• An assessment of supply chain vulnerabilities to dynamic disruptions in the pharmaceutical supply chain

      Yaroson, Emilia V.; Sharief, Karam; Shah, Awn; Breen, Liz (2018-09)
      Objective: The adverse impact of supply chain disruptions on the operational performance of supply chains have been suggested to emanate from its existing vulnerabilities. However, empirical studies regarding this proposition remain limited. This study provides empirical evidence of vulnerabilities in the face of dynamic disruptions in the pharmaceutical supply chain. This is geared at developing resilience strategies capable of curbing these forms of disruptions. Research Approach: In seeking to achieve the objective of this study, the mixed method research design in a longitudinal framework was adopted. It involved a two-step procedure where the study began by conducting semi-structured interviews with the downstream stakeholders of the pharmaceutical supply chain. Here the sampling method adopted was both purposive and snowballing. Data collected from this process was analysed using thematic analysis where key variables were coded for further analysis. Findings from the interviews were employed to construct close ended questionnaires. The questionnaires were administered online, approximately nine months after the first data collection process ended and analysed using various statistical techniques. Findings: The themes that emerged from the first phase of the data generation process were classified into five main pillars which include: supply chain characteristics, regulatory framework (schemas), imbalance of market power, managerial decisions and supply chain structures. These themes were further confirmed by the findings from the survey. The study finds that imbalance of market power generates negative welfare such as time consumption and stress on the downstream stakeholders of the pharmaceutical supply chain. In the same vein, dependence on suppliers and consumers in designing the supply chain exacerbates the impact of a dynamic disruption. The findings from the survey complement these pillars by identifying other vulnerabilities: price manipulation, inadequate policies, inefficient manufacturing processes as well as available training in handling these vulnerabilities. Originality/Value: By providing empirical evidence of the vulnerabilities within the pharmaceutical supply chain in the face of a dynamic disruption, this study extends operations management literature by highlighting vulnerability benchmarks against which resilience strategies can be employed in dynamic disruptive scenarios. The innovative aspect of this research is the ability to identify the vulnerabilities peculiar to the pharmaceutical supply chain which is required in order to successfully develop strategies that are resilient to dynamic disruptions. Research Impact: This study extends existing debates on supply chain vulnerabilities as well as supply chain disruptions. Practical Impact: This study contributes to practical managerial decisions, as the identifications of vulnerabilities to dynamic disruptions will aid pharmaceutical and or operations managers in assessing supplier selection and design.