Bridging the supply chain resilience research and practice gaps: pre and post COVID-19 perspectives

Piyal Sarkar, Mohamed Wahab Mohamed Ismail, Timur Tkachev

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all business sectors have critical needs. They face multiple challenges to restructuring their operations to build a resilient, cost-effective and sustainable supply chain. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the practice and the research gaps related to supply chains. Design/methodology/approach: This research paper is influenced by a literature review of the past decade. This review paper incorporates industry challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including future steps toward developing resilient supply chains in the new normal economy. The research provides a detailed framework for designing cost-effective survivable supply chains that withstand disruptions for the long term. Findings: The proposed research focuses on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains and attempts to bridge pre and post COVID-19 research and practice gaps. Post-COVID-19 resilient supply chains need to be transformed into survivable supply chains. The survivability of the supply chain can be achieved by combining both supply chain resilience and supply chain viability measures. To the best of the authors’ belief, this is the first study that grounds a theory to provide interconnection of five critical supply chain concepts to manage supply chain risk. This study is uniquely positioned to develop a theoretical framework to design a cost-effective, resilient and sustainable supply chain by establishing the interconnection among these concepts in supply chains. This framework helps practitioners to implement the key strategies at the operational, tactical and strategic levels that enhance maturity in supply chains. Research limitations/implications: The research findings are based on secondary reports such as industry reports, cases, research papers and expert opinions. The authors tried to consult with many companies. However, they were reluctant to share the recovery plan information from COVID. Also, as COVID still exists in many places in Canada, the authors could not gather every intended information from the companies. However, the authors have successfully shared the outcomes of this research with a reputed retail company in Canada. They recognized the importance of survivability in supply chains. Going forward, business organizations need to design cost-effective, sustainable and survivable supply chains. Originality/value: The study attempts to unify current research dealing with supply chain resilience. The study concludes with the limitations of the current research. It highlights the prospects of future research and bridges the supply chain practice gaps from the challenges faced by industries due to COVID-19. The study contributes to the literature by identifying gaps to bridge the supply chain practice and reiterating new research directions to develop a cost-effective, survivable and sustainable supply chain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-627
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 5 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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