Term of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Ph.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Committee Chair

Scott C. Ellis

Committee Member 1

Alan W. Mackelprang

Committee Member 2

Stanley E. Fawcett


The rising interconnectedness and complexity of the contemporary business environment makes organizations increasingly susceptible to a diverse set of disruptive events. Disruptive events interfere with organizations normal operations, and pose a major threat to organizational performance and survival. To mitigate their negative effects, quick and effective responses are needed, which makes understanding response capabilities imperative. The two essays in this dissertation employ an inductive qualitative approach to investigate the nature and efficacy of responses to two forms of disruptive events—supply chain disruptions and crisis events.

Essay 1 explores how employees enable an organization’s resilience capability—the ability to withstand or quickly recover from supply chain disruptions, i.e. interruptions of the normal flow of goods, materials, and information within and across firms. Based on 43 interviews in four different firms, I identify several cognitive, emotional and behavioral capabilities that help or hinder quick and effective responses. These employee-based capabilities enable organizations to better maintain continuity of operations, or to more quickly return to normal operations with minimal lasting impact. The resulting framework of individual capabilities expands existing literature that largely focuses on operational capabilities to maintain continuity.

Essay 2 was motivated by the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and explores how organizations develop a rapid adaptive response capability, i.e. the ability to evolve capabilities in response to a crisis. Crises differ from supply chain disruptions in several dimensions, such as scope, spillover, and shifts, and they often transform the operating environment, creating a new normal. Thus, continuity is not the goal. Rather, crisis events call for rapid adaptation to fit the new environmental conditions. To better understand rapid adaptation, I studied seven organizations that quickly and successfully adapted their operations to the pandemic environment. I identify five managerial roles that are required for rapid adaptation and contribute to literature by unveiling the dynamics by which organizations develop a rapid adaptive response capability.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Tuesday, April 21, 2026