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Doctoral dissertations in supply chain management: a review of Chinese contributions from 1995 to 2019

Lu Yang (School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Baofeng Huo (College of Management and Economics, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 23 November 2020

Issue publication date: 29 April 2021




This study aims to investigate Chinese doctoral dissertations in supply chain management (SCM) by providing an overview of the evolution of this topic over the past 25 years.


This study reviews 1,945 doctoral dissertations in SCM from 39 Project 985 universities in China.


The annual number of SCM doctoral dissertations in China varied significantly over time, and the top producers are all strong players in the SCM field with long histories of research. The dissertations use multiple methods, of which mathematical, econometric modeling and simulation, and survey are the most frequently used. Most of the frequently used theories are borrowed from other disciplines. Traditional research topics are frequently investigated in Chinese doctoral dissertations in SCM, but the popular research topics differ by period.


This study has examined Chinese doctoral dissertations in SCM through a literature review. This study provides implications for research topics, methodological approaches, and theoretical lenses for future research. It also disseminates Chinese SCM knowledge to the global academic network to stimulate more SCM research.



This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (#71525005, #71821002, #71961137004). The authors thank participants in the Workshop on Empirical Operations and Supply Chain Management, Tianjin University (2019) for useful comments. The authors also thank Prof. Tyson R. Browning and Prof. Xenophon Koufteros for their helpful discussions and valuable assistance.


Yang, L. and Huo, B. (2021), "Doctoral dissertations in supply chain management: a review of Chinese contributions from 1995 to 2019", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 479-509.



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