Why Theory is Relevant to Supply Chain Research

The Journal of Business Logistics has changed (I recently reported). In their first editorial, the new editors, Stanley E. Fawcett and Matthew A. Waller, share their vision and expectation that “articles published in the Journal of Business Logistics will be grounded in sound theory and make a clear contribution to theory development”. The authors help us to “make sense out of chaos” by clarifying a number of questions: What is theory and should research conversations describe, explain and/or prescribe? What constitutes a valuable theoretical contribution? The authors emphasize that good research must be both influential and interesting and they suggest a three-step action plan to assure that we produce and deliver good theory. The JBL’s editoral is already the second valuable essay about theory development published by an SCM journal within a very short time, the other one being a discussion about conceptual theory development in the Journal of Supply Chain Management. Theory development matters!

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About Andreas Wieland

Dr. Andreas Wieland is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Risk Management at the Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School. His current research interests include resilient and socially responsible supply chains.

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