Practitioner perspectives on supply chain management and logistics: a study from the United Kingdom

Edward Sweeney, Witold Bahr

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Purpose: The focus of this paper is the evolution of supply chain management (SCM) and logistics, as well as of the relationship between them. Its purpose is to generate deep insights into practice, particularly in relation to the fundamental issue of how practitioners define these key terms and phrases.

Research approach: A largely qualitative study which involved in depth interviews with managers from two third party logistics providers (3PLs)/distributors, two retailers and two manufacturers from the United Kingdom. This interview protocol is based on the template used in a previous study published over a decade ago.

Findings and originality: The data collected during the focussed interviews in the United Kingdom is contrasted with results from the earlier study. The findings suggest that there is variation between practitioners particularly in relation to what SCM is specifically concerned with. This variation mirrors to a large extent the differing orientations and emphases evident in the many theoretical definitions of SCM that have been proposed in recent decades.

Research impact: The authors introduced the concept of refined replication in SCM research. This allows previous research to be built upon in order to test understanding of SCM theory and its practical implementation among SCM professionals in the United Kingdom.

Practical impact: A profile of SCM understanding and adoption by firms in the United Kingdom is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Event20th Annual Logistics Research Network Conference 2015 - Derby, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sept 201511 Sept 2015


Conference20th Annual Logistics Research Network Conference 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • supply chain management
  • logistics
  • relationships
  • definitions
  • practitioner


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