Supply chain management in times of crisis: a systematic review

Christopher M. Durugbo*, Zainab Al-Balushi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Complexities of crises force supply chains managers to formulate crisis-induced strategies, which contrast with the conventional strategies that give precedence to competitive priorities. Recent crises, such as the coronavirus outbreaks, large-scale product recalls, and financial crises, underscore the increasing regularity and severity of crises with imperatives for introspective and retrospective socio-economic insights on the contexts, priorities, and themes of supply chain management in times of crisis. The purpose of this article is to review the literature on supply chain management in times of crisis, systematically coalescing the related body of scholarly work; outlining current methods applied by researchers; capturing strategic priorities and themes of complexities in research studies; and highlighting potentials for future studies. Using a systematic review of 250 journal articles published between 1996 and 2021, the review finds four dimensions for restorative priorities that reflect operations strategy during crisis: (i) critical supplies with essential services, (ii) timely response with recovery, (iii) safety with security, and (iv) traceability with transparency. The review also finds that operational complexities during crises originate from network configurations and business cycle complexities, optimal selections and provisioning system complexes, and complex learning processes and demand predictions. Insights from the review aid in the proposal of build-to-cycle, organic capabilities, and operational mindfulness framings for supply chain management in times of crisis. The article concludes by recommending future research studies on supply chain upgrades, diagnosis, solidarity, mapping, temporariness, and thresholds, as well as optimal selection problems on linking crisis systems investments with liabilities and on linking crisis network allotments with cross-functionalities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Review Quarterly
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Complexity
  • Crisis
  • Operations strategy
  • Supply chain management
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management

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