Even though supply chain agility (SCA) has been considered an essential concept in supply chain management (SCM) research, the way it is experienced and manifested, especially by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has received much less attention. Our purpose is to focus on SME organisational vulnerabilities in the context of increased environmental uncertainty, and explore how SCA is developed and applied by SMEs amid their vulnerabilities. By relying on insights from comparative case studies of three British SMEs, we examine SME SCA as an acclimatisation process and delve into SMEs’ experiences of facing environmental uncertainty while developing and applying SCA. Our findings highlight that organisational attitudes underlie how SMEs perceive environmental uncertainty, tackle organisational vulnerabilities and develop SCA as an acclimatisation process. Our findings also reveal that resource constraints, supply chain relationships, interorganisational power dynamics, and access to information play important roles in developing SCA.
- Supply chain agility
- Small and medium sized enterprises
- Organisational vulnerabilities
- Environmental uncertainty