Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Gregory Uche

Abstract

Supply chain disruptions are detrimental to the performance of companies due to the associated loss of profitability and reduced sustainability. In 2016, organizations lost at least $1.2 million in a single supply chain disruption. Guided by the contingency theory of fit, the purpose of this exploratory multiple case study was to explore the strategies agribusiness managers use to prevent and mitigate the effects of disruptions in the agro-food supply chains. A total of 5 purposefully-selected agribusiness managers from Harare, Zimbabwe participated in semistructured interviews. Participants were senior agribusiness managers who implemented successful strategies for preventing and mitigating the effects of disruptions in agro-food supply chains. Three themes emerged from the thematic analysis of interview data and review of organizational documents: collaboration among supply chain partners, business continuity management, and the use of a multiple supplier base. Agribusiness managers must first understand the sources of disruption risk, assess the impact of the risk, and then select an appropriate strategy based on the level of uncertainty and risk. By managing the risks effectively, managers can improve the performance and competitiveness of their businesses. The implications for positive social change may include a reduction in supply chain costs, provision of better services and products to consumers, and lower prices of agro-food products to consumers which could lead to an improvement in the lives of consumers.