This initiative studies the impact of supply chain risks on uniquely global supply chains. To launch this initiative, MIT conducted a global survey of supply chain risks and risk management.

map word ctl


Supply chains are going global like never before.  And these far flung supply chains now encompass suppliers and customers from many diverse regions and cultures around the world.  The safety and performance of many companies’ supply chains often depends on trading partners that they have never met or have perhaps visited only once. Since people around the globe tend to disagree on many topics (religion, human rights, conservation, women’s rights, etc) there is no reason to think that they will agree on issues such as on-time delivery, product safety, forecast liability, and risk preparedness. 

The Survey

MIT’s survey was targeted at supply chain, finance, and general business managers in manufacturing, distribution, and retail companies.  Study teams were established in 11 countries.  The survey was translated into 9 languages and dialects.  The questions were divided into two groups:

Independent Variables/Dependent Variables

 - risk frequencies
 - disruption frequencies
Personal Background
 - country & setting
 - languages
 - age, gender
Job Info.
 - function & level
 - years on the job
Company Info.
 - industry
 - size of company Opinions
 - prevention v. response
 - planning v. doing
 - central v. local
 - alignment of suppliers’ attitudes
 - most important risks
 - most important disruptions
Risk Management Practices
 - effectiveness of risk management
 - role of risk manager (or business
   continuity planning manager)
 - risk management programs
 - involvement of suppliers
 - involvement  of customers
 - engagement with law enforcement

Survey Results

The survey was conducted between November 2009 and March 2010.  1461 useable responses were collected from over 70 countries.  The survey results confirmed that people around the world do not share the same opinions and priorities about supply chain risks and risk management practices.

The survey findings have been written up in three white papers, each of which is accompanied by a 5-minute video presentation of the same results (videos are listed on the right column of this page):

1. Global Differences in Supply Chain Risk Attitudes
2. Global Differences in Supply Chain Risk Frequencies and Priorities
3. Global Differences in Supply Chain Risk Management Practices

Key members of the team

Overall Project and North America Coordination: Dr. Bruce Arntzen,
European Coordination: Prof. María Jesus Saenz,
Latin American Coordination: Ms. Isabel Agudelo,