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University of ManchesterResearch MethodsExecutive Summary
Understanding risks in complex supply chainIntroductionIn the past decades supply chain industry have witnessed remarkable growth in global trade, withthe aim to increase productivity, fulfil demands in emergent markets and lower cost. On the otherhand, natural disasters, accidents, terrorist attacks and volatility of the financial market have causedenormous losses in supply chain and disruptions such as the ones experienced by Land Rover andEricsson, have shown that the unexpected risk occurring at the one point of the supply chain cannegatively affect other partners of the chain, when the process is not properly controlled (Tang,2006). Thus, supply chains have become more uncertain and vulnerable as well as face newchallenges of identifying, evaluating and responding to risks by restructuring the supply chain.Purpose of ResearchThe main purpose of this research is to analyse how firms are able to cope with the difficulties ofmanaging potential risks caused by disruption in the supply chain industry by identifying, evaluatingand mitigating them using appropriate tools and techniques. Thus, this research aims to addressthree research questions to identify the types of risks, to understand the impact to firm’sperformance as well as find out the most appropriate tools and techniques of managing the risks inthe supply chain field in order to develop a conceptual model for organizations. The researchquestions are as follows:RQ1:what type of risks does supply chain field may experience?RQ2:what is the impact to organization’s performance measures from experiencing risks?RQ3:what kind of tools and techniques can be used in order to identify and analyse possiblerisks?Research Methods & StrategyGenerally, there are two major types of research methods that can be utilised for theresearch and broadly known as ‘qualitative and quantitative’ methods (Saunders et., 2012).In relation to the nature of the work and research topic area the qualitative researchmethods was chosen in order to address the research questions and objectives respectively.Moreover, secondary data collection method will be used through using case study strategyand articles as the way of providing a clear picture of the research. Likewise, the research isintended to test and compare hypothesis that will be stated in the dissertation research andthus provide additional knowledge about the topic and allow readers to understand a basicconcept of supply chain risk management. Furthermore, Saunders et al. (2012) outlinedthat there are two basic types of approaches that can used by researchers to design theirwork. These are inductive and deductive approaches. Concretely, current research topic willbe emphasized on the inductive approach in order to develop further an existing theory andidentify new framework of interesting aspects for this research field.