From a healthcare pandemic (e.g., Covid19) to a military conflict (e.g., Ukraine war), geopolitical and economic uncertainties are all too common in retailing. Although retailers are investing in digital technologies to secure their businesses, such investments are infrequent, heterogeneous, and difficult to track, complicating the assessment of retailers’ ability to build digital resilience. Information provided in financial reports such as 10-Ks may be effectively used to measure the level of digital resilience, i.e., the extent of preparedness through digital capabilities building over time to tackle uncertainties. In this study, we use textual information from 10-Ks to effectively assess digital resilience. Using a dataset of 10-Ks from 2005 to 2020, we use human coders and neural word embeddings to develop a digital resilience dictionary specifically crafted to identify features relevant to risks, assets, customer relationship management, and operations management. The use of the dictionary provides a novel way to explain retailers’ performance based on the extent of features that are relevant to risks-assets and customer relationship management-operations management. To the extent that 10-Ks offer some visibility into the digital resilience of retailers, we argue that features related to risks and operation management explain low retailer performance while features related to assets and operation management explain high retailer performance. Moreover, we posit that features related to risks and customer relationship management mitigate the effect of risks-operation management on retailer performance while features related to assets and customer relationship amplify the effect of assets- operation management on retailer performance. Our work provides a novel approach for investors and policymakers to assess the digital resilience of retailers through the appropriate use of financial reports.
Sriram Narayanan is the Kesseler Family Endowed Faculty Fellow of Supply Chain Management at the Broad College of Business, Michigan State University (MSU) in the Supply Chain Management Department. He earned his doctoral degree in Operations, Technology, and Innovation Management at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Sriram's primary research interests are innovation, organizational productivity, sustainability, and disability inclusion in supply chains. He has published more than 30 articles in top-tier supply chain management journals. His research is practice focused, and He is also a regular contributor to Supply Chain Management Review, a leading practice journal. His work has been cited in several popular press outlets. As an aside, he is the co-creator of the Abilities, Opportunities, and Future of Work podcast – available on iTunes in partnership with the Michigan Rehabilitation Services (A division of the Labor and Employment Office). Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked in the industry in procurement and project leadership roles with Maruti Suzuki Motor in India and HCL Technologies – a leading IT services company.