Supply Chain Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Technology in Society

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The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged supply chains more seriously challenged than ever before. During this prolonged global health crisis, supply chain managers were forced to rely primarily on solutions developed for limited and foreseeable crises. This study aimed to understand how well existing solutions facilitated supply chain resilience in the UK perishable goods market. Consistent with this aim, we developed a research model based on the supply chain resilience literature and tested it with covariance-based structural equation modelling. Data were collected from 282 retail employees. Supply chain velocity was the preferred measure of resilience. The findings demonstrate that pandemic-related disruptions have affected resilience-building activities. While both proactive and reactive approaches have promoted resilience building during the pandemic, they have not been sufficient to ameliorate all the pandemic’s negative effects. Innovation featured as the most effective factor, followed by robustness, empowerment, and risk management via reduced risk. The effect of firm size was significant only on supply chain risk management, with larger companies more efficiently applying risk management practices. The results emphasise the importance of innovation for supply chain resilience. Regardless of firm size, innovation works for every company. Empowerment is another costless and effective tool. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that innovation and empowerment can help organisations to manage their supply chains effectively during crises. Companies can strengthen their supply chain resilience by developing strong relationships with their supplier and employees.


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