Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide groundwork for an emerging theory of supply chain robustness – which has been conceptualized as a dimension of supply chain resilience – through reviewing and synthesizing related yet disconnected studies. The paper develops a formal definition of supply chain robustness to build a framework that captures the dimensions, antecedents and moderators of the construct as discussed in the literature. Design/methodology/approach – The authors apply a systematic literature review approach. In order to reduce researcher bias, they involve a team of academics, librarians and managers. Findings – The paper first, provides a formal definition of supply chain robustness; second, builds a theoretical framework of supply chain robustness that augments both causal and descriptive knowledge; third,shows how findings in this review support practice; and fourth,reveals methodological insights on the use of journal rankings in reviews. Research limitations/implications – At this stage, managers may benefit from seeing these relationships as clues derived from the literature. The paper is fundamentally a call for researchers to conduct quantitative testing of such relationships to derive more reliable understanding and practical applications. Practical implications – Rather than presenting empirical findings, this paper reveals to managers that visibility, risk management orientation and reduced network complexity have been the main predictive antecedents of supply chain robustness (as discussed in the academic literature). This provides a potentially important signal as to where to invest resources. Originality/value – The study is the first to develop a formal definition of supply chain robustness and to establish a comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding the construct.
International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2015
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