Supply Chain Risk Management Thesis (Impact of demographics on supply chain risk management practices)

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This is somewhat of the fifth contribution to my series on doctoral dissertations, apart from not being a doctoral thesis but a master thesis on Supply Chain Risk Management. Nonetheless, an immense effort and dedication is spent on these works only to find the results hidden in the libraries. So the goal is raise interest in the research of my peers.

Author / Topic

This thesis was written by Kenneth Kanyagui in 2010 as his master thesis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA. It can be downloaded here directly at the MITs web site. It has been supervised by Bruce Arntzen of the Center for Transportation & Logistics. The title is:
Impact of demographics on supply chain risk management practices.


In his thesis the author explores an interesting question: How do demographic factors affect supply chain risk management practices by supply chain professionals? Eg. are some demographic factors in managers hint for more elaborate SCRM practices?
Kanyagui used a survey to gather the data needed. Overall 1461 people from 15 countries completed the survey. The following factors influence the inclantaion of a company to have a risk manager:

  • Size of a firm in term of number of workers
  • Length of a time spent at a firm (by the respondent / supply chain manager)
  • South Africa and Switzerland are likely to establish risk managers

The particular sector / industry did not matter much for predicting responses to the risk manager question.

Additionally, there are several factors that affect if companies are working with suppliers on supply chain risk management.

  • The size of a firm, especially in terms of number of workers
  • Geography, especially for those coming from Mexico and South Africa
  • Educational background of the respondent, especially those who studied teaching or the liberal arts

Larger Companies are more likely to work with the suppliers on supply chain risk management issues than smaller ones.
Impact of Company Size on the Inclination to work with Suppliers (Kanyagui 2010)

There are some interesting findings from this survey and the scientific rigor seems to be held high at the MIT. Eg. using a survey review board (Committee on Use of Human Experimental Subjects) which sets certain standards for the execution of surveys.
From the overall possible factors only few seem to have an effect on the supply chain risk management employed. Nonetheless, those that have an effect are an interesting topic for further analysis.


Kanyagui, K. (2010). Impact of Demographics on Supply Chain Risk Management Practice Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Master Thesis

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