Keywords: culture, functionalism, organisation design, organisational risk, automotive supply chains, automotive industry, supply chain management, SCM, case studies, risk assessment, risk management, design for uncertainty
Risk in supply chains: exploratory case studies in the automotive industry
The development of managed supply chains has become a significant feature of inter-organisational modes of working. Risk in supply chain studies has mostly been considered from normative and functionalist perspectives (e.g. Applequist et al., 2000; Brindley, 2004; Christopher, 2001; Thonemann and Bradley, 2001). There have been few reported studies based on cases (Andersson and Norrman, 2004; Themistocleous et al., 2004), which have been designed to examine organisational processes. The exploratory research reported here was designed to add to the empirical knowledge of risk in supply chains through two case studies of Tier 1 suppliers in automotive supply chains. Risk in these supply chain cases was considered for both relationship and performance risks, as an aspect of organisational design for uncertainty (Galbraith, 1973), while a managerial perception and social construction perspective lead to an understanding of organisational risk stances (Adams, 1995).