Supply chain risk management : harnessing organisational culture to optimise the management of risks along the supply chain

Stolte, Terje

May 2014

Thesis or dissertation

© 2014 Terje Stolte. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Disruptions to supply chains, whether they are natural, accidental or intentional, are increasingly distorting supply chain performance. Given that such disruptions are unlikely to decrease in the short term, supply chain risk mitigating solutions will play an increasingly significant role in the management of supply chains.

The research acknowledges the existence of a wide range of approaches to mitigate risks across supply chains, yet argues that most approaches are not sustainable or effective if they are not supported by the culture of an organisation.

Whilst the areas of supply chain risk, risk mitigating strategies and organisational culture as topics, have been researched in great levels of depth, it has been identified that the relationship between all three areas and particularly the relationship between organisational culture and supply chain risk management has been largely ignored.

The research argues that the culture of an organisation can be harnessed strategically to enhance the effectiveness of risk management along the supply chain. As part of such approach, businesses need to create an environment in which supply chain risk management is a core facet of business activities and thus the mitigation of risks is more likely to develop naturally.

The thesis investigates the relationship between different organisational culture types and supply chain risk management, developing theoretical assertions, which outline how different organisational cultures can be harnessed to effectuate a change in supply chain risk management efficiency.

In pursuit of meeting the requirements of the research questions, four leading international organisations with different organisational cultures were researched. Data was collected by way of conducting semi-structured interviews, researcher observation, as well as additional documentation in various forms was collected. Interviews were transcribed and evaluated in conjunction with additional data that was collected during site visits and triangulated by means of researcher observation.

The thesis clearly identifies strong relationships between different organisational cultures and organisational approaches to risk management in the supply chain. Moreover, the research uncovers that some types of organisational cultures are more conducive to managing risks in the supply chain than others. Based on this, the study provides a detailed overview of how traits from different organisational cultures can be harnessed to effectuate a change in an organisation’s approach to risk and risk management in the supply chain.

Business School, The University of Hull
Mogre, Riccardo
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