Nordic research in logistics and supply chain management: an empirical analysis
Journal article, 2008
Purpose – The purpose of this data-based analysis is to report and reflect on the characteristics of
the academic discipline concerned with logistics and supply chain management (SCM) as it is
conducted in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden). The paper
further seeks to explain variations in the research field in terms of the demographics, research domains
and methodologies, and publication patterns of the study’s respondents.
Design/methodology/approach – An e-mail questionnaire survey was distributed to 353
researchers based in the Nordic countries. With 144 answers returned, the response rate was 41 per cent.
Findings – The study did not provide a clear picture of a distinct Nordic research paradigm applying
to the study of logistics and SCM. The analysis shows as characteristic of research issues pursued by
Nordic researchers the focus on supply chains and networks and the use of dyads, chains or networks
of organizations as levels of analysis. The use of case study methodology and a highly diversified
publication pattern were likewise evident. Most researchers were found to rely heavily on external
research funding. Significant differences were also identified for research conducted by researchers
holding PhD degrees as compared to research by respondents with lower degrees, for researchers
affiliated with institutions based in the technical sciences in comparison to those in the social sciences,
and for institutions according to their varying degrees of experience with research in the field and
Research limitations/implications – The research reported here may help individual researchers
raise their consciousness about their own research.
Originality/value – This is the first empirical study to analyze research paradigms within logistics
and SCM in the Nordic countries. It identifies a number of significant differences in regard to research
patterns among various categories of researchers and institutions.
Supply chain management