Original Research

Internal supply chain integration during disruption recovery: A case study in the South African liquor industry

Ian Wolmarans, Wesley Niemann
Acta Commercii | Vol 23, No 1 | a1150 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v23i1.1150 | © 2023 Ian Wolmarans, Wesley Niemann | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 March 2023 | Published: 31 August 2023

About the author(s)

Ian Wolmarans, 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


Orientation: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) alcohol sale prohibitions have significantly impacted the South African liquor industry. This act of government halted the supply chain flow of both locally produced and imported products during this period. Both internal and external supply chain integration (SCI) became essential to ensure a rapid response to disruption recovery strategies.

Purpose: The purpose of this study in the South African liquor industry was to explore the impact of and the role that internal SCI antecedents, mechanisms and measurement play during supply chain disruption recovery using information processing theory as a lens.

Motivation for the study: Internal SCI has shown to improve performance and dependability during non-disrupted periods, but the influence of internal integration during a disruption period has yet to be determined.

Research design, approach and method: A single case study design was employed. Data were collected through 15 semi-structured interviews with executive and senior managers across the case organisation’s supply chain. The collected data were analysed using a thematic analysis approach.

Main findings: Findings show that the antecedents of goal alignment, cross-functional awareness and a holistic management approach improved both the identification of and reaction to supply chain disruptions. During a disruption period, the recognised internal integration mechanisms have a threefold purpose: they collect information, eliminate information ambiguity and build recovery action plans. Although the most important internal integration measurement during disruption recovery was identified as on-time in full, all of the indicated measurements serve as both an output measure and a disruption indicator.

Practical/managerial implications: The study bridges the gap between the importance of information flow both during internal integration and disruption recovery and how internal integration implementation assists with disruption recovery.

Contribution/value add: The study introduces a framework to explain the interconnectivity between internal integration and disruption recovery.


internal supply chain integration; supply chain disruption recovery; antecedents; mechanisms; measurements; liquor industry; single case study; South Africa.

JEL Codes

L14: Transactional Relationships • Contracts and Reputation • Networks; M00: General; M11: Production Management

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production


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