Navigating COVID-19: Unraveling Supply Chain Disruptions through Best-Worst Method and Fuzzy TOPSIS

Irfan Ali, Vincent Charles*, Umar Muhammad Modibbo, Tatiana Gherman, Srikant Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to global supply chains (SCs), affecting the production, distribution, and transportation of goods and services. To mitigate these disruptions, it is essential to identify the barriers that have impeded the seamless operation of SCs. This study identifies these barriers and assesses their impact on supply chain network (SCN).
Design/methodology/approach - To determine the relative importance of different barriers and rank the affected industries, a hybrid approach was employed, combining the best-worst method (BWM) and the technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS). To accommodate the inherent uncertainties associated with the pandemic, a triangular fuzzy TOPSIS was used to represent the linguistic variable ratings provided by decision-makers.
Findings - The study found that the airlines and hospitality industry was the most affected by the barriers, accounting for 46% of the total, followed by the healthcare industry (23%), the manufacturing industry (19%), and finally the consumer and retail industry (17%).
Research limitation/implications - This study is limited to the four critical industries and nine identified barriers. Other industries and barriers may have different weights and rankings. Nevertheless, the findings offer valuable insights for decision-makers in SC management, aiding them in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on their operations and enhancing their resilience against future disruptions.
Originality/value - This study enhances our understanding of COVID-19’s impact on SCN and provides a framework for assessing disruptions using multi-criteria decision-making processes. The hybrid approach of BWM and TOPSIS in a fuzzy environment is unique and offers potential applicability in various evaluation contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages43
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Jun 2023


  • Best-Worst Method
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Multi-Criteria Decision-Making
  • Fuzzy TOPSIS
  • Triangular Fuzzy BWM
  • Supply Chain Disruption


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