The effect of cultural value orientations on responses to supply-side disruption

Mehrnoush Sarafan, Brian Squire, Emma Brandon-Jones

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Past research has shown that culture has significant effects on people's evaluation of and responses to risk. Despite this important role, the supply chain risk literature has been silent on this matter. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of cultural value orientations on managerial perception of and responses to a supply disruption risk.


The authors conduct a scenario-based experiment to investigate the effect of cultural value orientations – i.e. individualism-collectivism and uncertainty avoidance – on individuals' perception of risk and supplier switching intention in the face of a supply disruption.


The findings highlight the negative effect of individualism-collectivism on disruption risk perception and switching intention in high uncertain circumstances. However, these relationships are non-significant in relatively less uncertain situations. Moreover, the findings show that the impact of uncertainty avoidance on risk perception and supplier switching is positive and significant in both low and high uncertain circumstances.


Extant research has traditionally assumed that when confronted with disruption risks, managers make decisions using an economic utility model, to best serve the long-term objectives of the firm. This paper draws from advances of behavioural research to show that cultural value orientations influence such decisions through a mediating mechanism of subjective risk perception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1747
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Operations & Production Management
Issue number11
Early online date3 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020


  • Supply-side disruption
  • Behavioural operations


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