Perceived resource scarcity in supply chain management: Implications for buyer-supplier relationships



Perceived resource scarcity describes the anticipated future shortage of resources. Managing perceived scarcity is especially challenging as decision makers do not know when, how long and to what extent a scarcity issue may affect their firm. As discussed in the literature, the lack of valuable resources and the level of uncertainty about the state of a resource influence how individuals evaluate and respond to potential resource scarcity issues (Mullainathan and Shafir 2013, Kahneman and Tversky 1979,Gigerenzer and Gaissmaier 2011). The gap between perceived and actual scarcity may lead to ineffective and expensive organizational responses and to decreased relational capital in buyer-supplier relationships. In my dissertation, I study the role of perceived resource scarcity in supply chains and its impact on buyer-supplier relationships. First, I provide a comprehensive framework of perceived resource scarcity, as a combination of expected resource scarcity and the uncertainty surrounding the potential scarcity, as well as identify potential organizational responses to manage scarcity threats. Second, by conducting a critical incident survey, I investigate how firms respond to perceived resource scarcity and how different responses affect the relational capital in buyer-supplier relationships. Third, in a behavioral experiment, I study how managers respond to perceived resource scarcity issues with a focus on the characteristics that influence managers’ decision making in times of perceived scarcity.