during the class lectures.

Office hours

See the website of Paolo Barbieri