Supply Chain “Risk Management” Vs. “Vulnerability” Vs. “Resilience”

The issues of SC risk compel consideration of the correspondent notions of SC resilience and vulnerability (hereafter SCRES and SCV respectively). The study of SCRES and SCV is a developing territory within the topography of logistics and SC research. A report commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry in 2001 (Cranfield University School of Management) could now be regarded as the seed of a steadily broadening vine. The report (p. 2) defines SCV as “exposure to serious disturbances, arising from risks within the supply chain as well as risks external to the supply chain.” This definition indicates that its authors, like Mason-Jones and Towill (1999), split risk into two categories: internal and external. “Internal” concerns factors under direct management control (e.g. quality standards); “external” concerns events and conditions over which management has no control (e.g. natural disasters and sociopolitical events).

SCRM

Paulsson, in his systematic review (2004, p. 80) of SCRM literature defines SCRM as “to, collaboratively with partners in the supply chain or on your own, apply risk management process tools to deal with risks and uncertainties caused by, or impacting on, logistics related activities or resources in the supply chain.”[1]

Jüttner et al (2003, p. 201) define SCRM as “the identification of potential sources of risk and implementation of appropriate strategies through coordinated approach among supply chain risk members, to reduce supply chain vulnerability.”

To paraphrase Ponomarov and Holcomb (2009), SCRM focuses on the identification and management of risks, for the eradication of vulnerability (SCV). SCRES aims to develop the adaptive capability of SCs in preparation for impactful events and subsequent recovery.


[1] This is an enlargement of Norrman and Lindroth’s definition (2002, p. 7): supply chain risk management is to, collaboratively with partners in a supply chain, apply risk management process tools to deal with risks and uncertainties caused by, or impacting on, logistics related activities or resources.

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