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Leveraging customer benevolence for resilience: a supplier perspective

Anto Verghese (Department of IT & Supply Chain Management, University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA)
Xenophon Koufteros (Department of Information and Operations Management, Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas, USA)
Baofeng Huo (School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 18 June 2019

Issue publication date: 30 August 2019




With more than half of customer-experienced disruptions attributed to first-tier suppliers, supplier resilience (SRES) is fundamental to the resilience of the supply chain. However, little is known about the relational aspects that engender SRES, from the purview of the supplier. The purpose of this paper is to examine the explanatory role of suppliers’ relationship commitment dimensions (i.e. affective and continuance), which may foster SRES through customer benevolence. Moreover, the impact of customer benevolence on SRES is examined considering varying levels of industry dynamism.


Survey data from 207 manufacturing firms are utilized to test the hypotheses taking potential endogeneity issues into consideration.


Affective and continuance commitment induce customer benevolence, which furthers SRES. Specifically, affective commitment is the most potent approach to induce customer benevolence, while the dampening effect of industry dynamism is more palpable at the higher levels of industry dynamism.

Research limitations/implications

This study did not account for specific disruption types and the contingent effects of power asymmetry.

Practical implications

This study empirically demonstrates that suppliers can leverage customer benevolence via relationship commitment to achieve SRES. However, the efficacy of customer benevolence to engender SRES is limited to environments not characterized by high levels of industry dynamism.


This paper highlights the role of relational mechanisms in achieving resilience from the purview of a supplier using survey data.



Verghese, A., Koufteros, X. and Huo, B. (2019), "Leveraging customer benevolence for resilience: a supplier perspective", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 49 No. 7, pp. 727-748.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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