From core triggers and contributory factors towards generative mechanisms: The unknown unknowns of supply chain disruptions
Övrigt konferensbidrag, 2011

The aim of this paper is to conceptualise factors that help managers to address the so-called ‘unknown unknowns’ of supply chain disruptions. Categories of contributory factors are developed and explained with reference to actual events, and broken further down into generative mechanisms. The causal explanation provided suggests that generative mechanisms do shape the discrete event (disruption) that leads to the impact (loss) observed by e.g. managers and news media. A number of actual disruptive events that can be associated with ‘supply chains’ are analysed through a heuristic, interpretive approach. As results, a set of four potential generative mechanisms is proposed: 1. Emerging vs. immediate disruptions, i.e. unknowns explained in terms of passing of time. 2. Elements of a causal power that reside in supply chain strategies. 3. Network effects, and 4. Inter-relationships of contributory factors (or ‘competing risks’). Implications for further research and practice are proposed.

contributory factors


supply chain disruptions


causal power


Arni Halldorsson

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Logistik och transport

Proceedings of the 2011 Logistics Research Network conference


Annan maskinteknik




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