The KLU faculty, post-docs, and PhD candidates regularly publish the results of their research in scientific journals. You will find a complete overview of all KLU publications below (e.g. articles in peer-reviewed journals, professional journals, books, working papers, and conference proceedings). Search for relevant terms and keywords, or filter the list by name, year of publication or type of publication. The references include DOIs and abstracts where available, and you can download them to your own reference database or platform. We regularly update the database with new publications.
Minner, Stefan and Sandra Transchel (2010): Periodic review inventory-control for perishable products under service-level constraints, OR spectrum, 32 (4): 979-996.
Abstract: Food retail inventory management faces major challenges by uncertain demand, perishability, and high customer service level requirements. In this paper, we present a method to determine dynamic order quantities for perishable products with limited shelf-life, positive lead time, FIFO or LIFO issuing policy, and multiple service level constraints. In a numerical study, we illustrate the superiority of the proposed method over commonly suggested order-up-to-policies. We show that a constant-order policy might provide good results under stationary demand, short shelf-life, and LIFO inventory depletion.
Liu, Xiaohong, Alan C. McKinnon, David B. Grant and Yuanhua Feng (2010): Sources of competitiveness for logistics service providers: a UK industry perspective, Logistics Research, 2 (1): 23-32.
Abstract: This paper empirically examines perceptions on the sources of competitiveness for logistics service providers (LSPs) drawing on two influential theories of strategic management, Porter’s competitive advantage theory and the resource-based view (RBV). In contrast to most previous studies of third-party logistics which have viewed the subject from the user’s perspective, this study investigates the perceptions of competitiveness primarily from the LSP’s point of view. It is based on questionnaire data which was collected from UK LSP managers. Standard statistical techniques were applied for the analysis. The empirical results reveal that capabilities are considered most important among the factors of competitiveness suggested by theory. The most critical aspect of an LSP’s capabilities was found to be the service quality capability. At a more theoretical level, the study adds new evidence on the relative explanatory power of the two theories of strategic management used: it indicates that the RBV is the more appropriate in the context given, suggesting that capabilities (i.e., endogenous factor) inside companies are more important in leading to an LSP’s competitiveness and need greater attention than the environmental factors.
Meissner, Joern and Arne K. Strauss (2010): Pricing structure optimization in mixed restricted/unrestricted fare environments, Journal of Revenue & Pricing Management, 9 (5): 399-418.
Abstract: In recent years, many traditional practitioners of revenue management (RM) such as airlines or hotels were confronted with aggressive low-cost competition. In order to stay competitive, these firms responded by reducing fare restrictions that were originally meant to fence off customer segments. In markets where traditional practitioners faced low-cost competition, unrestricted fares were introduced. Some markets, including airline long-haul markets, were unaffected. And here restrictions could be maintained. We develop choice-based network RM approaches for such a mixed fare environment that can handle both the traditional opening or closing of restricted fare classes as well as handling pricing of the unrestricted fares simultaneously. Owing to technical constraints of the reservation system, we have a limit on the number of price points for each unrestricted fare. It is natural to ask then how these price points shall be chosen. To that end, we formulate the problem as a dynamic programme and approximate it with a mixed integer linear program (MIP) that selects the best price points out of a potentially large set of price candidates for each unrestricted fare. Numerical experiments illustrate the quality of the obtained price structure and that computational effort is relatively low, given that we need to tackle the large-scale MIP with column generation techniques.
McKinnon, Alan C. (2010): Product-level carbon auditing of supply chains: Environmental imperative or wasteful distraction?, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 40 (1/2): 42-60.
Abstract: Interest in product‐level carbon auditing and labelling has been growing in both business and government circles. This paper examines the practical problems and costs associated with highly disaggregated analyses of greenhouse gas emissions from supply chains. It then weighs these problems and costs against the potential benefits of the carbon labelling of products. The conclusion is that product-level carbon auditing of supply chains and the related carbon labelling of products will be fraught with difficulty and very costly. While simplification of the auditing process, the use of data inventories and software support may assist these processes, the practicality of applying them to all consumer products seems very doubtful. The resulting environmental benefits are also highly questionable. The main conclusion, therefore, is that product‐level carbon auditing and labelling is a “wasteful distraction” and that it would be better to devote management time and resources to other decarbonisation initiatives.
Danylevych, Olha, Dimka Karastoyanova and Frank Leymann (2010): Service Networks Modelling: An SOA & BPM Standpoint, Journal of Universal Computer Science, 16 (13): 1168-1693.
Abstract: Services are quintessential in the current economical landscape. Enterprises and businesses at large rely on the consumption and providing of services to ensure their operations and to realize their business offers. That is, nowadays businesses all over the world are interconnected with each other by complex service-centric webs called service networks. The ubiquity and pervasiveness of service networks call for models, methods, mechanisms and tools to understand them and harness their potential. This paper investigates the modelling of the service networks with a focus on business relationships and exchanges of software services among the involved parties. The contribution of this work is threefold. Firstly, we provide an overview of what service networks modelling can offer in combination with Business Process Management (BPM) and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) technologies. Secondly, we propose a formalism to model service networks that depicts them as aggregations of participants - e.g. enterprises or individuals - that offer, request, consume and provide services to each other. With the goal of providing a foundation for the alignment between service network- and business process models, we finally map the constructs of our service networks modelling formalism to the ones of the Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN).
Albers, Sönke, Sonja Gensler and Jörg van de Bergh (2010): Entscheidungsunterstützung unter Berücksichtigung der Anforderungen von Entscheidungsträgern am Beispiel der Gestaltung von optionalen Girokonto-Tarifen, Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft, 80 (6): 617-638.
Abstract: Quantitative decision models are used only if managers’ implementation conditions are met. Decision makers want tools that offer a set of good solutions so that they can evaluate different solutions according to various objectives without being forced to make their trade-offs explicit in a functional form. This also allows taking into account strategic aspects that cannot be modeled otherwise. In such situations, heuristics are needed which derive solutions from the structure and not so much from the mathematical properties. We present such a decision support tool for the problem of determining a menu of optional tariffs for checking accounts. The heuristic is based on the idea that for reasonably separable preferences across segments it is the best to offer for each segment the most preferred product. We use latent class choice-based conjoint analysis to estimate customer preferences and develop a customized choice-based conjoint design to take differences in individual demand into account. The proposed heuristic was used to support an actual decision problem for which the profit contribution has been increased substantially without having faced a considerable loss of customers.
Karastoyanova, Dimka, Tammo van Lessen and Ralph Mietzner (2010): BPM außerhalb der Verwaltung: Ein Blick über den Tellerrand, Business Technology ‐ Prozesse, 3: 54-58.
Abstract: Beim Thema Geschäftsprozessmanagement (Business Process Management (BPM)) denken wir unweigerlich an Dokumentation und Werkzeugunterstützung für administrative Prozesse wie Kreditgenehmigungs-, Reisebuchungs- und Versicherungsantragsprozesse. Doch auch in anderen Domänen wie der Produktion, dem Systems Management, der Softwareentwicklung, der Forschung oder der Simulation etc. kommen Methoden und Techniken des Geschäftsprozessmanagements zunehmend zum Einsatz. In diesem Artikel stellen wir Anwendungsfälle und BPM-Lösungen für diese Domänen vor und beleuchten die Vorteile, die aus einem durchgängigen BPM-Ansatz entstehen.
Edwards, Julia B., Alan C. McKinnon, Tom Cherrett, Fraser McLeod and Liying Song (2010): Carbon Dioxide Benefits of Using Collection-Delivery Points for Failed Home Deliveries in the United Kingdom, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2191 (1): 136-143.
Abstract: Unlike much of the previous research on this topic, which assesses the economic consequences of failed deliveries to the home, this study examines the issue of failed delivery from a carbon-auditing perspective. It considers the potential environmental savings from the use of alternative forms of collection and delivery over traditional delivery methods for failed home deliveries. With a spreadsheet carbon audit model, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for a failed delivery are calculated on the basis of a typical van home delivery round of 120 drops and 50-mi (80-km) distance. Three first-time delivery failure rates (10%, 30%, and 50%) are assessed. The additional CO2 from a second delivery attempt increases the emissions per drop by 9% to 75% (depending on the delivery failure rate). The vast majority (85% to 95%) of emissions emanating from a traditional failed delivery arise not from the repeat van delivery but from the personal travel associated with the customer's collecting a missed redelivery from the carrier's local depot. A range of collection-delivery points (CDPs) (supermarkets, post offices, railway stations) were all found to reduce the environmental impact of this personal travel. Post offices (currently operating a CDP system through the U.K. Royal Mail's Local Collect service) yielded the greatest savings, creating just 13% of the CO2 produced by a traditional collection by car from a local depot. Overall, the research suggests that the use of CDPs offers a convenient and more environmentally friendly alternative to redelivery and customer collection from a local parcel depot.
Albers, Sönke, Murali K. Mantrala and Shrihari Sridhar (2010): Personal selling elasticities: A meta-analysis, Journal of Marketing Research, 47 (5): 840-853.
Abstract: This article presents a meta-analysis of prior econometric estimates of personal selling elasticity—that is, the ratio of the percentage change in an objective, ratio-scaled measure of sales output (e.g., dollar or unit purchases) to the corresponding percentage change in an objective, ratio-scaled measure of personal selling input (e.g., dollar expenditures). The authors conduct a meta-analysis of 506 personal selling elasticity estimates drawn from analyses of 88 empirical data sets across 75 previous articles. They find a mean estimate of current-period personal selling elasticity of .34. They also find that elasticity estimates are higher for early life-cycle-stage offerings, higher from studies set in Europe than from those set in the United States, and smaller in more recent years. In addition, elasticity estimates are affected significantly by analysts' use of relative rather than absolute sales output measures, by cross-sectional rather than panel data, by omission of promotions, by lagged effects, by marketing interaction effects, and by the neglect of endogeneity in model estimation. The method bias–corrected mean personal selling elasticity is approximately .31. The authors discuss the implications of their results for sales managers and researchers.
Goel, Asvin (2010): Truck Driver Scheduling in the European Union, Transportation Science, 44 (4): 429-441.
Abstract: Since April 2007 working hours of truck drivers in the European Union are controlled by regulation (EC) No. 561/2006. According to the new regulation, road transport undertakings must organise the work of drivers in a way that drivers are able to comply with the regulations and can be made liable for infringements committed by the drivers. Although of particular importance in long-distance haulage, regulations on working hours of truck drivers have received very little attention in the scheduling literature. This paper presents a method for scheduling driving and working hours of truck drivers with respect to regulation (EC) No. 561/2006. Given a sequence of locations to be visited within specified time windows, the approach is guaranteed to find a schedule complying with the regulation if such a schedule exists.
Giessner, Steffen R. and Niels Van Quaquebeke (2010): Using a relational models perspective to understand normatively appropriate conduct in ethical leadership, Journal of Business Ethics, 95 (1): 43-55.
Abstract: To describe leadership as ethical is largely a perceptional phenomenon informed by beliefs about what is normatively appropriate. Yet there is a remarkable scarcity in the leadership literature regarding how to define what is “normatively appropriate.” To shed light on this issue, we draw upon Relational Models Theory (Fiske, 1992, Psychol Rev, 99:689–723), which differentiates between four types of relationships: communal sharing, authority ranking, equality matching, and market pricing. We describe how each of these relationship models dictates a distinct set of normatively appropriate behaviors. We argue that perceptions of unethical leadership behavior result from one of three situations: (a) a mismatch between leader’s and follower’s relational models, (b) a different understanding about the behavioral expression, or preos, of the same relational model, or (c) a violation of a previously agreed upon relational model. Further, we argue that the type of relational model mismatch impacts the perceived severity of a transgression. Finally, we discuss the implications of our model with regard to understanding, managing, and regulating ethical leadership failures.
Georgiadis, Patroklos and Maria Besiou (2010): Environmental and economical sustainability of WEEE closed-loop supply chains with recycling: a system dynamics analysis, The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 47 (5-8): 475-493.
Abstract: Nowadays, the worldwide production of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is consequently increasing, reducing both resources and landfills. In this manuscript, we investigate the significance of the factors that comprise the environmental sustainability strategies (environmental legislation and green image) and the operational features of the closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) (chain's features, products' features and economic parameters), their interactions and the type of their impact on the environmental (availability of natural resources and landfill availability) and economical sustainability of a WEEE CLSC. We use an extension of a System Dynamics-based model of a CLSC with recycling activities introduced by Georgiadis and Besiou [J Clean Prod 16(15):1665–1678, 2008]. The developed model is validated using data from a real-world CLSC of EEE in Greece. Extended numerical investigation provides insights to the managers of the WEEE CLSC and the legislators with regard to the actions which can lead to sustainability.
Baur, Dirk G. and Brian M. Lucey (2010): Is Gold a Hedge or a Safe Haven? An Analysis of Stocks, Bonds and Gold, Financial Review, 45 (2): 217-229.
Abstract: Is gold a hedge, defined as a security that is uncorrelated with stocks or bonds on average, or is it a safe haven, defined as a security that is uncorrelated with stocks and bonds in a market crash? We study constant and time-varying relations between U.S., U.K. and German stock and bond returns and gold returns to investigate gold as a hedge and a safe haven. We find that gold is a hedge against stocks on average and a safe haven in extreme stock market conditions. A portfolio analysis further shows that the safe haven property is short-lived.
Baur, Dirk G. and Thomas K. McDermott (2010): Is gold a safe haven? International evidence, Journal of Banking & Finance, 34 (8): 1886-1898.
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to examine the role of gold in the global financial system. We test the hypothesis that gold represents a safe haven against stocks of major emerging and developing countries. A descriptive and econometric analysis for a sample spanning a 30 year period from 1979 to 2009 shows that gold is both a hedge and a safe haven for major European stock markets and the US but not for Australia, Canada, Japan and large emerging markets such as the BRIC countries. We also distinguish between a weak and strong form of the safe haven and argue that gold may act as a stabilizing force for the financial system by reducing losses in the face of extreme negative market shocks. Looking at specific crisis periods, we find that gold was a strong safe haven for most developed markets during the peak of the recent financial crisis.
Goel, Asvin (2010): The Value of In-Transit Visibility for Supply Chains with Multiple Modes of Transport, International Journal of Logistics, 13 (6): 475-492.
Abstract: This study seeks to quantify the value of visibility over assets moving through an multi-modal transportation network. It presents a transportation model combining shipment and route choice and shows how in-transit visibility can be used to adjust the transportation plan with respect to the known state of the transportation system. By simulating the decision making process with different levels of visibility the gradual benefits of in-transit visibility are quantified. Computational experiments show that on-time delivery performance can be significantly improved by increasing the level of visibility.
Van Quaquebeke, Niels and Anja Schmerling (2010): Kognitive Gleichstellung: Wie die bloße Abbildung bekannter weiblicher und männlicher Führungskräfte unser implizites Denken zu Führung beeinflusst, Zeitschrift für Arbeits-und Organisationspsychologie, 54 (3): 91-104.
Abstract: Beim Erklimmen der Karriereleiter haben Frauen nach wie vor viele Hürden zu überwinden. Zur Erklärung einiger dieser Hürden verweist die Forschung auf Arbeiten zu impliziten Führungstheorien. Diese zeigen, dass bei den meisten Personen die Konzepte „Frau“ und „Führung“ schlechter kognitiv miteinander assoziiert sind als die Konzepte „Mann“ und „Führung“. Als Konsequenz, so der Schluss dieser Arbeiten, fällt es Personen im Vergleich schwerer, Frauen als Führungskräfte zu kategorisieren und entsprechend auf diese zu reagieren. In der vorliegenden Arbeit wird untersucht, ob eine inkongruente Stimulation diesem diskriminierenden impliziten Assoziationsmuster entgegenwirken kann. Die Resultate unseres Experimentes mit einem Impliziten Assoziationstest (IAT; N = 77) zeigen, dass Probanden nach Vorlage von Bildern bekannter weiblicher Führungskräfte Frauen ähnlich schnell mit Führung assoziieren können wie Männer. Dieser Effekt trat allerdings stärker bei den Teilnehmerinnen auf, während bei den Teilnehmern keine signifikante Veränderung in der Reaktionszeit gefunden wurde. Hierauf aufbauend diskutieren wir, welche Rolle Bilder im Rahmen von organisationalen Gleichstellungsbestrebungen, beispielsweise als Teil der Unternehmenskommunikation, einnehmen können.
McKinnon, Alan C. (2010): Green logistics: the carbon agenda, LogForum 6, 3, 1.
Abstract: This paper presents a framework for the decarbonisation of their logistical activities based on five key freight transport parameters: freight transport intensity, modal split, vehicle utilization, energy efficiency and the carbon intensity of the energy used in logistics. It examines the potential to cut GHG emissions by altering each of these parameters. Consideration is also given to the decarbonisation of warehousing operations. It is concluded that many of the GHG reduction measures will also yield financial benefit. The decarbonisation of other sectors of the economy may, however, generate greater demand for logistics services.
Baur, Dirk G. (2010): Stock-bond co-movements and cross-country linkages, International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, 2 (2): 111-129.
Abstract: This study analyses the correlation of stock and bond indices for eight developed countries. We compare a country's stock-bond linkages with cross-country linkages and find that the former exhibit a negative trend in contrast to the positive trend observed for cross-country stock market and bond market linkages. We show that the decline of the stock-bond correlation in recent years can be explained with a more frequent portfolio rebalancing of investors due to the globalisation of securities markets and implied lower international diversification benefits across similar asset classes. A test for temporal commonalities of changes in cross-country and stock-bond linkages indicates that flight-to-quality from stocks to bonds and cross-country stock market contagion occurs simultaneously.
Boulaksil, Youssef, Martin Grunow and Jan C. Fransoo (2010): Capacity flexibility allocation in an outsourced supply chain with reservation, International Journal of Production Economics, 129 (1): 111-118.
Abstract: We consider a contract manufacturer that serves a limited number of outsourcers (customers) on a single capacitated production line. The outsourcers have different levels of demand uncertainty and the contract manufacturer faces the question how to allocate the contractual capacity flexibility in an optimal way. The contractual capacity flexibility is a contract parameter that sets the amount of demand the contract manufacturer is obliged to accept from the outsourcers. We develop a hierarchical model that consists of two decision levels. At the tactical level, the contract manufacturer allocates the capacity flexibility to the different outsourcers by maximizing the expected profit. Offering more flexibility to the more uncertain outsourcer generates higher expected revenue, but also increases the expected penalty costs. The allocated capacity flexibilities (determined at the tactical level) are input parameters to the lower decision level, where the operational planning decisions are made and actual demands are observed. We perform a numerical study by solving the two-level hierarchical planning problem iteratively. We first solve the higher level problem, which has been formulated as an integer program, and then perform a simulation study, where we solve a mathematical programming model in a rolling horizon setting to measure the operational performance of the system. The simulation results reveal that when the acceptance decision is made (given the allocated capacity flexibility decision), priority is given to the less uncertain outsourcer, whereas when the orders are placed, priority is given to the most uncertain outsourcer. Our insights are helpful for contract manufacturers when having contract negotiations with the outsourcers. Moreover, we show that hierarchical integration and anticipation are required, especially for cases with high penalty cost and tight capacities.
Fernie, John, Leigh Sparks and Alan C. McKinnon (2010): Retail logistics in the UK: past, present and future, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 38 (11/12): 894-914.
Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the logistical transformation of British retailing over the last three decades and discusses the likely challenges that logistics managers will face in the future. It shows how large British retailers seized control of the supply chain and have used logistics as a competitive differentiator. Examples are drawn from the grocery and fashion clothing sectors. Future challenges will include configuring logistical systems to multi-channel retailing, reducing the carbon intensity of retail supply chains and exploiting major advances in ICT.
Donselaar, Karel H. van, Vishal Gaur, Tom van Woensel, Rob A.C.M. Broekmeulen and Jan C. Fransoo (2010): Ordering behavior in retail stores and implications for automated replenishment, Management Science, 56 (5): 766-784.
Abstract: Retail store managers may not follow order advices generated by an automated inventory replenishment system if their incentives differ from the cost minimization objective of the system or if they perceive the system to be suboptimal. We study the ordering behavior of retail store managers in a supermarket chain to characterize such deviations in ordering behavior, investigate their potential drivers, and thereby devise a method to improve automated replenishment systems. Using orders, shipments, and point-of-sale data for 19,417 item–store combinations over five stores, we show that (i) store managers consistently modify automated order advices by advancing orders from peak to nonpeak days, and (ii) this behavior is explained significantly by product characteristics such as case pack size relative to average demand per item, net shelf space, product variety, demand uncertainty, and seasonality error. Our regression results suggest that store managers improve upon the automated replenishment system by incorporating two ignored factors: in-store handling costs and sales improvement potential through better in-stock. Based on these results, we construct a method to modify automated order advices by learning from the behavior of store managers. Motivated by the management coefficients theory, our method is efficient to implement and outperforms store managers by achieving a more balanced handling workload with similar average days of inventory.
Himme, Alexander (2010): Cost Management Projects in Germany, Journal of Cost Management, 24 (1): 24-32.
Abstract: This paper comprises the results of an empirical study on the use of project management standards in German and Swiss enterprises. This research points out the expectations, the realized benefits and – more importantly – the major differences between them. For this purpose, it compares ex-ante expectations of their respective users and compares them in turn with ex-post realised benefits. The results of the study are based on the statements made by 234 participants in an online survey conducted in 2006. Generally, standards are only rarely used in project management in Germany and Switzerland. And if standards are indeed used, they are rarely used “as is”; in fact they are usually modified or adapted before application. Moreover, it can be observed that most participants expect consistent communication in the projects and better process quality to be the primary benefits of standards. However, it is often impossible to realize expected benefits. Benefits are offset by deficiencies, such as the lack of acceptance, administrational overheads and associated costs. Based on the results of this study, recommendations for standard-giving organizations and standard-applying organizations are put forward.
Barrot, Christian, Sönke Albers, Bernd Skiera and Björn Schäfers (2010): Vickrey vs. ebay: Why second-price sealed-bid auctions lead to more realistic price-demand functions, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 14 (4): 7-38.
Abstract: Knowledge of consumers' willingness-to-pay (WTP) is critical for marketing managers when designing optimal pricing policies. The large-scale applicability, reliability, and validity of Vickrey auctions as an incentive-compatible method for eliciting WTP in a real-world setting were tested empirically. The results of 6,548 sealed bids in 28 auctions of costly durables on a popular auction Web site show that regular on-line shoppers have little problem understanding and applying the Vickrey auction bidding strategy. As a result, Vickrey auctions can easily produce a reliable and valid distribution of WTP based on several thousand consumers. A comparison of Vickrey auctions with the more commonly used English or eBay auctions shows, both conceptually and empirically, that the latter formats do not fully reflect the complete range of potential customers' WTP and, therefore, lead to systematic overestimation of price-demand functions. In contrast, WTP information elicited through Vickrey auctions is undistorted by strategic behavior such as bid-sniping and incorporates the full range of WTP information, suggesting that it is better suited for estimating realistic price-demand functions for market research purposes.
Sonntag, Mirko, Katharina Gorlach, Dimka Karastoyanova, Frank Leymann and Michael Reiter (2010): Process space-based scientific workflow enactment, International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management, 5 (1): 32-44.
Abstract: In the scientific field, workflow technology is often employed to conduct computer simulations or computer supported experiments. The underlying IT infrastructure typically comprises resources distributed among different institutes and organisations all over the world. Traditionally, workflows are executed on a single machine while the invoked software is accessed remotely. This approach imposes many drawbacks which are outlined in this paper. To address these weaknesses, we investigate the application of decentralised workflow enactment in the scientific domain. In this context, we explore the employment of process spaces, a middleware for the decentralised execution of workflows. Furthermore, we propose the combination of process spaces with the concept of data references to increase the overall performance of distributed simulations based on workflows. The considerations are discussed with the help of a scenario that calculates and visualises the ink diffusion in water over a period of time.
Moscoso, Philip G., Jan C. Fransoo and Dieter Fischer (2010): An empirical study on reducing planning instability in hierarchical planning systems, Production Planning & Control : The Management of Operations, 21 (4): 413-426.
Abstract: Abstract The aim of this article is to contribute empirically to the theory development on planning instabilities in industrial practice by studying in depth an industrial company which has difficulty in meeting its customer deadlines and faces a significant order backlog. Planners at the various levels of the hierarchical planning system and order chasers on the shop floor end up rescheduling open orders and updating (de facto) lead times very frequently when trying to meet deadlines, but eventually are not able to improve order fulfilment. Only after the introduction of an advanced planning system (APS) and centralisation of planning decisions in one single department, planning results could be improved significantly, accomplishing 97% of customer due dates and reducing order backlog drastically. These kinds of planning instabilities have received considerable attention due to their negative impact on planning performance; however, research has been limited to theoretical (e.g. simulation) settings and has focused on specific ways to overcome instabilities. Our main contribution is an empirical investigation of the underlying mechanism of such planning instabilities, with a particular focus on the impact on stability of human and organisational factors. Our findings clearly suggest that structure and frequency significantly influence stability, but that the underlying mechanisms are more subtle and differentiated than assumed in the modelling literature. A further contribution of the article to theory development is the introduction of the general term ’planning bullwhip’ for such kind of planning instabilities, by integrating in an aggregate manner the different terminologies that have been coined in extant research.