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Thematics :

On 4 April, the IRIS and NEOMA BS organised “Geoeconomic and Geopolitical Discussions” on the Paris campus. It was an opportunity for the director of the IRIS Pascal Boniface to share his vision of the state of the world. Here are the three major ideas to take away from his talk.

Remove emotion from decision-making

In 1783, when Catherine II annexed Crimea, it was a local issue and no one else was interested. In 2014, when Vladimir Putin did the same thing, the impact was completely different. Today, everything that occurs beyond our borders has an impact on us. This of course is the effect of globalisation. Geopolitics is everywhere. It must be part of our education as citizens as well as company directors, NGO managers, association managers, etc. Their analyses must be guided by reason and not emotion. Otherwise, that will result in poor decisions.

Realpolitik has often been criticised, but as Hubert Védrine, the former minister of foreign affairs, said: If we do not talk about real facts, we will be reminded of them all the same. If we want to change the world, we need to start with the world as it is.

It’s the piling up of hubris that led us to catastrophe

Hubris, the disproportionate feeling of pride, has led us to poorly analyse situations. After the Cold War, the West thought that the world would become westernised. We confused westernisation and globalisation. Various forms of resistance have risen up and they have come back to haunt us. In Ukraine, Putin thought that he would be welcomed with open arms and that NATO wouldn’t react. He collided with Ukrainian resistance and western solidarity. Just like Russia, Ukraine refused to implement the Minsk Accords, signed in 2015, then set unrealistic war objectives (recapture all the territories lost since 2022, as well as those annexed in 2014, have Putin put on trial at the international criminal court and have Russia pay for war damages). This piling up of hubris ended in catastrophe, which puts pressure on all of us, places stress on energy concerns, food issues, etc. The error is in applying short-term thinking.

The West can no longer impose its will on the rest of the world

The world is marked by three major clashes. The West and the Russia are at odds with one another. We have returned to the same level of communication as we had in the 1950s. China and the U.S. are heading towards an upcoming faceoff. U.S. thinks it champions universal values and cannot tolerate the advances that China is making. The third clash exists between the western world and the global south. The West is no longer the centre of the world, and we cannot impose our will on it. China is now the main partner for a lot of countries. It’s by starting with these facts that we can change things.


‘How do geopolitical disruptions affect the configuration, flow, and management of global supply chains?’

With this guiding research question, Martin C. SCHLEPER, Professor of Supply Chain Management & Sustainability at NEOMA, and his co-authors have hit a hot topic: their article has been downloaded 10,000 times since its publication last December and constantly gains around 80-100 downloads per day until now! Geopolitical disruptions in global supply chains: a state-of-the-art literature review is, as of today, the most downloaded paper in Production Planning & Control journal over the last 12 months.

Martin C. Schleper explains the reasons of this success.

Martin-Schleper_NEOMA“Unfortunately, geopolitical tensions, such as those caused by Covid-19, Brexit, the Russian-Ukrainian war, the crisis in the Middle East, are omnipresent today. In addition to their devastating social impact, these events also lead to disruptions in globally intertwined supply networks.

Our paper is the first to define the current state of research and thinking on the impact of geopolitical disruptions on supply chains.

We based our study on an in-depth literature review of non-exhaustive but high-quality publications over the past 26 years (1995-2022), in the fields of operations and production management, supply chain management, logistics, transportation, and public policy.

This paper demarcates geopolitical disruptions and the resulting impact on supply chains as a new subfield of research with three main themes centred on: supply chain design, tensions between nation states and technology.

It lays out the foundation for future research questions, which could be evaluated and hopefully answered in close partnership between businesses and academia. Such as: costs and benefits of supply chain regionalisation; practical applications of high technologies in alleviating the negative effects of geopolitical disruptions, etc.

Further, this study can be used as a guideline for practitioners as it provides managers with the advantages and disadvantages of numerous mitigation strategies, mostly related to technology adoption and supply chain design solutions.”

Read more: Geopolitical disruptions in global supply chains: a state-of-the-art literature review – L. Bednarski, S. Roscoe, C. Blome, M. C. Schleper – PRODUCTION PLANNING & CONTROL – Published online: 01 Dec 2023 – https://doi.org/10.1080/09537287.2023.2286283 

A better understanding of the world for better leadership

In October 2024, NEOMA Business School and IRIS, the Institute of International and Strategic Relations, are launching the Executive ‘Leadership & Geopolitics’ Certificate. This 5-day professional training course is aimed at experienced managers with a strong interest in geopolitical issues. To find out more, click here.

Associated programme

Executive Leadership & Geopolitics Certificate

Boost your leadership skills, explore personal transformation and master the geopolitical challenges of a constantly changing world.
  • Full time
  • 5 days
  • Paris, Remote