Digital supply chain management in the COVID-19 crisis: an asset orchestration perspective

Fei Ye, Ke Liu, Lixu Li*, Kee Hung Lai, Yuanzhu Zhan, Ajay Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Although many firms are actively deploying various digital technology (DT) assets across their supply chains to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations, whether these DT assets are truly helpful remains unclear. To disentangle this puzzle, we investigate whether firms that have higher levels of DT asset deployment achieve better supply chain performance in the COVID-19 crisis than firms with lower levels. From an asset orchestration perspective, we focus on two dimensions of DT asset deployment: breadth and depth, which reflect the scope and scale of DT assets, respectively. The empirical results from 175 Chinese firms that have deployed DT assets to varying degrees reveal that both the breadth and the depth of DT asset deployment show positive relationships with supply chain visibility. In contrast, the depth but not the breadth of DT asset deployment poses a positive relationship with supply chain agility. Most importantly, high levels of supply chain visibility and supply chain agility were prerequisites for excellent supply chain performance in the COVID-19 crisis. We contribute to the digital supply chain management literature by uncovering the mechanism through which DT asset deployment generates impacts on supply chain performance from an asset orchestration perspective. Our study also assists firms in improving their digital transformation strategies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108396
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Early online date16 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 72102178 ), the Key Soft Science Project of Guangdong Province, China ( 2020B1010010001 ), the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province , China ( 2019A1515011768 , 2019A1515010763 ), the Social Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China ( 2020GZYB02 ), and the Xi'an University of Technology ( 105/256082102 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Asset orchestration
  • COVID-19
  • Digital technology assets
  • Supply chain agility
  • Supply chain performance
  • Supply chain visibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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