Theory building in the om/scm field: Pointing to the future by looking at the past

Thomas Choi, John G. Wacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We examine select theoretical papers from the Journal of Supply Chain Management (JSCM) and Journal of Operations Management (JOM) over a time period of the last 10 years. Our study reveals good theory-building practices. We find that the authors delineate a clear boundary around the operations management and supply chain management (OM/SCM) issue of their theoretical consideration. They build on existing theoretical perspectives but also advance the existing body of literature by proposing new constructs that can have a broader appeal. Multiple theoretical perspectives are integrated to explain an OM/SCM issue. Some of these perspectives can involve theoretically opposing or orthogonal concepts. By doing so, the authors often challenge the underlying theoretical conception of a dominant paradigm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-11
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Supply Chain Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Conceptual boundaries
  • Dominant paradigm
  • Multiple theories
  • Orthogonal concepts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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