Theoretical foundations for illegal supply chains
The subject of illegal supply chains (ISCs) is all but absent from supply chain management research. However, there is much to be gained from investigating this enigmatic and complex topic. This thesis presents propositions that outline the fundamentals for ISCs as an area of study, and reviews relevant theories for ISCs from criminology and supply chain management literature. By exploring these propositions in relation to a case study of the Sinaloa Cartel, the largest drug syndicate in the world, the aim was to verify the accuracy of the propositions so that they could be used in future research. Based on this example, it is proposed that ISCs are similar to their legal counterparts in terms of motivations, structure, and certain key strategies including agility and supply chain integration. Certain strategies are also found to be commonly held, whereas relationships are defined by individualistic rather than truly collaborative behaviours.