Why Research in Sustainable Supply Chain Management Should Have No Future

Journal of Supply Chain Management, Vol. 50 No. 1, Forthcoming

32 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2013

See all articles by Mark Pagell

Mark Pagell

University College Dublin (UCD)

Anton Shevchenko

York University

Date Written: September 10, 2013

Abstract

In the last two decades the topic of sustainability has moved from the fringes of supply chain management research to the mainstream and is now an area of significant research activity. In this paper we argue that while this increase in acceptance and activity is welcome and has lead to a greater understanding of sustainability, our present knowledge is not sufficient to create truly sustainable supply chains. We build on this insight to identify five main issues that future research needs to address. We argue that when it comes to the theory of sustainable supply chain management, previous research has focused on the synergistic and familiar while overlooking trade-offs and radical innovation. These theoretical issues are compounded by measures that do not truly capture a supply chain’s impacts and methods that are better at looking backwards than forwards. The paper concludes by proposing a series of recommendations that address these issues to help in the development of truly sustainable supply chains.

Keywords: sustainability, supply chain management, sustainable supply chain management

Suggested Citation

Pagell, Mark and Shevchenko, Anton, Why Research in Sustainable Supply Chain Management Should Have No Future (September 10, 2013). Journal of Supply Chain Management, Vol. 50 No. 1, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2323369

Mark Pagell (Contact Author)

University College Dublin (UCD) ( email )

Belfield, Dublin 4 4
Ireland

Anton Shevchenko

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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