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Panarchy-based transformative supply chain resilience: the role of supply chain capital

Vahid Mirzabeiki (Surrey Business School, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)
James Aitken (Surrey Business School, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 28 November 2022

Issue publication date: 31 January 2023




This paper aims to explain the role of supply chain capital (SCC) in developing transformative supply chain resilience (SCRes) to cope with environmental dynamism. Through a panarchy theory lens, this paper holistically examines how supply chains and their resilience are impacted by the multilevel structure in which they are embedded.


Contextualised explanation-building case studies are used to examine the transformative SCRes of 10 companies. Data were collected via interviews, documents, archival records and observations.


Studying transformative SCRes leads to generating insights into the application of SCC for managing environmental dynamisms at the organisational and supply chain levels. Furthermore, the linkages between different levels of the panarchy and their impact on the change in SCC to cope with the dynamisms are identified and explained.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes to the new and timely paradigm of transformative SCRes by studying this phenomenon in a holistic manner (rather than a traditional reductionistic view). Through a panarchy lens, the need to examine and analyse different hierarchy levels simultaneously to interpret SCRes responses to environmental dynamism is highlighted.

Practical implications

Valuable insights are provided to practitioners in developing an understanding of structural and relational SCC and their management in the development of transformative SCRes.


This paper is one of the first empirical studies using a multilevel social-ecological-based panarchy framework in the supply chain management context. Applying this novel approach is highly relevant and reveals several new research opportunities.



The authors would like to thank all the representatives from the case companies for sharing their insights and experiences with us. The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers of the paper and the team of guest editors of the special issue, particularly Dr. Andreas Wieland, for their constructive comments on the earlier versions of this manuscript.


Mirzabeiki, V. and Aitken, J. (2023), "Panarchy-based transformative supply chain resilience: the role of supply chain capital", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 99-139.



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