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Supply chain resilience: a dynamic and multidimensional approach

Henry Adobor (Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, School of Business, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA)
Ronald S. McMullen (Department of Management, School of Business, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 13 July 2018

Issue publication date: 26 October 2018




The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework on resilience types in supply chain networks.


Using a complex adaptive systems perspective as an organizing framework, the paper explores three forms of resilience: engineering, ecological and evolutionary and their antecedents and links these to four phases of supply chain resilience (SCRES): readiness, response, recovery, growth and renewal.


Resilient supply chains need all three forms of resilience. Efficiency and system optimization approaches may promote quick recovery after a disruption. However, system-level response requires adaptive capabilities and transformational behaviors may be needed to move supply chains to new fitness levels after a disruption. The three resilience types discussed are not mutually exclusive, but rather complement each other and there are synergies and tradeoffs among these resilience types.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical validation of the theoretical propositions will open up new vistas for supply chain research. Possibilities exist for analyzing and assessing SCRES in multiple and more comprehensive ways.

Practical implications

The findings of the research can help managers refine their approaches to managing supply chain networks. A more balanced approach to supply chain management can reduce the risks and vulnerabilities associated with supply chain disruptions.


This study is unique as it conceptualizes SCRES in multiple ways, thereby extending our understanding of supply chain stability.



Adobor, H. and McMullen, R.S. (2018), "Supply chain resilience: a dynamic and multidimensional approach", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 1451-1471.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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