Using mixed methods in logistics and supply chain management research: current state and future directions

David B. Grant*, Sarah Shaw, Edward Sweeney, Witold Bahr, Siriwan Chaisurayakarn, Pietro Evangelista

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: Mixed methods research is useful to enhance theoretical and practical research contributions. However, single methods have predominated much logistics and supply chain management (LSCM) research. This paper presents a review of mixed methods research across ten years in LSCM to determine their usage, identify benefits and inhibitors, and provide suggestions for LSCM researchers to realise the benefits from using mixed methods. 

Design/methodology/approach: This paper adopts a mixed methods approach through a quantitative analysis of methods used in six leading LSCM journals, an e-mail survey of mixed methods article authors during the review period, and four published case studies that used mixed methods.

Findings: Only 144 (ten percent) of all empirical articles were published using mixed methods during the review period. A range of benefits and inhibitors regarding mixed methods adoption were found. Suggestions for LSCM authors include research training in mixed methods use and developing a project-specific research design due to the specificity and complexity associated with mixed methods research.

Originality/value: LSCM is at a critical juncture, shaped by new contexts, themes and challenges, and would benefit from different research approaches and methods. This paper contributes to the LSCM domain through analysing the current state, benefits and inhibitors of mixed methods research in LSCM journals to provide a renewed call to action and guidelines for mixed methods LSCM research, and suggesting research design adaptation to enable agile and resilient research when investigating rapidly changing and complex phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-198
Number of pages22
JournalThe International Journal of Logistics Management
Volume34
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Research
  • Mixed methods
  • Single methods
  • Logistics
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Transportation

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