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Inquiry and the Practice of Theoretical Conversation: Engaging in Dialogue to Elaborate Hidden Connections


Corresponding author:

Stanley E. Fawcett, 267 Waddis Building, Goddard School of Business and Economics, Weber State University, Ogden, UT 84408, USA; E-mail:


Our goal at JBL is not just to provide a forum for theoretical conversation but also to proactively invite more insightful and interactive conversation. As active inquiry and open dialogue are critical to achieving this goal, we discuss the nature of inquiry and argue for developing the skills and conditions required to promote dialogue over discussion. Only through more profound dialogue can we address the challenges of a tumultuous decision-making environment, advance theoretical understanding, and improve managerial practice. We then introduce “Dialogue,” a new feature at JBL, which will consist of concise statements of alternative perspectives and diverse views. Through Dialogue, we invite members of the supply chain community to join colleagues in a grand adventure of knowledge discovery. We hope you will agree that the quest for understanding is more fun when we travel the path of discovery together.