Date of Award

Fall 12-11-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Dr. Patricia G. Ketsche

Second Advisor

Dr. Adrian Souw-chin Choo

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael J. Gallivan


When a major disruption occurs, an organization’s performance is usually negatively affected. The great recession of 2008 – 2009 was such a disruption which had global implications that had not been seen since the great depression that started in the 1930s. This thesis is intended to contribute to the understanding of how leanness and slack resources affect firm performance in the presence of disruptions that test supply chain resilience, or the ability to restore the firm’s performance to its original condition after encountering stress or a large disturbance. These disruptions may not only affect the firm’s financial performance during the disruption but also well after the disruption has occurred. Two industries with differing supply chains, food and beverage, and electronics and computer, were investigated. The study is based on archival data (N=10,020 and 668 firms) with observations from just before and just after the great recession, a disruption that affected the entire global economy.

Our results suggest (1) the effect of inventory leanness and slack resources on firm performance is industry specific; and (2) variation in firm performance is less in the post-disruptive period than in the pre-disrupted period. Overall, our findings call for a contingency perspective to specify the level of inventory leanness and slack resources when determining their impact on firm performance to support supply chain resilience.