Moving to the Next Level: Why Our Discipline Needs More Multilevel Theorization

Craig Carter, Gavin Meschnig, Lutz Kaufmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Numerous phenomena in supply chain management (SCM) involve more than one level of theory and analysis, such as individuals within groups, groups within organizations, and organizations in the supply chain. Furthermore, multilevel analysis has made the simultaneous testing of hypotheses at multiple levels a reality. However, while other disciplines have made steps toward adopting a multilevel perspective, the majority of SCM research still conceptualizes research questions at a single level. We provide theoretical reasoning for incorporating multilevel research into our discipline and a framework that outlines future research opportunities that would benefit from the incorporation of a multilevel approach. We also provide examples from the SCM literature to demonstrate how multilevel research can be used to enrich understanding of real-world SCM phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Supply Chain Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Multilevel phenomena
  • Theory building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Marketing


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