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Call for Papers: Special Issue – Digital Technologies and Resilience in Supply Chain Disruptions and Outbreaks


Special Issue: Digital Technologies and Resilience in Supply Chain Disruptions and Outbreaks

Thanos Papadopoulos, 
Lead Guest Editor
Kent Business School, University of Kent,
Canterbury, UK 

Samuel Fosso-Wamba
Toulouse Business School, Toulouse, France 

Shahriar Akter
School of Management and Marketing,
University of Wollongong,
Angappa Gunasekaran
School of Business and Public Administration,
California State University,
Bakersfield, CA, USA   
Rameshwar Dubey
Liverpool Business School,
Liverpool John Moores University,
Liverpool, UK



The ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant challenges to global supply chains and has reinvigorated the discussion about supply chain resilience. Indeed, during the first wave of the pandemic, many manufacturers and retailers shut down their businesses. To cope with production delays and distribution slowdown caused by labour and material supply chain disruptions, many organisations have leveraged digital technologies (digital artefacts, digital platforms, and digital infrastructure that are related to Industry 4.0 and include for instance Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, machine learning, cyber-physical systems, and smart, connected products) (Ivanov et al., 2019; Sharma et al., 2020) to build resilience. The term ‘resilience’ has been used both at intra-organisational level (Sutcliffe & Vogus, 2003; Parker & Ameen, 2018; Sabatino, 2016; Ambulkar et al., 2015) and inter-organisational level Brandon-Jones et al., 2014; Sáenz & Revilla, 2014; Gunasekaran et al., 2015; Roberta Pereira et al., 2015; Kim et al., 2015; Behzadi et al., 2020; Bak et al., 2020; Gu et al., 2020; Hosseini et al., 2020) to reflect the capability to rapidly and effectively recover from disruptions. The concept of resilience originates from ecological and engineering paradigms, which focus on the system’s characteristics rather than individual parts (Adger, 2000) before being adapted to the supply chain management research. Hence, how do different components of supply chains interact with one another and with the external market environment before, during and after short-term and long-term disruptions? What are the capabilities that help them respond to disruptions and achieve resilience? 

Prior conceptual and empirical research has offered multiple theoretical insights (e.g. drawing on the resource-based view and dynamic capability theories, loose coupling theory, information processing theory, contingency theory, and social capital theory) on achieving supply chain resilience (Ponomarov and Holcomb, 2009; Brandon-Jones et al., 2014; Brusset and Teller, 2017; Chowdhuri and Quaddus, 2017; Gölgeci and Kuivalainen, 2019; Yu et al., 2019). Other studies have drawn on other disciplines to understand resilience (Van der Vegt et al., 2015). Business scholars conceptualise resilience not only as an outcome variable but also as processes and dynamics that create redundancy, flexibility, adaptability and agility that enable firms to cope with and recover from supply chain disruptions (Sheffi & Rice, 2005; Klibi et al., 2010). More importantly, research shows that resources’ redundancy, resource deployment and reconfiguration, supply chain reengineering, supply chain risk management (SCRM) culture, technology adoption, decision-making mechanisms (how information transmitted, how adaptive responses develop), and network structures and relationships are factors that contribute to the process of building resilience (Petit et al., 2019; Bode et al. 2011; Sutcliffe & Vogus, 2003; Parker & Ameen, 2018, van der Vegt et al. 2015; Kim et al., 2015; Christopher & Peck, 2004; Sheffi and Rice, 2005; Scholten et al., 2014; MacDonald et al., 2018). However, as a multifaceted and multidimensional concept, resilience has been operationalised quite differently and supply chain scholars are yet to identify a unified and integrated theory about supply chain resilience (Kamalahmadi and Parast, 2016; Linnenluecke, 2017; Scholten et al., 2019; Tukamuhabwa et al., 2015; Wong et al., 2020).

Although many organisations have launched various initiatives to leverage digital technologies to cope with unexpected exogenous shocks, limited effort, has been made on theorising the role of specific aspects of digital technologies in dealing with supply chain (SC) disruptions (Bak et al., 2020; Gu et al., 2020). In the recent years, with the rapid development of Digital Technologies such as blockchain technology, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, big data analytics and others, existing organisational processes and outcomes are constantly shaping and being shaped by each other, challenging conventional wisdom in academic thinking and traditional operation management theories in significant ways (Fichman et al., 2014; Nambisan et al., 2017). New digital infrastructures such as cloud computing and mobile networking enable scalability (i.e., the ability to rapidly enhance the capabilities and performance at low cost and with ease) (Yoo et al., 2010). The fast pace of digital technology enables organisations to adjust their product/service portfolio, or their route to market nimbly and respond to market changes promptly (Nambisan, 2018). Resilience needs organisational agility and operational adaptation to new changes in task and institutional environments (Parker and Ameen, 2018). 

Recent studies have discussed resilience mechanisms including for instance risk mitigation inventories, information substitutability and portability, technology and infrastructures that help production, transportation and distribution, monitoring systems, as well as scale survivability or viability to avoid disruption and SC collapse and secure the provision of goods and services (e.g. Hosseini et al., 2019; Ivanov and Dolgui, 2020). Others suggested the use of digital technologies such as digital infrastructure capabilities and big data analytics even to predict future emergencies (Dubey et al., 2019a, b; Papadopoulos et al., 2017; Wamba et al., 2020), even drawing on the latest COVID19 pandemic (Sheng et al., in press.). 

However, there is a lack of understanding of the role of digital technologies in achieving SC resilience. It is time to develop theories and approaches that explicitly incorporate digital-technology-related theoretical concepts and pursue more encompassing theories about SC resilience, as the infusion of digital technologies into various aspects of organisational processes and outcomes has transformed how organisations anticipate, cope with, adapt to, and learn from the unexpected (Nambisan, 2017). The boundaries between different phases in organisational processes have been broken down (Huang et al., 2017) and products and services become “intentionally incomplete” as the value of them would evolve even after their introduction to markets (Yoo et al., 2010). The richness of pervasive digitisation (e.g. its generativity and malleability) has opened up a host of important research questions and call for careful consideration of digital technologies in shaping SC resilience.

Aims & Scope

Acknowledging this knowledge gap, this special issue invites articles to examine digital technologies and their influence on SC resilience. We welcome work that addresses any aspect of theorising, designing, managing, deploying, and utilising digital technologies to achieve SC resilience. We seek work that suggests various ways to enrich resilience theories and endure this unprecedented situation on SCs. 

We invite papers with specific theory building and testing that incorporate the specificities of digital technologies. We welcome cross-paradigmatic approaches that advance our understanding of SC resilience and encourage submissions taking a variety of theoretical perspectives and adopting a wide range of methods, including for instance case studies, qualitative comparative analyses of multiple cases, and various quantitative methods.

Indicative list of anticipated themes:

  • How digital artifacts/digital platforms/digital infrastructure build SC resilience.
  • The role of digital technology (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, blockchain) adoption in predicting and coping with SC disruptions (E.g. caused by COVID-19 pandemic).
  • How do certain capacities (i.e. resources, structures, processes) lead to SC resilience; what is their relative importance and what is the role of digital technology during the process?
  • What are ‘appropriate’ level of slack resources and how to manage the tensions between resource constraints and the need for slack resources (redundancy, diversity)?
  • How digital technologies reshape the decision-making process and enable SC agility and operational adaptation to new changes in task and institutional environments?
  • How SCs embrace digital technologies and deploy, reconfigure and orchestrate existing resources to produce different products or to offer new types of services?
  • How resource-constrained SCs achieve resourcefulness and making use of limited resources to manage environment variability? 
  • What are suitable measurement tools and instruments to detect and operationalise the presence or absence of SC resilience?


The impact of this Special Issue on the real world will be mostly noticeable by attracting submissions that investigate the the role of digital technologies in achieving SC resilience and the creation of  a new body of knowledge that will assist in comprehensively understanding the specificities of digital technologies and SC resilience.

We hope that the results of this special issue will eventually reach policy-making bodies and other relevant stakeholders to help create better strategies of using digital technologies to cope with disruptions and secure SC resilience. The results could trigger new theorizing of digital technologies and resilience, potentially leading to actual implementation of some of these ideas. This could serve as a testable proof-of-concept for practitioners and authorities to embrace digital technologies for resilience. 

Notes for Prospective Authors

We invite the submission of original manuscripts that advance empirical, theoretical, and conceptual understanding of the role of digital technologies and resilience in SC disruptions and outbreaks. Manuscripts must have substantial implications for theory and practice and need to contribute to the existing body of knowledge. We welcome both empirical papers and conceptual theory development papers, as well as other genres. Manuscripts need to incorporate a sound methodological rigor to give the reader a high level of confidence that the results are valid and generalizable.

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper. Submissions will be reviewed according to the journal’s rigorous standards and procedures through a double-blind peer review by at least two qualified reviewers. 

Submission Process

Please prepare the manuscript according to IEEE-TEM’s guidelines ( and submit to the journal’s Manuscript Central site ( Please upload the paper on the IEEE TEM Editorial Manager clearly indicating it is submission for the IEEE TEM Special Issue on Digital Technologies and Resilience in Supply Chain Disruptions and Outbreaks


Papers submitted by July 31st, 2023. Papers,

however, will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

Guest Editor Bios 

Thanos Papadopoulos is a Professor of Management (Information Systems/Operations Management) and Director of Technology, Innovation Management, and Enterprise (TIME) Research Centre at Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK. His research is focusing on the problems that are at the nexus of operations management and information systems and more recently on Big Data within Supply Chains and Operations. He has published over 140 articles in peer reviewed journals and conferences including, inter alia, the British Journal of Management, Decision Sciences, European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, International Journal of Production Research, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, International Journal of Production Economics, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and Production Planning and Control. He is Associate Editor for International Journal of Operations and Production Management. He also sits at the Editorial board of Technological Forecasting and Social Change and International Journal of Information Management.

Angappa Gunasekaran is the Dean at the School of Business and Public Adminis-tration, California State University, Bakersfield (USA). Dr.  Gunasekaran has  received Thomas J. Higginson Award for Excellence in Teaching (2001–2002) within the Charlton College of Business. He has over 300 articles published/forthcoming in 40 different peer- reviewed journals. Dr. Gunasekaran is on the Editorial Board of over 30 peer-reviewed journals which include some prestigious journals. Dr.  Gunasekaran is  the  Editor of Benchmarking: An International Journal and the North American Editor of the Interna-tional Journal of Enterprise Network Management. Dr. Gunasekaran is currently interested in researching benchmarking, agile manufacturing, management information systems, e- procurement, competitiveness of SMEs, information technology/systems evaluation, per-formance measures and metrics in new economy, technology management, logistics, and supply chain management.

Samuel Fosso Wamba is a Professor at Toulouse Business School, France. He earned his Ph.D. in industrial engineering at the Polytechnic School of Montreal, Canada. His current research focuses on the business value of IT, inter-organizational systems adoption and use, supply chain management, electronic commerce, blockchain, artificial intelligence in business, social media, business analytics, big data and open data. He has published papers in top journals including Academy of Management Journal, European Journal of Information Systems, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, International Journal of Information Management, International Journal of Logistics Management, International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Business Research, Electronic Markets, Technology Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Cleaner Production, Information Systems Frontiers, Production Planning & Control, and Business Process Management Journal. Prof Fosso Wamba is organizing special issues for leading international journals including International Journal of Operations & Production Management, International Journal of Information Management, International Journal of Logistics Management, Journal of Global Information Management, Business Process Management Journal, Electronic Markets, Computers & Industrial Engineering, Annals of Operations Research, Production Planning & Control and International Journal of Production Research. He won the best paper award of The Academy of Management Journal in 2017 and the papers of the year 2017 of The Electronic Markets: The International Journal on Networked Business. He is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Logistics Management information and The Electronic Markets: The International Journal on Networked Business. He serves on the editorial board of five international journals. Prof Fosso Wamba is CompTIA RFID þ Certified Professional, Academic Co-Founder of RFID Academia. He is the Coordinator of the newly created Artificial Intelligence & Business Analytics Cluster of Toulouse Business School, France.

Rameshwar Dubey is a Reader-Operations Management at Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University. Rameshwar is also an Adjunct Professor-Supply Chain Management at Montpellier Business School, Montpellier, France and Indian Institute of Management, Jammu, India.  Rameshwar is a Senior Editor of International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management and Associate Editors of Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, International Journal of Information Management, Benchmarking: An International Journal, Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, Management of Environmental Quality and consulting editor of Hospital Topics a reputable Journal in the field of healthcare operations management. Rameshwar research interests include supply chain management, operations management and business analytics with strong focus on humanitarian operations management, sustainable supply chain management, supply chain design issues and application of emerging technologies in disaster relief operations. Rameshwar has published some of the most cited papers in International Journal of Operations and Production Management, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Production Research, British Journal of Management, Production, Planning & Control, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Cleaner Production, Annals of Operations Research, Technological Forecasting & Social Change and Management Decision. Rameshwar has been shortlisted among top 1% most cited scholars based on web of science database and among top 200 scholars (based on SCOPUS database) in the field of Business Management and Operations Research. Rameshwar is an active member of several professional societies, active reviewer of over 75 leading international scientific journals, reviewer of PhD thesis and other professional bodies engaged in dissemination of grant.

Shahriar Akter is an Associate Professor of Digital Marketing, Analytics & Innovation at the Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong. He was awarded his PhD from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Business School Australia, with a doctoral fellowship in research methods from the University of Oxford. He has published inleading business and management journals with a Google Scholar h-Index of 24 and around 4,000 citations. He was also the Guest Editor of the International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Electronic Markets, Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, International Journal of Information Management for their special is-sues on various management research.


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IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management is journal of the Technology and Engineering Management Society of IEEE, published quarterly since 1954. It is dedicated to the publication of peer-reviewed original contributions, by researchers and practitioners, regarding the theory and practice of engineering, technology, and innovation management.

Editor in Chief

Tugrul U Daim, PhD PICMET Fellow
Professor and Director
Technology Management Doctoral Program
Department of Engineering and Technology Management
Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science
Portland State University, Portland OR
United States

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