Developing dynamic supply chain resilience capabilities: a study of Irish firms’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Ashraf Labib, Abubakar Ali, Paulo Sérgio Lima Pereira Afonso, Amr Mahfouz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paper Aims: This study is grounded in the supply chain resilience (SCRES) capabilities literature and the dynamic capabilities theory (DCT), which is used to develop a framework of dynamic SCRES capabilities for global supply chain disruptions.

Originality: This study explores firms' adapting, responding, and learning capabilities in the initial outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the Irish context.

Research Method: The research methodology was based on semi-structured interviews with supply chain leaders of international operations, extending between Ireland and the UK. Data analysis utilises a hybrid thematic analysis approach that integrates inductive codes with deductive priori-driven constructs.

Main Findings: Five significant impacts of COVID-19 on supply chain operations are revealed: capacity and resource constraints, supply issues, demand spikes, supply chain skills shortages, and human resource factors. Furthermore, firms' high-order SCRES capabilities during a pandemic are related to their adaptation, response, and learning capabilities. Operational capabilities and resilience practices support these high-order capabilities. However, the empirical evidence indicates that resilience practices overlap across SCRES capabilities.

Implication for Theory and Practice: The connection between SCRES and dynamic capabilities is emphasized by demonstrating that operational capabilities and resilience practices are integral building blocks of high-order SCRES capabilities. We distinguish between dynamic and operational capabilities and present an integrative framework to elaborate the theory of dynamic SCRES capabilities. Moreover, valuable insights into developing dynamic SCRES capabilities are highlighted by adapting to changes, seizing opportunities, coordinating tasks, and engaging in learning routines in response to a pandemic disruption. Firms that harness SCRES elements and practices to enhance their adaptability, response, and learning capabilities share similarities with the dynamic capabilities processes of adapting & seizing, coordinating, and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 12 Apr 2024


  • Dynamic Capabilities
  • Supply Chain Resilience Capabilities
  • Supply Chain Disruptions
  • COVID-19

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