An Investigation of the link between Supply Chain Resilience & Relationship Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic: From Buyer's Perspective

Jesper Vemming & Anders Bay Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The global supply chains have suffered tremendously due to the disruptive forces of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This has had researchers and practitioners alike gaze towards supply chain resilience as a part of the answer for meeting disruptions. The purpose of this thesis is to study the link between supply chain resilience and supplier relationship management in dealing with disruptions using the theories of the relational view developed by Dyer and Singh (1998), the supply relationship evaluation approach by Johnsen (2008), and the supply chain resilience indicators by Singh et al. (2019). The authors aim to contribute to the supply chain management literature answering the following Research Question (RQ): RQ: How is supplier relationship management linked to supply chains resilience in meeting disruptions? The authors conducted a multi-site ethnographic study involving 16 industry experts from companies in several different industries located in Denmark. The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with members of the firms, which are directly related to the procurement function to support the validity of arguments developed. The interviews were developed to address the theoretical frameworks of the relational view proposed by Dyer & Singh (1998) and Johnsen (2008) and link the definitions of supply chain resilience to empirical literature, and lastly to contextualize the COVID-19 situation to corroborate with previous literature. The empirical research suggests links between important elements of supply chain resilience and supplier relationship management such as informal and formal safeguards, reciprocity, flexibility, agility, adaptability, and redundancy which shows the importance of building strategic relationships with suppliers. Additionally, the paper found that collaboration is central in meeting disruptions linking supply chain resilience and supplier relationship management. In conclusion, this paper helps practitioners see the importance of integrating supply chain resilience principles within supplier relationship management to meet disruption. This paper provides theoretical implications by filling a gap between supply chain resilience and supplier relationship management literature. The authors provide suggestions for future research.

EducationsMSc in Supply Chain Management , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2022
Number of pages118
SupervisorsPhilip Beske-Janssen