Realizing hyperagility under time pressure: Ad hoc supply chains in the COVID-19 pandemic

Zoom Research Seminar

Past event — 23 June 2021

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Jasmina Müller

Post-doctoral Researcher, Hoffmann Fellow at the World Economic Forum

ETH Zürich

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Early in the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the medical product industry faced an unprecedented demand shock for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, face shields, disinfectants, and gowns. In response, many companies from different industries built ad hoc supply chains for these potentially life-saving products. When building ad hoc supply chains, companies showed supply chain hyperagility that allowed them to respond at an extreme speed. In this paper we investigate how companies realize supply chain hyperagility in the context of ad hoc supply chains built in the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a grounded theory-building approach, we conducted and analyzed 52 interviews with representatives of 37 German companies to develop a theoretical model that explains the relationships of four constructs to supply chain hyperagility: Internal and external (dynamic) capabilities have a direct effect on supply chain hyperagility and are moderated by an entrepreneurial and a temporary orientation. Our theoretical model contributes to the literature stream of supply chain agility by developing a new agility construct that addresses the extreme condition of time pressure. Supply chain managers will be able to develop their capabilities for future external shocks such as natural disasters and economic crises in line with our theoretical model.


Jasmina Müller joined Kühne Logistics University in June 2019 as a PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Kai Hoberg. She graduated with a master’s degree in Digital Logistics and Management from the University of Wismar as one of the best of her class. In her master thesis, she established a decision-making process for selecting a digital technology aimed at generating the highest success in the digital process transformation. At KLU Jasmina continues her research in the field of digital technologies by focusing on the impacts of innovative production technologies, such as 3D-Printing, on the supply chain. Besides her studies, Jasmina gained practical experience in different fields of supply chain management during internships and working student positions at Beiersdorf, Dräger, Hamburg Süd, and Daimler. In addition, she benefits from her knowledge in shipping business that she acquired during an apprenticeship as a qualified shipping manager. Jasmina spent a total of one year abroad including a semester at the Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand and an internship at the ship chandler West Coast Ship Supply in Long Beach, USA.



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Bärbel Wegener

Assistant to Resident Faculty