Evolving Trends in Supply Chain Management: Complexity, New Technologies, and Innovative Methodological Approaches


1University of Catania, Catania, Italy

2University of Lisbon, Porto Salvo, Portugal

3University of Seville, Seville, Spain

4Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Evolving Trends in Supply Chain Management: Complexity, New Technologies, and Innovative Methodological Approaches


Product and service portfolios are exploding and novel processes and systems are proliferating. Supply chains are extending into all corners of the world and operations are becoming increasingly convoluted and problematic. In this context, supply chain management is turning into one of the most important key-success factors to deal with the increasing challenges of the business world.

Traditionally, supply chain management has focused on the assumption of linear relationships of buyers and suppliers. While a linear perspective may be useful to describe several aspects of transactions between buyers and suppliers, it fails to capture the complexity needed to understand a firm’s strategy or behavior, as both depend on a larger supply network that the firm is embedded in.

Nowadays, these supply networks are no longer linear systems and are characterized by more complex structures with autonomous and heterogeneous members. In addition, evolving developments in technology such as augmented reality, direct digital manufacturing, and warehouse automation, to name a few, will possibly reshape dramatically how manufacturing and supply chain management are carried out. As a result, the operations management community is pressed for rethinking structured and largely accepted concepts and methods in supply chain management and for proposing new tools, methods, and techniques to cope with these emerging paradigms of supply networks.

The objective of this special issue is to bring together high-quality papers exhibiting leading edge research in supply chain management by fully embracing the aforementioned issues. Both technical and review papers are welcomed. Submissions that do not fulfil this criterion will be rejected.

Specifically, papers for this special issue must demonstrate substantial new contributions, and authors must explicitly indicate (1) a clear problem statement, properly supported by a robust theoretical foundation and (2) the scientific advances compared to the previously published research literature. Furthermore, this information should be clearly stated in a mandatory cover letter.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • 3D printing in supply chain operations and strategies
  • Seamless supply chain management and visibility
  • Partial/asymmetrical collaboration among members
  • Industry 4.0 and supply chain automation
  • Internet of Things in multiechelon systems
  • Multimethod modelling and simulation
  • Novel inventory management strategies
  • Real case studies of complex supply chains


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