Purpose: The dynamic nature of uncertainty sources in regional operations represents supply chain management (SCM) imperatives to review uncertainty management frameworks on an ongoing basis with a view to identifying and prioritising critical indices of uncertainty for effective SCM. The purpose of this study is to identify the critical indices of uncertainty for regional supply chains and analyse how SCM practitioners perceive uncertainty. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents a Delphi-based study with a panel of 70 SCM experts from the Sultanate of Oman in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. It applies three rounds of a Delphi exercise to identify, select and prioritise the critical indices of supply chain uncertainty perceived by panel experts. The thematic analysis also provides theorisations on the process for uncertainty perception and factors shaping perception. Findings: A total of 39 uncertainty indices were identified from demand, supply, manufacturing, control, technology, competitive, project, transport and geological sources. The Delphi selection round captured the top 12 indices of experts. The research found an accumulative–aggregative duality that explains uncertainty perception and a cost–conformance–connection triadic set of factors underlying the perceived critical indices. Project uncertainty produced the top-ranked index in the final Delphi round. Originality/value: This paper makes three main contributions. First, it offers a bottom-up based insight into supply chain uncertainty using the Delphi-based study and from a GCC perspective. Second, the research is unique in its focus on Oman and, third, it is of value for the international operations of GCC companies and for international firms with intentions of expanding, moving or outsourcing their operations to a GCC country such as Oman.
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