Chrysalis of crisis: Covid-19 as a catalyst for awakening power and justice in a luxury fashion supply chain

Hakan Karaosman, Donna Marshall, Verónica H. Villena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand how supply chain actors in an Italian cashmere supply chain reacted to dependence and power use during the Covid-19 crisis and how this affected their perceptions of justice. Design/methodology/approach: The research took a case study approach exploring issues of dependence, power and justice in a multi-tier luxury cashmere supply chain. Findings: The authors found two types of dependence: Craftmanship-induced buyer dependence and Market-position-induced supplier dependence. The authors also identified four key archetypes emerging from the dynamics of dependence, power and justice during Covid-19. In the repressive archetype, buying firms perceive their suppliers as dependent and use mediated power through coercive tactics, leading the suppliers to perceive interactional, procedural and distributive injustice and use reciprocal coercive tactics against the buying firms in the form of coopetition. In the restrictive archetype, buying firms that are aware of their dependence on their suppliers use mediated power through contracts, with suppliers perceiving distributive injustice and developing ways to circumvent the brands. In the relational archetype, the awareness of craftmanship-induced buyer dependence leads buying firms to use non-mediated power through collaboration, but suppliers still do not perceive distributive justice, as there is no business security or future orders. In the resilient archetype, buying firms are aware of their own craftmanship-induced dependence and combine mediated and non-mediated power by giving the suppliers sustainable orders, which leads suppliers to perceive each justice type positively. Originality/value: This paper shows how the actors in a specific supply chain react to and cope with one of the worst health crises in living memory, thereby providing advice for supply chain management in future crises.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1634-1666
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 8 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Covid-19
  • Fashion industry
  • Justice
  • Multi-tier supply chain
  • Power
  • Resource dependence theory
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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