Supply chain resilience in the global financial crisis: an empirical study

Uta Jüttner (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Stan Maklan (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Publication date: 21 June 2011



The objective of this paper is to conceptualise supply chain resilience (SCRES) and to identify and explore empirically its relationship with the related concepts of supply chain vulnerability (SCV) and supply chain risk management (SCRM).


From a review of the literature the conceptual domain of SCRES is defined and the proposed relationships with SCRM and SCV are derived. Data from a longitudinal case study with three supply chains are presented to explore the relationship between the concepts in the context of the global financial crisis.


The empirical data provide support for a positive impact of supply chain risk (SCR) effect and knowledge management on SCRES and from SCRES on SCV. SCR effect and knowledge management seem to enhance the SCRES by improving the flexibility, visibility, velocity and collaboration capabilities of the supply chain. Thereby, they decrease the SCV in a disruptive risk event. The positive effects manifest themselves in upstream supplier networks of supply chains as well as in distribution channels to the customers.

Research limitations/implications

The recession caused by the financial crisis has illustrated the importance of SCRES in today's interdependent global economy vividly. However, the concept is still in its infancy and has not received the same attention as its counterparts SCRM and SCV. The study confirms the benefit of resilient supply chains and outlines future research needs.

Practical implications

The paper identifies which supply chain capabilities can support the containment of disruptions and how these capabilities can be supported by effective SCRM.


To date, there has been no empirical study which has investigated supply chain resilience in a disruptive global event.



Jüttner, U. and Maklan, S. (2011), "Supply chain resilience in the global financial crisis: an empirical study", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 246-259.

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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