Management development and the supply chain manager of the future

John Mangan (University of Hull, Hull, UK)
Martin Christopher (Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)

International Journal of Logistics Management, The

ISSN: 0957-4093

Publication date: 1 December 2005



With the growing acceptance of logistics and supply chain management (SCM) as critical business concerns, there is an emerging realisation that more investment is needed to develop appropriate managerial skills and competencies for supply chain managers. This paper explores the challenges for management development that arise as organisations seek to bridge the gap between current capabilities and those required for future success.


Three constituencies were of interest to our research: providers of education and training, students and participants on programmes, and corporates who purchase programmes. A triangulated research approach was employed in order to capture the views of each of these constituencies. This comprised a focus group, interviews and surveys, and a case study of logistics/SCM development at one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies.


The key knowledge areas and competencies/skills required by logistics and supply chain managers are identified. Preferred teaching approaches are also identified, as are optimum approaches for career development. The subtle yet significant differences that exist among the three constituencies in the various areas and approaches are highlighted. The results thus constitute a tentative skills profile for the logistics and supply chain manager of the future.


The research provides a multi‐stakeholder insight, set in the context of the key business transformations which are shaping logistics and SCM practice, into the development of the supply chain manager of the future. Practical recommendations emerge for all stakeholders in logistics/SCM development practice. Recommendations for further research are also made, particularly for (from a methodological perspective) more case study research, and (from a research focus perspective) research into learning styles and also linking individual, organisational and supply chain learning.



Mangan, J. and Christopher, M. (2005), "Management development and the supply chain manager of the future", International Journal of Logistics Management, The, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 178-191.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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