The Development of Supply Chain Risk Management Over Time: Revisiting Ericsson

Andreas Norrman*, Andreas Wieland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Purpose: This invited article explores current developments in supply chain risk management (SCRM) practices by revisiting the classical case of Ericsson (Norrman and Jansson, 2004) after 15 years, and updating its case description and analysis of its organizational structure, processes and tools for SCRM. Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory case study is conducted with a longitudinal focus, aiming to understand both proactive and reactive SCRM practices using a holistic perspective of a real-life example. Findings: The study demonstrates how Ericsson's SCRM practices have developed, indicating that improved functional capabilities are increasingly combined across silos and leveraged by formalized learning processes. Important enablers are IT capabilities, a fine-grained and cross-functional organization, and a focus on monitoring and compliance. Major developments in SCRM are often triggered by incidents, but also by requirements from external stakeholders and new corporate leaders actively focusing on SCRM and related activities. Research limitations/implications: Relevant areas for future research are proposed, thereby increasing the knowledge of how companies can develop SCRM practices and capabilities further. Practical implications: Being one of few in-depth holistic case studies of SCRM, decision-makers can learn about many practices and tools. Of special interest is the detailed description of how Ericsson reactively responded to the Fukushima incident (2011), and how it proactively engaged in monitoring and assessment activities. It is also exemplified how SCRM practices could continuously be developed to make them “stick” to the organization, even in stable times. Originality/value: This is one of the first case studies to delve deeper into the development of SCRM practices through taking a longitudinal approach.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)641-666
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Capabilities
  • Ericsson
  • Longitudinal
  • Proactive
  • Reactive
  • Resilience
  • Risk monitoring
  • Supply chain risk management

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