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Supply chain vulnerability: contributions from an edifying case study

Salomée Ruel (Department of Strategy, La Rochelle Business School – Excelia Group, La Rochelle, France) (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Appliquées à la Gestion, Grenoble, France)
Sabry Shaaban (Department of Strategy, La Rochelle Business School – Excelia Group, La Rochelle, France)
Margaux Ducros (La Rochelle Business School – Excelia Group, La Rochelle, France)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 16 April 2019

Issue publication date: 16 April 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Companies today observe an increase in the complexity and vulnerability of their supply chains (SCs) as a result of global scale networks and a turbulent environment. The purpose of this paper is to explore knowledge management (KM) as a potential way of reducing SC vulnerability and answer the following question: how does inter-organisational KM influence efforts to reduce SC vulnerability?

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the resource-based view and the knowledge-based view (KBV), a single case study in the energy industry is conducted by collecting various data through interviews, observations and internal documents.

Findings

This edifying case study indicates that a lack of KM hinders any attempt to mitigate SC vulnerability.

Research limitations/implications

This research shows several limitations such as data privacy, generalisation and the decision to study an atypical SC.

Practical implications

The paper points out in a dedicated section the key actions a company should take in order to develop the required characteristics of knowledge expressed in the KBV.

Originality/value

This is the first qualitative research that investigates the relationships between SC vulnerability and KM, and more particularly in a recycling context where a strong research gap exists.

Keywords

Citation

Ruel, S., Shaaban, S. and Ducros, M. (2019), "Supply chain vulnerability: contributions from an edifying case study", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 214-232. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEIM-05-2018-0086

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited