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The impact of risk management on the frequency of supply chain disruptions: A configurational approach

Elena Revilla (Department of Operations Management, IE Business School, Madrid, Spain)
Maria Jesus Saenz (MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program, Zaragoza Logistics Center, Zaragoza, Spain)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to develop a taxonomy of how companies implement Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) in terms of two fundamental approaches: the first emerging from internal actions and operations within companies, and the other involving inter-organizational actions undertaken with external supply chain partners. This taxonomy aims to predict firms’ performance with regard to the frequency of supply chain disruption.


A cluster analysis of survey data from 908 firms representing 69 countries together with an analysis of variance.


The authors’ analysis demonstrates a clear structure of four different patterns of how companies manage supply chain risks: passive, internal, collaborative, and integral. The authors found that firms pursuing an inter-organizational orientation (collaborative and integral) face the lowest levels of supply chain disruption. On the contrary, strategies which simply concentrate on having greater control of internal operations are not vigorous enough to stop the cascade effect of a disruption at the supply chain level. Furthermore, the excellent performance of integral SCRM strategies also suggests that collaboration between buyers and suppliers ensures the efficacy of internal business continuity plans and security procedures.

Practical implications

Managers should play an active role in making sure that supply chain management and risk management disciplines evolve together. Obviously, when an exogenous event results in a supply chain disruption, a firm will try to put its operations under control through internal capabilities. But SCRM strategies designed proactively in advance with relevant partners are even more beneficial.


First, previous studies have limited the analysis of SCRM mainly to its reactive internal initiatives within a firm. This paper takes the SCRM literature beyond the internal focus by considering both internal and inter-organizational efforts and, more importantly, developing a single configurational model to analyze modes of interaction. Second, there is little empirical evidence showing the current situation of SCRM. Research in SCRM has been more qualitative than empirical, especially in global coverage. The research tackles this gap and, based on a broader scope of the samples the empirical findings show a higher level of generalizability.



Revilla, E. and Saenz, M.J. (2017), "The impact of risk management on the frequency of supply chain disruptions: A configurational approach", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 557-576.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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