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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Jennifer Rowley and Frances Slack

This article offers support and guidance for students undertaking a literature review as part of their dissertation during an undergraduate or Masters course. A literature

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Abstract

This article offers support and guidance for students undertaking a literature review as part of their dissertation during an undergraduate or Masters course. A literature review is a summary of a subject field that supports the identification of specific research questions. A literature review needs to draw on and evaluate a range of different types of sources including academic and professional journal articles, books, and web‐based resources. The literature search helps in the identification and location of relevant documents and other sources. Search engines can be used to search web resources and bibliographic databases. Conceptual frameworks can be a useful tool in developing an understanding of a subject area. Creating the literature review involves the stages of: scanning, making notes, structuring the literature review, writing the literature review, and building a bibliography.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1974

A.M. Woodward

Within the context of providing an indexing service to the review literature in science and technology, reviews are defined and six types of review literature described…

Abstract

Within the context of providing an indexing service to the review literature in science and technology, reviews are defined and six types of review literature described. The sources of review literature are examined and an attempt made to estimate the current annual output of reviews in specialist review serials, primary journals, conference proceedings, books, reports and secondary services. The total output of ‘good’ quality reviews from these sources in 1972 is estimated to be 22,000. The characteristics of review literature are examined for the purposes of automatic identification; a method of identifying reviews by using the number of references was found to be between 75 and 85 per cent effective at the 40 references level.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 26 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2021

Christian F. Durach, Joakim Hans Kembro and Andreas Wieland

The discipline's most common uses for literature reviews—identifying gaps, developing research agendas, and categorizing the literature—too often fail to challenge, change…

Abstract

Purpose

The discipline's most common uses for literature reviews—identifying gaps, developing research agendas, and categorizing the literature—too often fail to challenge, change or advance theoretical perspectives. The authors offer guidance to theorization through literature reviews. The key to theory advancement is consistency between the state of theory and the chosen review type.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual approach is taken. The authors identify shortcomings in literature reviews of logistics and supply chain management (L&SCM) research and develop a framework to aid theorization from literature.

Findings

Literature review types are categorized as inductive theory building, contextualized explanations, theory testing and interpretive sensemaking. The authors argue that the effectiveness of a review type depends on the prior state of theory, which ranges from nascent, to intermediate, to mature. The authors propose the interpretive sensemaking review as a novel review type rooted in the interpretive paradigm.

Practical implications

This study should be of immediate interest and value to logistics and supply chain management scholars—as well as scholars in other fields—because it offers a pathway to theory development through literature reviews. Appropriate applications of the proposed review types will result in more comprehensive theories.

Originality/value

This article lays down arguments for the need to change the way L&SCM scholars use literature reviews. It extends earlier work from the authors (Durach et al., 2017; A New Paradigm for Systematic Literature Reviews in Supply Chain Management, Journal of Supply Chain Management) by outlining four review types, and offering further insights to theorization, as is typically the goal in the synthesis step of literature reviews.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2016

Marc Wouters, Susana Morales, Sven Grollmuss and Michael Scheer

The paper provides an overview of research published in the innovation and operations management (IOM) literature on 15 methods for cost management in new product…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper provides an overview of research published in the innovation and operations management (IOM) literature on 15 methods for cost management in new product development, and it provides a comparison to an earlier review of the management accounting (MA) literature (Wouters & Morales, 2014).

Methodology/approach

This structured literature search covers papers published in 23 journals in IOM in the period 1990–2014.

Findings

The search yielded a sample of 208 unique papers with 275 results (one paper could refer to multiple cost management methods). The top 3 methods are modular design, component commonality, and product platforms, with 115 results (42%) together. In the MA literature, these three methods accounted for 29%, but target costing was the most researched cost management method by far (26%). Simulation is the most frequently used research method in the IOM literature, whereas this was averagely used in the MA literature; qualitative studies were the most frequently used research method in the MA literature, whereas this was averagely used in the IOM literature. We found a lot of papers presenting practical approaches or decision models as a further development of a particular cost management method, which is a clear difference from the MA literature.

Research limitations/implications

This review focused on the same cost management methods, and future research could also consider other cost management methods which are likely to be more important in the IOM literature compared to the MA literature. Future research could also investigate innovative cost management practices in more detail through longitudinal case studies.

Originality/value

This review of research on methods for cost management published outside the MA literature provides an overview for MA researchers. It highlights key differences between both literatures in their research of the same cost management methods.

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2020

Stefan Seuring, Sadaat Ali Yawar, Anna Land, Raja Usman Khalid and Philipp C. Sauer

Literature review articles have become a frequently applied research approach in operations and supply chain management (SCM). The purpose of this paper aims to elaborate…

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Abstract

Purpose

Literature review articles have become a frequently applied research approach in operations and supply chain management (SCM). The purpose of this paper aims to elaborate on four approaches for developing or employing theory in systematic literature reviews (SLRs).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses conceptual arguments and illustrates them by pointing to recent examples. In SLRs, the material collection is usually based on keywords and searching databases, which is comparatively well documented. Data analysis, however, often falls short in documentation and, consequently, is neither well explained nor replicable. Therefore, the focus of this paper is the elaboration of the data analysis and sense-making stage in the research process of SLRs.

Findings

The paper presents four different approaches, which are characterized as theory (1) building, (2) modification, (3) refinement and (4) extension, based on whether new concepts are formed or extant concepts within SCM or other fields of management theory are adopted.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of this research is that literature reviews could be conducted and presented in many ways. Since the focus of this research is on systematic literature reviews, only a limited number of approaches can be discussed and presented here.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to explaining the process and expected outcomes of a literature review and, therefore, aids in further developing the related methodological approaches. This is relevant as literature review publications now often replace conceptual or theoretical pieces but still have to deliver concerning demands of theory building.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Florian Kache and Stefan Seuring

This paper aims to assess the links among these supply chain constructs by conducting a full-scale systematic review of all supply chain management (SCM) literature reviews

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4642

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the links among these supply chain constructs by conducting a full-scale systematic review of all supply chain management (SCM) literature reviews published in ten leading logistics, SCM and operations management journals from 1989 to 2012. Collaboration and integration are as central to SCM as risk and performance management.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply content analysis to execute the systematic literature review on the sample of 103 articles, supplemented by contingency analysis. These approaches guarantee a replicable, rigorous and transparent research process and minimize researcher bias. The analytical categories required for the content analysis are defined along the constructs of collaboration/integration and risk/performance.

Findings

As can be expected, the review highlights the key role of the two constructs in SCM. In this light, the research claims to provide statistical evidence of a link between the constructs of collaboration/integration and risk/performance, most notably between collaboration and performance, information sharing and rewards sharing, as well as integration and supply chain performance.

Research limitations/implications

The study assesses the link between the constructs of collaboration/integration and risk/performance through research embedded in literature reviews, pinpointing research gaps and potential future research directions in the field. Contributing to SCM theory building, a thorough review provides statistical proof of the link between collaboration/integration and risk/performance.

Originality/value

Although numerous literature reviews have been conducted in the past on the SCM constructs of collaboration/integration and risk/performance, no full review of literature reviews aiming to test a theoretical link in the here presented form has yet been undertaken to the authors’ knowledge.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Alison Ashby, Mike Leat and Melanie Hudson‐Smith

The objective of this paper is to investigate systematically the discipline of supply chain management (SCM) within the context of sustainability. The two concepts are…

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15893

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to investigate systematically the discipline of supply chain management (SCM) within the context of sustainability. The two concepts are increasingly aligned, and sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) represents an evolving field where they explicitly interact. Given their complex and holistic nature, breaking down the literature to understand its structures, processes, connections and limitations can provide an objective view of the status of research in these highly important fields, identifying key areas for future research/theory development.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic review of current SCM literature is carried out, specifically in relation to the social and environmental dimensions of sustainability.

Findings

SSCM and the integration of sustainability into supply chains is a significant but evolving field evidenced by a current bias in the literature towards theory development and highly qualitative research methods. The environmental dimension is significantly better represented in the literature through specific processes at all stages of the supply chain. The social dimension is recognised, but receives less emphasis than expected given SCM's focus on interaction, relationships and communication. These two dimensions are treated separately in the literature with limited insight on how to integrate them and current SCM and sustainability research provides limited practical outputs.

Research limitations/implications

The review focuses on environmental and social sustainability within supply chains without explicit consideration of the economic dimension.

Practical implications

The review highlights the key themes and issues for supply chain managers faced with implementing sustainability. It also illustrates a number of areas for future research, along with the need for researchers to develop more practical tools for implementing SSCM.

Originality/value

Indicates the extent to which sustainability is integrated within SCM and where the research emphasis currently lies. The environmental dimension is significantly more defined and developed in the literature. SCM literature emphasises the importance of long‐term supplier relationships, but this “people‐focused” approach does not appear to translate into socially responsible supply chains. It suggests that the more process‐driven nature of environmental sustainability makes it easier to put into supply chain practice. There is also limited research or evidence on how the two dimensions can be integrated despite recognition of their inter‐relationship.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2016

Maurizio Massaro, John Dumay and James Guthrie

The purpose of this paper is to present a method for a structured literature review (SLR). An SLR is a method for examining a corpus of scholarly literature, to develop…

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6551

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a method for a structured literature review (SLR). An SLR is a method for examining a corpus of scholarly literature, to develop insights, critical reflections, future research paths and research questions. SLRs are common in scientific disciplines dominated by quantitative approaches, but they can be adapted in accounting studies since quantitative and qualitative approaches are commonly accepted.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review, as a piece of academic writing, must have a logical, planned structure. The authors also argue it requires tests based on qualitative and quantitative methods. Therefore, the authors describe ten steps for developing an SLR.

Findings

The SLR method is a way that scholars can stand “on the shoulders of giants” and provide insightful and impactful research that is different to the traditional authorship approaches to literature reviews.

Research limitations/implications

Traditional literature reviews can have varied results because of a lack of rigour. SLRs use a process that, through a set of rules, potentially offers less bias and more transparency of the execution and measures and techniques of validation and reliability.

Practical implications

SLRs provide an approach that can help academics to discover under-investigated topics and methods, nurturing, therefore, the development of new knowledge areas and research approaches.

Originality/value

The paper presents accounting researchers with an opportunity to develop insightful and publishable studies, and also serves as a basis for developing future research agendas in the accounting field. The authors advocate the SLR method especially to higher degree research students and emerging scholars as a way of potentially developing robust and defensible research agendas and questions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Stefan Seuring and Stefan Gold

Inconsistent research output makes critical literature reviews crucial tools for assessing and developing the knowledge base within a research field. Literature reviews in…

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14487

Abstract

Purpose

Inconsistent research output makes critical literature reviews crucial tools for assessing and developing the knowledge base within a research field. Literature reviews in the field of supply chain management (SCM) are often considerably less stringently presented than other empirical research. Replicability of the research and traceability of the arguments and conclusions call for more transparent and systematic procedures. The purpose of this paper is to elaborate on the importance of literature reviews in SCM.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature reviews are defined as primarily qualitative synthesis. Content analysis is introduced and applied for reviewing 22 literature reviews of seven sub‐fields of SCM, published in English‐speaking peer‐reviewed journals between 2000 and 2009. A descriptive evaluation of the literature body is followed by a content analysis on the basis of a specific pattern of analytic categories derived from a typical research process.

Findings

Each paper was assessed for the aim of research, the method of data gathering, the method of data analysis, and quality measures. While some papers provide information on all of these categories, many fail to provide all the information. This questions the quality of the literature review process and the findings presented in respective papers.

Research limitations/implications

While 22 literature reviews are taken into account in this paper as the basis of the empirical analysis, this allows for assessing the range of procedures applied in previous literature reviews and for pointing to their strengths and shortcomings.

Originality/value

The findings and subsequent methodological discussions aim at providing practical guidance for SCM researchers on how to use content analysis for conducting literature reviews.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2016

Tingting Huang and Kazuhiko Yasuda

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the current status of enterprise resource planning (ERP) field and address some issues in literature reviews, the authors conduct…

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4216

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the current status of enterprise resource planning (ERP) field and address some issues in literature reviews, the authors conduct a comprehensive literature survey of extensive literature reviews of ERP in organizational contexts and map all the existing research issues that have been mentioned.

Design/methodology/approach

Two groups of keywords are set to search papers through academic search engine and academic databases. Total 86 literature reviews have been accumulated and categorized into three main categories and five sub-categories. The authors adopt multi-method approach to analyze the survey result. It consists of review type, geographical area, publication type, theory, and process approach.

Findings

Literature reviews need more continuity, objectivity, and integrality. More efforts should be made to increase methodologically sound and theoretically grounded research. In ERP research field, the topics in the post-implementation phase are heating up recently but still in its initial stage as well as small and medium enterprises research. The development of ERP in specific area or industry is considered to be critical. More longitudinal case study should be launched. Looking for the distribution of research across geographical areas is a potential perspective of researching as well.

Originality/value

This is the first comprehensive research that aims to analyze all the literature review in ERP field. The specific analysis provides critical detail for researchers to find the needed research. The discussion of this paper can be very valuable and helpful for assisting researchers to find their directions, and contributing to the development of literature reviews in ERP research field.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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