The Impact of Technology on Supply Chains in Emerging and Informal Markets

Call for papers for: International Journal of Logistics Management

Special Issue Call for Papers from International Journal of Logistics Management

The Impact of Technology on Supply Chains in Emerging and Informal Markets

Given growing saturation in industrialized and formal markets, opportunities in the base of the pyramid (BoP) have been attracting global firms to start considering informal markets as their next business destination. BoP markets are characterized by their informal nature and lax economic activity. The relatively weak purchasing power of BoP consumers, lack of institutional and transportation infrastructure, the geographically dispersed consumer base as well as their unique demands require firms operating in these markets to rethink and innovate their traditional supply chain and business models and develop new ones, with indigenized innovations. Concurrently, the advent of technology has played a crucial role in enabling the economic and supply chain activities around the globe, and BoP markets are no exception. Technology-enabled process and product innovations have been proposed as fundamental to the sustainable development of businesses in BoP markets (Hall et al., 2014; London and Hart, 2004). 
This special issue seeks to excite and invite scholars to develop a concerted and focused research stream on issues related to managing and leveraging technology for sustainable supply chain management in BoP markets. With this call for the special issue, we hope to inspire BoP and supply chain researchers to pursue the highlighted issues through scientific inquiry and welcome theoretical and empirical submissions on the subject. We specifically encourage qualitative research investigating these new phenomena in an exploratory manner, while at the same time also welcome quantitative empirical studies. We are confident that the special issue will set the stage for future studies that will eventually enrich our understanding of technological and other aspects related to BoP supply chains.
The positive impact of communication technology on linking supply chain actors along the BoP supply chains is well acknowledged (Anderson and Markides, 2007; Ghauri et al., 2014). This appreciation demands research targeting the crossroads of supply chains and technology in BoP more carefully and ambitiously. However, the contemporary BoP literature appears short of providing a clear picture of prospects, implications, and appropriateness of technology for BoP businesses in general and supply chains in particular (Khalid and Seuring, 2019; Kolk et al., 2014). Apart from highlighting the technology-enabled achievements in streamlining financial flows (Arnold and Valentin, 2013), processes for innovation, and presenting examples of technological ventures, current BoP literature does not have much to offer for a student of the subject (Hall et al., 2014; Lim et al., 2013; London et al., 2010). On the other side, the role of technology in facilitating business operations in BoP markets has yet to be acknowledged in supply chain research. To date, there is a lack of research on the implications of technology for (sustainable) supply chains serving the informal markets in BoP economies. A research gap thereby seems evident at the crossroads of supply chains, technology, sustainability, and BoP economies, which we want to highlight and attempt to address through this special issue.
The special issue also intends to position the International Journal of Logistics Management (IJLM) in a more future-oriented place by addressing the four opportunities and challenges highlighted by Liao-Troth et al. (2012). These include timely and relevant topics; grounding research in theory; methodological rigor; and expanding the understanding of the role logistics and supply chain management play around the world. Gammelgaard (2019) in her recent editorial for the IJLM considered the four challenges as opportunities, which can potentially be used by contributors of IJLM as avenues of further research exploration. In this context, we consider studying the crossroads of supply chains and technology in BoP a relevant and interesting topic which can inform business operations in informal markets. Moving on, we also intend to encourage BoP researchers to appreciate the evident theoretical void of BoP research and start working on this end. The aim includes preparing a theoretical base well able to address unique challenges of informal markets and consequently drive the BoP research further. Furthermore, on the methodology side, we will welcome studies employing more diverse data collection and analysis techniques, thereby helping broaden the scope of mostly case-based BoP literature (Kolk et al., 2014). Lastly, by departing from the traditional research context and delving more into concerns of informal markets, the special issue will help us better understand the role supply chain and logistics plays in driving the societies towards a more global setting.
•    This special issue invites research on themes, such as, but not limited to:
•    Effect of technology on buyer-supplier relationships in BoP 
•    Application of technology to create inclusive business opportunities in supply chains in BoP 
•    Implications of technology for logistics operations in BoP
•    Deployment of technology to address social and environmental challenges in BoP supply chains
•    Technologies enabling BoP entrepreneurs to increase the operational and sustainability performance of their supply chains
•    Technology enabled linkage of firms with widely dispersed end consumers
•    Influence of technology in creation of social innovations for supply chains in BoP contexts 
•    Effect of technology on the circularity of supply chains at the BoP

We invite empirical and conceptual papers for submission. The expected year of publication for this special issue is 2021 or early 2022.

Timeline and Submission instructions

Submissions are due by 1 December 2020. It is highly recommended that manuscripts go through a professional English proof reading before submission. All manuscripts will undergo a double-blind review process. Articles should be a maximum of 10,000 words in length. This includes abstract, all text, references and appendices. Articles should follow the manuscript requirements presented on the author guidelines outlined on the journal’s page.
Submissions to be made through the ScholarOne submission portal and select ‘The Impact of Technology on Supply Chains in Emerging and Informal Markets’ from the menu.
For questions regarding this special issue, please contact any of the guest editors: Usman Khalid ([email protected]), Shakeel Sadiq Jajja ([email protected]), Philip Beske-Janssen ([email protected]) or Daiane Mülling Neutzling ([email protected]).

Guest Editors

•    Usman Khalid
School of Business and Management
Information Technology University, Lahore, Pakistan

•    Shakeel Sadiq Jajja
Suleman Dawood School of Business
Lahore University of Management Sciences DHA Lahore, Pakistan

•    Philip Beske-Janssen
Department of Operations Management
Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark

•    Daiane Mülling Neutzling
Operations and Marketing
University of Fortaleza, Fortaleza, Brazil


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