Two Perspectives on Supply Chain Resilience

Andreas Wieland*, Christian F. Durach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

54 Downloads (Pure)


More than a decade ago, other fields started to challenge the equilibrium‐focused meaning of resilience. They suggested that resilience does not just relate to the ability of a system to “bounce back” after an impeding event, but also to the capacity to adapt and transform. The operations and supply chain management literature remains surprisingly disconnected from these debates. This essay sets out to further our theoretical knowledge of what resilience means (or means to others) by disentangling two prominent perspectives of resilience—engineering resilience and social‐ecological resilience—and offering an updated definition of supply chain resilience. We integrate and discuss these perspectives in the context of our understanding of the supply chain as a system. The goal is to outline the potential links and inconsistencies of these perspectives with supply chain management (SCM). From there, we seek to develop a more comprehensive understanding of what resilience means in SCM. Supply chain resilience is then no longer understood in terms of stability, but in terms of adaptation and transformation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Logistics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: 04 March 2021.


  • Adaptation
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Supply chain resilience
  • Transformation

Cite this