Practitioner perspectives on supply chain management and logistics: a study from Poland and Switzerland

Witold Bahr, Katrin Oettmeier, Edward Sweeney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Purpose: The focus of this paper is the evolution of supply chain management (SCM) and logistics and the relationship between these concepts. Its purpose is to generate deep insights into practice, particularly in relation to the fundamental issue of how practitioners from different industrial and geographical contexts define the supply chain, SCM and logistics.
Design/methodology/approach: The paper adopts an inductive research approach. Qualitative empirical data was collected through in-depth interviews among managers from four third-party logistics providers, four retailers and four manufacturers based in Poland and Switzerland. The semi-structured interview guide is based on a previous study by Lummus et al. (2001). The data collected during the interviews is contrasted with insights from existing research about the supply
chain, SCM and logistics.
Findings : The findings suggest that there are context-dependent differences between practitioners’ understanding of the supply chain, SCM and logistics. This variation mirrors to some extent the plethora of orientations and emphases evident in the academic definitions of these terms, which have been proposed in recent decades.
Research limitations/implications: The authors use the concept of refined replication in operations management research. This allows us to build upon previous research in order to test the current understanding of SCM theory among professionals. The sample is limited to Poland and Switzerland.
Practical implications: Practitioners benefit from differentiated insights into the contemporary understanding of and linkages between the terms supply chain, SCM and logistics. Moreover, they are sensitized for context-specific variations in the meaning of these concepts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNOFOMA 2017 - Proceedings of the 29th annual Nordic logistics research network conference
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2017
Event29th Annual Nordic Logistics Research Network Conference - Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Duration: 8 Jun 20179 Jun 2017


Conference29th Annual Nordic Logistics Research Network Conference
Abbreviated titleNOFOMA 2017
Internet address




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