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Guest Post: Future Research Themes in Supply Chain Management

August 19, 2016

andreas wielandToday’s Guest Post comes from Andreas Wieland, Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at Copenhagen Business School. This is his 4th posting.

What are the future dominant research themes in supply chain management? With my coathors Robert Handfield and Christian Durach, our new article, “Mapping the Landscape of Future Research Themes in Supply Chain Management” (see Journal of Business Logistics, Aug., 2016), answers the question. The results are based on survey data collected from 141 leading academics from the SCM discipline.

The respondents were presented a list with 35 topics that are potentially important in SCM. They were then asked to assess to what level they believe these topics will become important in the next years and to what level they think these topics should become important. The will– and should-become-important top 10 lists do not differ substantially. Both of them include the following topics: sustainability & green issues, analytics, risk management & disruption, health care, and innovation. Interestingly, big data, the topic ranked 1st on the will-become-important top 10 list, does not appear on the should-become-important top 10 list. Instead, the people dimension of SCM appears in the should-become-important top 10 list.

We also calculated the differences between the will- and should-become-important survey data. We find that the people dimension of SCM, ethical issues, internal integration, transparency/visibility, and human capital/talent management are the five topics that are expected to be most under researched in the next couple of years. So, if you are planning to start a new research project or a Ph.D. related to SCM, these topics could be good choices. On the other end, big data and analytics turn out to be the topics that are expected to be most over researched.

We also linked the topics that top the should-become-important list to each other. This has led to a table containing ideas that could lead to innovative and cross-disciplinary research questions.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2016 1:12 pm

    Dr. Andreas Wieland, Thank you for this post as it was great to see new trends that previously were not seen as important. The people dimension of SCM is a very interesting aspect of SCM and sometimes SCM topics are swallowed up by analytics more than keeping good talent or improving SCM skills. Thank you for your post and I look forward to reading your others.

  2. September 7, 2016 2:17 pm

    Reblogged this on philbisaillon's Blog and commented:
    I must agree that the people dimension of SCM is an important topic that because of changes in demographics, growing complexity of the SCM field and the realization that we are affected by global changes in the supply chain, the people dimension becomes an important topic. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this,

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