Class 10: Organizing for Resilience in the Global Economy

Provided by Elke Schüßler, Johannes Kepler University Linz

Guiding question: Why do the largest economies of the world face difficulties in producing swabs, face masks and ventilators in adequate supply when needed? How can global supply chains be made more resilient?


Slides: PDF / PPT

Core readings

Gereffi, G. (2014). Global value chains in a post-Washington Consensus world. Review of International Political Economy, 21(1), 9-37. PDF

Williams, A., Whiteman, G., & Kennedy, S. (2019). Cross-scale systemic resilience: Implications for organization studies. Business & Society, 1-9, in press. PDF

Contemporary news article

Majoo, F. (2020). How the World’s Richest Country Ran Out of a 75-Cent Face Mask. The New York Times, March 25.

Post-lecture assignment

Discuss in small groups of 2-3 how the four practices of network management (cf. e.g. Helfen et al., 2018 in background readings and also lecture 4) could be used to make global supply chains for critical goods more resilient. After your group discussion, write up an individual report (400-500 words) about one example that you discussed by specifying the good, the current supply chain structure for this good, the network management practice that seems to be currently applied and how it could be made more resilient. Each group member should report on a different example (either a different good or a different management practice or both).

Background readings

Helfen, M., Schüßler, E., & Sydow, J. (2018). How can employment relations in global value networks be managed towards social responsibility? Human Relations, 71(12), 1640-1665. SSRN

Levy, D. L. (2008). Political contestation in global production networks. Academy of Management Review, 33(4), 943-963. PDF

Schuessler, E., Frenkel, S. J., & Wright, C. F. (2019). Governance of labor standards in Australian and German garment supply chains: The impact of Rana Plaza. ILR Review, 72(3), 552-579. PDF via journal

Background sources

Covid19 corporate response tracker – How large US companies are treating stakeholders

European trade unions’ response to the crisis, ETUC