The purpose of this paper is to explore resources or capabilities that enable medium-sized firms to be resilient, namely, to avoid and recover from supply chain disruptions.
A case-study method is employed with four medium-sized manufacturing firms headquartered in the USA that have global supply chains. Data are collected from semi-structured interviews with key informants from diverse functions and managerial levels, archival documents, observation and a resilience assessment.
Internal social capital emerged as a resilience-enhancing resource, comprising: structural capital grounded in small network size, geographical proximity among decision makers and low hierarchy; relational capital grounded in close relationships, commitment and respect; and cognitive capital grounded in long employee tenure.
This is the first paper in the supply chain management literature to examine the resilience of medium-sized firms, an under-researched context. It is also the first paper to introduce internal social capital as a resilience-enhancing resource. Hence, this is among the few papers to propose a resilience-enhancing resource rooted not in a firm’s supply chain operations but its human resources. This paper, moreover, identifies several facets of internal social capital within medium-sized firms. Finally, the paper makes several managerial contributions.
The authors are grateful to the special issue editors and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions, which significantly improved the paper. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the National Center for the Middle Market.
Polyviou, M., Croxton, K. and Knemeyer, A. (2019), "Resilience of medium-sized firms to supply chain disruptions: the role of internal social capital", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 68-91. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-09-2017-0530Download as .RIS
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