Disruptions and supply networks: a multi-level, multi-theoretical relational perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for the analysis of supply network disruptions and present a number of propositions to define a future research agenda. In doing so, it draws on a review of the literature regarding supply chain disruptions; relationship formation and evolution; and network formation and evolution.
Design/methodology/approach - The literature review combined traditional contextual analysis with citation analysis and co-citation, assuming a multi-level, multi-theoretical perspective.
Findings - The findings highlight a paucity of empirical research regarding supply chain disruptions assuming a network perspective, highlighting the dynamic nature of networks and emphasising the difference between supply chain disturbance and disruption.
Research limitations/implications - The paper stops short of testing specific hypotheses, providing a conceptual framework and a series of propositions from which testable hypotheses can be developed. The necessity of assuming a dynamic, multi-level, multi-theoretical perspective highlights the difficulties of empirical research in this area. However, the significance of understanding the network context of disruption and its connection to the securing of appropriate responses and ultimately reasonable mitigation is unavoidable.
Practical implications - The ability to understand the implications of network structure and network relational dynamics in the context of disruption will enable managers to respond appropriately to disruptive supply chain events. This capability will assume increasing importance in the vulnerable and sensitive global economy.
Originality value - The paper's specific consideration of disruption (as opposed to disturbance), and the necessitated speed of response leads to the development of several disruption-specific propositions and the development of a new research agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-126
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Supply chain management


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