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MIT System Dynamics Seminar | Work Faster? Put in Longer Hours? An Assessment of Reactive Resilience Policies in Supply Chains

April 19 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Please visit the MIT System Dynamics Seminars page for more information.

You are invited to attend a supplemental System Dynamics seminar being held on Tuesday, April 23rd from 12:00-1:00pm EST in the Jay W. Forrester conference room, E62-450, or via Zoom: (Password: SDSP24). Our guest speakers will be Nitin Joglekar (Boston University), Mukesh Kumar and Naoum Tsolakis (University of Cambridge) presenting Work Faster? Put in Longer Hours? An Assessment of Reactive Resilience Policies in Supply Chains (see abstract and authors’ info below). Lunch will be provided to those attending in person and a reminder email sent out closer to the date.


We assess triple disruptions (reduced upstream and downstream capacities, and increased demand) in supply chains by analyzing reactive resilience trade-offs between costs and benefits. Reactive resilience refers to considering short duration alternatives within existing supply chain configurations (e.g., working overtime, job reassignments, speeding up adjustment times, and reducing inventory coverages). Our work highlights behavioral issues around fairness and equity for the workforce under such adverse scenarios. The point of departure for our work is fieldwork before, during, and after COVID-19 disruptions in a fish supply chain. We develop a system dynamics simulation model that builds on the classic beer game structure to set up a novel Cost-Adjusted Continuity (CAC) metric to account for cost-benefit trade-offs. We find that: (1) differing emphasis, and allied mental models, on reducing either inventory cost or labor cost (or both), crucially affects CAC outcomes; (2) working harder (putting in longer hours, under isolation) creates burnout. Job redesign with fair assignments can address this burnout issue and improve CAC outcomes;  (3) Double disruption (i.e., introducing a capacity constraint either upstream or downstream in the supply chain, joint with increased demand) has an asymmetric impact on reactive resilience governance choices, when compared to triple disruptions. CAC governance based on multiple disruptions need not align with single disruption policies examined in a classic beer game. 

We will end this talk with by discussing opportunities in reactive resilience research within the context of current debates on enhancing and monitoring resilience in supply chains.


Nitin Joglekar works at the intersection of AI, Design (of Products and Supply Chains) and allied Ethical issues at Boston University. He recently edited a special issue of the Production and Operations Management Journal on managing pandemics.

Mukesh Kumar heads the Industrial Resilience Research Group at the University of Cambridge, UK. Currently, he is running Global Supply Chain Observatory project, together with Google, on monitoring resilience.

Naoum Tsolakis is with the Institute for Manufacturing (Cambridge, UK) and is an Assistant Professor at the International Hellenic University in Greece. His works on AI and Intelligent Systems in Logistics and Supply Chains.


April 19
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
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MIT Jay W. Forrester Conference Room
77 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139 United States
+1 617-253-1571
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MIT System Dynamics Group
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