Collective Action in SCM: A call for activist research

Anne Touboulic, Lucy McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the current focus of supply chain management (SCM)research; it considers field level and societal constraints and consequently the potential for change. It detailsthe underlying assumptions in the field, considering the dominant paradigms and stakeholders, and how thishas shaped the research we have engaged in as a community of scholars.Design/methodology/approach – This is a reflective inquiry that seeks to deconstruct the dominantdiscourses and paradigms in SCM. It offers alternative avenues of inquiry to “traditional” research,considering how different questions, perspectives and approaches might yield different learning for the field.offering alternative avenues to traditional research.Findings – This is a call for collective action, for solidarity, for a re-imagining of what research in SCM couldlook like. Research activism is challenging and potentially risky but necessary for the research community toengage in, particularly in light of the global societal grand challenges. Change can take place in the SCM fieldthrough collective action and solidarity. Three levels of activism are explored here – acting to solve the grandchallenges, acting to change the field and acting as individuals.Originality/value – This is a “speak-out” piece, which embraces and encourages reflexivity, new methods ofdoing and writing research as well as different perspectives, and especially a consideration for context andmultiple players in the supply chain. The authors contend that it is urgent to re-appropriate our own agencyas SCM researchers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2019

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