Original Research

Modelling the link between supply chain risk, flexibility and performance in the public sector

Khomotso Mhelembe, Chengedzai Mafini
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 22, No 1 | a2368 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v22i1.2368 | © 2019 Khomotso Mhelembe, Chengedzai Mafini | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 March 2018 | Published: 25 March 2019

About the author(s)

Khomotso Mhelembe, Department of Logistics, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Chengedzai Mafini, Department of Logistics, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa


Background: The South African public sector faces numerous internal and external risks that limit the performance of its entire supply chain. An understanding of these risks and their effects is an important milestone in overcoming them.

Aim: This article tested the relationship between supply chain risks, flexibility and performance in the South African public sector.

Method: A survey questionnaire was administered to 307 supply chain practitioners who were based in the public sector in Gauteng. A structural equation modelling procedure was utilised in testing the proposed relationships.

Results: The results of the study showed that six supply chain risk factors, namely government policies, supply complexity, availability of skills, supplier performance monitoring, information security and process efficiency exert significant influences on supply chain flexibility. In turn, supply chain flexibility exerts a positive influence on the performance of the public supply chain.

Conclusion: Managers in government may be able to improve the public supply chain management function through the suitable management of the supply chain risk factors considered in this study.


Supply chain risk; government policies; supply complexity; availability of skills; supplier performance monitoring; information security; process efficiency; supply chain flexibility; supply chain performance


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