Original Research

Supply chain disruption propagation: A study of South African fast-moving consumer goods food and beverage manufacturers

Tristan Ermes, Neil Henderson, Zuni Staude, Wesley Niemann
Acta Commercii | Vol 22, No 1 | a1026 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v22i1.1026 | © 2022 Tristan Ermes, Neil Henderson, Zuni Staude, Wesley Niemann | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 March 2022 | Published: 27 June 2022

About the author(s)

Tristan Ermes, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Neil Henderson, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Zuni Staude, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Wesley Niemann, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Supply chain disruptions have been the subject of substantial theoretical exploration, resulting from the organisational need to enable understanding and appropriate responses to increasingly frequent and severe disruptive events.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that influence disruption propagation in the South African fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) food and beverage manufacturing sector.

Motivation for the study: Whilst disruption propagation can cause notable damage to a supply chain, little research exists on the underlying factors that cause disruptions to spread.

Research design, approach and method: The study employed a generic qualitative design. Seventeen semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data from senior managers working in the South African FMCG food and beverage manufacturing sector. A thematic analysis approach was followed to analyse the collected data.

Main findings: This study identified silo thinking, counterparty risk and staffing as factors that cause disruption propagation. Furthermore, the findings indicate that collaboration allows for a quicker response to disruptions because of the increased visibility that decreases disruption propagation, whilst high levels of dependency contribute to disruption propagation. However, this study found that in certain situations, a high level of dependency can be beneficial and decrease disruption propagation.

Practical/managerial implications: The study offers managers insight into the nature of supply chain disruption propagation. Managers should revise and adapt disruption mitigation strategies to prevent disruption from spreading by understanding the nature of collaboration and the implications of high levels of relationship dependency.

Contribution/value-add: The study identified the factors and circumstances causing supply chain disruption propagation in the South African FMCG food and beverage sector.


Keywords

disruption propagation; supply chain collaboration; supply chain dependency fast-moving consumer goods food and beverage manufacturing industry; generic qualitative research; South Africa

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