The purpose of this paper is to use content analysis to review the extensive supply chain literature to summarize its past and current trends, and uncover existing gaps and opportunities for future global supply chain research.
Since the study uses content analysis, several dimensions of the literature were analyzed: research purpose, year of publication, journal name, methodology, theory building or verification, country of study, sample industry, global or non-global issues, and article classification.
From a methodological point, the literature mostly consists of empirical and descriptive studies with few exploratory articles. The review shows that global supply chains area relatively “immature” or “new phenomenon” research topic that is gaining interest from practitioners and academics.
It is hoped that by critically examining the extant literature, the authors can clearly identify the challenges and state of global supply chain research to provide supply chain researchers with a precise summary of the literature and directions for future studies.
This study also allows managers to recognize the methodologies and tools that can be used to enhance their supply chains. It is believed that various strategies could be adopted to create a robust global supply chain. In this respect, different industry sectors may require different global strategies and different global practices.
The findings show that there is a shortage of empirical studies on global supply chain strategies and outcomes, and most research focusses on supply chain practices and customer or supplier relationships.