The field of supply chain management (SCM) evolves dramatically due to factors of globalization, innovation, sustainability, and technology. These changes raise challenges not only to higher education institutions, but also to students, employing organizations, and third parties like SCM-related professional bodies. To understand the challenge, the purpose of this paper is to examine the gap between demand and supply of SCM-related knowledge areas, answer-related design questions, and make recommendations to close the gaps.
To compare the demand and supply of SCM-related knowledge areas, demand data is collected from a professional career website and supply data is gathered from operations management (OM) and SCM course syllabi from AACSB-accredited business schools in the USA. Cluster analysis identifies how supply and demand are matched on the data collected.
First, gaps exist between SCM talent requirements from industry and the knowledge/skill training by US business schools. This paper identifies matching, under-supplying, and over-supplying knowledge areas. Under-supply in emerging areas such as SCM information technology and certain logistics management topics are found. Some traditional OM topics are over-supplied due to out-of-date industry applications and should be revised to reflect the field’s transition from an OM to SCM view. Last, this paper makes recommendations to different stakeholders in this matching supply with demand process.
This study contributes to the literature in two ways. First, it provides an up-to-date understanding on demand and supply of SCM talent in USA. Second, it provides insights and recommendations not only to educators on curriculum design, but also to potential candidates interested in SCM careers, to companies’ job recruiters, and to professional organizations (such as APICS and Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) to reduce the gaps between demand and supply.
The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to the editors of International Journal of Logistics Management, and two anonymous reviewers for their guidance and constructive comments which helped improve this paper significantly.
Sinha, A., Millhiser, W.P. and He, Y. (2016), "Matching supply with demand in supply chain management education", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 837-861. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-03-2015-0058
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