Interorganizational Learning & Resilience: A Case Study of the Swedish Pharmaceuticals Supply Chain, under Normal Circumstances and in a Crisis

University essay from Lunds universitet/Teknisk logistik

Abstract: Background: Increasing dependencies between Swedish societal sectors and the critical infrastructures upon which they depend as well as institutional fragmentation within the societal sectors, have caused a need to map the critical infrastructures in Sweden. The descriptive research aiming to map and understand the Swedish pharmaceuticals supply chain is to a high degree missing today. A potential strategy to meet the complexity of increasing dependencies and fragmentation in critical infrastructure, is to work with interorganizational learning with the aim of increasing resilience in the critical infrastructure. Objective: The objective of the thesis is to map the Swedish pharmaceuticals supply chain (SPSC) under normal circumstances and in a crisis, and analyze how the actors can work with interorganizational learning to become more resilient as a system. Method: Based on a systems philosophy, this qualitative single case study follows an abductive approach. A descriptive study is first conducted by mapping the SPSC based on interviews with practitioners in the SPSC and secondary sources. Further, an explanatory study is conducted by making a gap analysis between theory and empirics collected during interviews, for how interorganizational learning for resilience can be improved in the SPSC. Conclusion: SPSC is mapped in three dimensions: material flow, legal frames and collaboration. A framework for how to work with interorganizational learning for resilience in a critical infrastructure is presented. When the framework is applied to the SPSC, it is revealed that the actors should focus on a number of areas to improve the usage of interorganizational learning for resilience. For example, focus should be laid on ensuring that necessary learning prerequisites are in place, making more joint assessments, start using simulation and making strategic experience analysis for IT-disruptions.

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