Publication Details

Boehme, T., Childerhouse, P., Deakins, E. & Towill, D. (2011). Reflections on interpretive supply chain research. The 3rd International Conference on Logistics and Transport & The 4th International Conference on Operations and Supply Chain Management (ICLT & OSCM 2011) (pp. 463-471). Thailand: UP Organizer and Publication Co. Ltd.


A key purpose of this paper is to stimulate researchers into utilising a more balanced portfolio of research methods when generating supply chain theory. The supply chain/logistics literature overwhelmingly exhibits objectivist/positivist philosophical assumptions, indicating that this is what researchers believe constitutes valid discipline knowledge. In contrast, this paper demonstrates that an interpretive perspective is capable of yielding a comprehensive picture of the relationship between the supply chain and the ‘messy’ environment within which it is embedded (contingency theory). By reflecting on lessons learned through many years of practical researcher experience with such a methodology, this paper serves to motivate the supply chain research community to consider adopting a more interpretive stance when conducting supply chain research.

Link to publisher version (URL)

International Conference on Logistics and Transport