Reimagining Supply Chain Management Practice and Research


Key deadlines

Submissions open: 30th July 2023

Submissions close: 30th December 2023


IJPDLM has launched a special section of the journal focused on transformers and innovators (van Hoek et al, 2020; van Hoek, 2022 I). The aim of this section is to publish papers that help us learn from the greatest innovations and thought leaders from the past, as well as emerging new practices, technologies and innovations, to inspire research and thinking that can propel supply chain management into the bright future that it has. To shape a better future, this special issue encourages scholars to reimagine supply chain management practice and research. In order to accelerate learning and the ensure timely impact on our field, papers called for are shorter, do not need to feature a full empirical study and may instead conceptualize and articulate new thought and research opportunities, based upon (early) lessons from innovators and transformers.

This special issue will be devoted to transformer and innovator papers in six categories (but not limited to):

  1. Revisiting lessons from our founders
  2. Conceptualizations of new technologies and practices in supply chain management
  3. Learning from promising new industry practices
  4. Articulation of novel or re-imagined new supply chain paradigms
  5. Application of metaverse in the design of new supply chain scenarios
  6. Realizing the concept of real time risk management in supply chain operations

Founders from academic such as Don Bowersox, Bud LaLonde and John Coyle together with supply chain hall of famers from industry such as JB Hunt, Malcom McClean and Jim Casey have established the foundations for our discipline that profoundly impact supply chains today. As our discipline matures there is real value in documenting how these leaders impact our discipline. Additionally, there are some lessons from their work that might need to be relearned, reimagined and maybe still need to be learned for the future. A recent paper about the co-founder of this journal Martin Christopher, for example, points out that researchers today may have floated away from our fields foundations of relevance and industry-engagement (van Hoek, 2021). And a recent paper about lessons learned from Henry Ford points out how Ohno build the Toyota production system as an extension of the Ford Production System, rather than a complete opposite to it (van Hoek, 2022 II).

The article also points at several lessons learned from Ford that hold powerful potential for the future, including the need to make failure safe and establish an inclusive work environment for the good of business and mankind. In this special issue we welcome papers that features lessons learned from founders and leading transformers in order to be able to continue learning from them and to point at further potential of these innovations and lessons learned.

Conceptualizations of new technologies and practices are valuable given the pace of innovation and progress in supply chains today, coupled with the need for supply chain management to help face great societal challenges including sustainability and geopolitical challenges. Reimagination is about totally new ways of thinking. Solutions such as Net Zero do not necessarily reduce emission; we need creative imagination of supply chains that are regenerative to reduce global warming.

There is a lot of disruptive technology and practice that deserve conceptualization to inspire further innovation and research. How can the metaverse support supply chain resiliency efforts? What are the implications of ChatGPT on supply chains? Can control towers improve sustainability efforts? How to implement drone delivery into real world supply chains? How is supply chain knowledge generated when machines become autonomous?

Learning from promising new industry practice provides a great opportunity for industry engagement in areas where industry seeks to learn more and has promising practice and approaches that can inspire relevant research that can impact real world progress. From control towers used by a single shipper or carrier new platforms for multiple shippers and carriers are being tested, with lots of experiments to make them more intelligent.

What new business models are proposed to create e.g., textile supply chains with zero waste to landfill? How do the industries learn as they transform themselves? Papers that capture early efforts and initial learnings and identify opportunities for research and industry practice, but not necessarily feature a full design cycle or full empirical study of drivers, antecedents and results, are welcomed.

Novel or re-imagined new supply chain paradigms. Supply chains todays are not sustainable, not responsive enough to confront new disruptions, and slow in innovation. The supply chains of the future can be circular (Rogan et al., 2022), regenerative, much more responsive, nimble, and innovative. How can the future supply chains cope with another global mega disaster like COVID-19 (Flynn et al., 2020)? Are changes such as regionalizing supply chains, centralizing supply chain planning, implementing advanced analytics (Alicke et al., 2020) enough? What new supply chain paradigms we need in the future?

Application of metaverse in the design of new supply chain scenarios. Robust supply chains depend on a constant redesign of supply chain based on different future scenarios. To do this effectively, there is a need to visualize the implications of different decisions made by different partners from different part of the world. By connecting different partners into different scenarios, could metaverse technologies help coordinating and imagining new joint-up supply chain strategies?

Real time risk management in supply chain operations. While there are already technologies and solutions such as Control Tower the ability to use real-time data to understand and mitigate risk remain limited. Often it is the opaque parts of the supply chains that hide risk. Sometimes it is the least expected risks that disrupt a supply chain. How can supply chains recognize new risks, shift to different modes of mitigation and prevention by sharing and using real-time data?

Guest editors:

Remko Van Hoek, University of Arkansas, USA, [email protected]

David Loseby, Leeds University Business School, the UK, [email protected]  

Chee Yew Wong, Leeds University Business School, the UK, [email protected]

Submission information

The new section welcomes short articles (4,000–6,000 words including figures, tables, references and appendix). Please prepare the manuscript according to the requirements set out by the below editorial:

van Hoek, R., Loseby, D. and Wong, C.Y. (2020), "Editorial: new section", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 50 No. 9/10, pp. 769-774.

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see the author guidelines here.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”.

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.


Alicke, K., Gupta, R., Trautwein, V. (2020), “Resetting supply chains for the next normal”, McKInsey & Company, 1-5.

van Hoek, R. (2021), "Retrospective on the launch of IJPDLM – lessons for the future of logistics and supply chain management research", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 51 No. 10, pp. 1065-1089.

van Hoek, R. (2022 I), "Editorial: From impact and relevance to learning faster and innovating forward – introduction of a new paper category", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 52 No. 9/10, pp. 745-747.

van Hoek, R. (2022 II), "Lessons from CSCMP Supply Chain Hall of Famer Henry Ford and the research that they call for in modern supply chains", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 52 No. 1, pp. 88-102.

van Hoek, R.Loseby, D. and Wong, C.Y. (2020), "Editorial: new section", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 50 No. 9/10, pp. 769-774.

Rogan, J., Fürstenberg, F. and Wieland, A. (2022), "Shaping the Transition from Linear to Circular Supply Chains", Bals, L., Tate, W.L. and Ellram, L.M. (Ed.) Circular Economy Supply Chains: From Chains to Systems, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 69-87.

Flynn, B., Cantor, D., Pagell, M., Dooley, K.J., Azadegan, A. (2020), “From the Editors: Introduction to Managing Supply Chains Beyond Covid-19 - Preparing for the Next Global Mega-Disruption”, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Vol. 57 No. 1, pp. 3-6.