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Toward Greater Validation of Supply Chain Management Theory and Concepts: The Roles of Research Replication and Meta-Analysis


Corresponding author:
Thomas J. Goldsby, Professor of Logistics, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA; E-mail:


Although researchers have been working for over three decades to identify, construct, and test the critical concepts and theories that comprise the supply chain management (SCM) discipline, the field’s theoretical basis has yet to be thoroughly vetted through repetitive, rigorous study. Emerging theories in SCM offer great explanatory potential, but if they are to stand the tests of time, place, and reason, research findings must be accumulated and synthesized. For the field to prosper, we advocate the execution of multiple studies that replicate findings across contexts while simultaneously encompassing relevant theoretical extensions. Furthermore, as SCM research streams mature, scholars should then employ meta-analytic techniques to gain consensus across studies, such that findings can be more confidently extolled to both academic and practitioner constituencies. In this article, we evaluate the progress of replication and meta-analysis to date within the SCM field and provide some prospects for thematic research that could perpetuate accelerated validation.