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Collective action in SCM: a call for activist research

Anne Touboulic (Business School, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Lucy McCarthy (Department of Management, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 4 May 2020

Issue publication date: 4 May 2020

508

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the current focus of supply chain management (SCM) research; it considers field level and societal constraints and consequently the potential for change. It details the underlying assumptions in the field, considering the dominant paradigms and stakeholders, and how this has shaped the research we have engaged in as a community of scholars.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a reflective inquiry that seeks to deconstruct the dominant discourses and paradigms in SCM. It offers alternative avenues of inquiry to “traditional” research, considering how different questions, perspectives and approaches might yield different learning for the field. offering alternative avenues to traditional research.

Findings

This is a call for collective action, for solidarity, for a re-imagining of what research in SCM could look like. Research activism is challenging and potentially risky but necessary for the research community to engage in, particularly in light of the global societal grand challenges. Change can take place in the SCM field through collective action and solidarity. Three levels of activism are explored here – acting to solve the grand challenges, acting to change the field and acting as individuals.

Originality/value

This is a “speak-out” piece, which embraces and encourages reflexivity, new methods of doing and writing research as well as different perspectives, and especially a consideration for context and multiple players in the supply chain. The authors contend that it is urgent to re-appropriate our own agency as SCM researchers.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Erratum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the article, Touboulic, A. and McCarthy, L. (2019), “Collective action in SCM: a call for activist research” published in The International Journal of Logistics Management, contained an error in the author affiliation for Anne Touboulic. The correct affiliation is: Business School, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK. These errors were introduced in the production process and have now been corrected in the online version. The publisher sincerely apologises for these errors and for any inconvenience caused.

Citation

Touboulic, A. and McCarthy, L. (2020), "Collective action in SCM: a call for activist research", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 3-20. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-08-2019-0222

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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