As in previous years, the Journal of Supply Chain Management recently announced the winning paper of the 2021 Best Paper Awards at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. And here it is: On Publicness Theory and Its Implications for Supply Chain Integration: The Case of Criminal Justice Supply Chains by Aline Pietrix Seepma, Dirk Pieter van Donk, and Carolien de Blok. Congratulations! Herein, the authors extend publicness theory to its application at the interorganizational level. JSCM also announced two runner-ups. The first one is Selecting Startups as Suppliers: A Typology of Supplier Selection Archetypes by Stefan Kurpjuweit, Stephan M. Wagner, and Thomas Y. Choi. The second one is my own paper, Dancing the Supply Chain: Toward Transformative Supply Chain Management (see my previous blog post). Just to make this very clear, the decisions for these awards were made by a committee before I applied for the role as JSCM Co-Editor-in-Chief.
The International Energy Agency has just released a new special report entitled Solar PV Global Supply Chains. It examines solar PV (= photovoltaic) supply chains “from raw materials all the way to the finished product, spanning the five main segments of the manufacturing process: polysilicon, ingots, wafers, cells and modules”. The authors argue that “[p]utting the world on a path to reaching net zero emissions requires solar PV to expand globally on an even greater scale, raising concerns about security of manufacturing supply for achieving such rapid growth rates – but also offering new opportunities for diversification”. It becomes clear from the report that China currently dominates such supply chains and that diversification can reduce supply chain vulnerabilities and offer economic and environmental opportunities. According to the authors, policy makers need to aim for (1) diversifying manufacturing and raw material supplies, (2) de-risking investment, (3) ensuring environmental and social sustainability, (4) continuing to foster innovation, and (5) developing and strengthening recycling capabilities.
Language in academic texts should not only be used to list arguments, to summarize methodical steps, or to report results. Too often, as a reviewer, I have read manuscripts that have not effectively used what I consider to be the most important function of language in academic texts: Above all, language should serve to communicate with the reader. In some cases, I could not believe how imprecise sentences were formulated, how unconvincing arguments were developed, and how the language simply lacked “beauty”. In fact, there is no contradiction between a neutrally worded text, if that is desired, and the pleasure that a reader feels while reading it. Unfortunately, authors often also lack vocabulary. I can only recommend every academic author to read an English novel at least once in a while and to pay attention to the language. Of course, the language in academic texts differs from that in novels. But there is still a lot to learn.