Service Supply Chain Risk Management

Jyri Vilko
Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland

Paavo Ritala
Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland

Services are increasing in importance in international business and understanding the characteristics of services in the supply chain context can provide crucial information for enabling efficient and effective implementation of risk management. Service literature has in general suggested that the distinctive nature of services—in contrast to products—can be connected to the so-called IHIP attributes (intangibility, heterogeneity, inseparability of production and consumption, and perishability). In this study, we utilize these attributes in the task of identifying the distinctive features and dynamics of service supply chains in a risk management context. The study provides an important, yet sparsely addressed, viewpoint of the supply chain risk management literature by illustrating the special characteristics of services in this context. We develop a conceptual framework and a set of propositions to highlight our arguments. The findings of the study suggest that service supply chain risk management requires special attention in terms of the IHIP attributes, which include issues the traditional supply chain risk management tools can easily miss. The presented viewpoint is a novel one and provides a new perspective to supply chain risk management theory by linking the service theories to supply chain risk management.

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