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SCM research leadership: the ranked agents and their networks

Sunil Babbar (Department of Information Technology and Operations Management, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)
Xenophon Koufteros (INFO, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Ravi S. Behara (Department of Information Technology and Operations Management, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)
Christina W.Y. Wong (Business Division Institute Textiles and Clothing, Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 11 October 2019

Issue publication date: 21 October 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine publications of supply chain management (SCM) researchers from across the world and maps the leadership role of authors and institutions based on how prolific they are in publishing and on network measures of centrality while accounting for the quality of the outlets that they publish in. It aims to inform stakeholders on who the leading SCM scholars are, their primary areas of SCM research, their publication profiles and the nature of their networks. It also identifies and informs on the leading SCM research institutions of the world and where leadership in specific areas of SCM research is emerging from.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on SCM papers appearing in a set of seven leading journals over the 15-year period of 2001-2015, publication scores and social network analysis measures of total degree centrality and Bonacich power centrality are used to identify the highest ranked agents in SCM research overall, as well as in some specific areas of SCM research. Social network analysis is also used to examine the nature and scope of the networks of the ranked agents and where leadership in SCM research is emerging from.

Findings

Authors and institutions from the USA and UK are found to dominate much of the rankings in SCM research both by publication score and social network analysis measures of centrality. In examining the networks of the very top authors and institutions of the world, their networks are found to be more inward-looking (country-centric) than outward-looking (globally dispersed). Further, researchers in Europe and Asia alike are found to exhibit significant continental inclinations in their network formations with researchers in Europe displaying greater propensity to collaborate with their European-based counterparts and researchers in Asia with their Asian-based counterparts. Also, from among the journals, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal is found to exhibit a far more expansive global reach than any of the other journals.

Research limitations/implications

The journal set used in this study, though representative of high-quality SCM research outlets, is not exhaustive of all potential outlets that publish SCM research. Further, the measure of quality that this study assigns to the various publications is based solely on a publication score that accounts for the quality of the journals, as rated by Association of Business Schools that the papers appear in and nothing else.

Practical implications

By informing the community of stakeholders of SCM research about the top-ranked SCM authors, institutions and countries of the world, the nature of their networks, as well as what the primary areas of SCM research of the leading authors in the world are, this research provides stakeholders, including managers, researchers and students, information that is helpful to them not only because of the insights it provides but also for the gauging of potential for embedding themselves in specific networks, engaging in collaborative research with the leading agents or pursuing educational opportunities with them.

Originality/value

This research is the first of its kind to identify and rank the top SCM authors and institutions from across the world using a representative set of seven leading SCM and primary OM journals based on publication scores and social network measures of centrality. The research is also the first of its kind to identify and rank the top authors and institutions within specific areas of SCM research and to identify future research opportunities relating to aspects of collaboration and networking in research endeavors.

Keywords

Citation

Babbar, S., Koufteros, X., Behara, R.S. and Wong, C.W.Y. (2019), "SCM research leadership: the ranked agents and their networks", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 821-854. https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-11-2018-0386

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited