Making a Theoretical Contribution in Supply Chain Management



Making a theoretical contribution is a critical aspect of academic work in management disciplines, such as supply chain management. However, there is ongoing debate about what exactly constitutes a theory. According to Sutton and Staw (1995), elements like data, variables, hypotheses, and diagrams are not theory, and can even be misleading when referred to as such. This highlights the need for reflexivity when theorizing, as different approaches and perspectives can be taken. In the supply chain management discipline, there is often a focus on theory being rule-based like in physics or intervention-based like in engineering. However, theory can be much more than simply “explaining” and can also encompass “comprehending,” “ordering,” “enacting,” and “provoking” (Sandberg & Alvesson, 2021). In recent years, authors in the Journal of Supply Chain Management have contributed to the literature on theorizing through articles on discourse analysis (Hardy et al., 2020), critical engaged research (Touboulic et al., 2020), non-static and non-reductionist approaches (Wieland, 2021), metaphorical imagination (Stephens et al., 2022), and actor-network theory (Hald & Spring, in press). Despite these efforts, there are still many untapped opportunities. This webinar will delve into some of these opportunities and provide guidance on how to make a meaningful theoretical contribution.


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Meeting ID: 963 0152 6278