Title: Global supply chain risk management: a socio-technical perspective

Authors: Biao Yang, Kiran Jude Fernandes

Addresses: The York Management School, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK. ' The York Management School, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK

Abstract: With the globalisation of markets and operations, companies are faced with increased risks in their supply chains. While the literature offers a large set of practices, guidelines and concepts for mitigating supply chain risks, implementing such strategies as adding buffers and building flexibility is a costly endeavour. Also, effective supply chain risk management is not only about adopting a wide range of best practices, but also finding the right mix of practices which fits the available resources. This paper attempts to examine the appropriateness of global supply chain risk mitigation strategies from a socio-technical perspective. After a literature review, it first draws insights from normal accident theory (NAT) developed in a socio-technical system and then relates it to global supply chain disruptions. The complexity implications of a global supply chain are further discussed. This is followed by the managerial and research implications derived from this research. The paper concludes with some recommendations for future research.

Keywords: global SCM; supply chain management; risk management; buffers; flexibility; resource availability; socio-technical strategies; complexity; normal accident theory; supply disruptions; business environment; globalisation; globalization; competitiveness.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2010.032717

International Journal of Business Environment, 2010 Vol.3 No.2, pp.240 - 249

Published online: 15 Apr 2010 *

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