Pandemic-induced knowledge gaps in operations and supply chain management: COVID-19’s impacts on retailing

Schleper, Martin C, Gold, Stefan, Trautrims, Alexander and Baldock, Duncan (2021) Pandemic-induced knowledge gaps in operations and supply chain management: COVID-19’s impacts on retailing. International Journal of Operations and Production Management. ISSN 0144-3577

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Abstract

Purpose
This Impact Pathways paper aims to provide a timely and structured discussion of real-world problems at Marks and Spencer and in retail in general, evoked through the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach
The article presents collaborative research based on more than five hours of interviews and several iterative paper writing steps between management scholars and Marks & Spencer’s Head of Procurement - Logistics and Supply Chain. Continuous discussions for more than ten months among the research team assure the timeliness and relevance of the findings. The exceptional position of the executive and his career biography allowed the integration of a variety of intra-organisational and inter-organisational stakeholders.

Findings
This paper highlights the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic on operations and supply chain management (OSCM) in the retail industry, structured in upstream, internal and operational, and downstream and customer perspectives. The paper concludes with a practice-infused research agenda, which aims to trigger relevant research about the current and potential future crises.

Research limitations/implications
Although the research agenda is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the retail industry, the future research pathways are expected to inform business responses to potential future external shocks other than pandemics and in different industries as well.

Originality/value
Despite a plethora of studies already published on COVID-19 and OSCM, little is known on how the outbreak affects specific firms and industries. This paper offers an overview of COVID-19 related change as it happens at the retailer and in the retailing industry in general. This article is among the first to provide a practice-infused call for research on urgent issues being faced by business leaders directly relevant to our domain.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, operations management, research agenda, research-practice gap, retailing, supply chain management
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2021 08:02
Last Modified: 04 May 2021 13:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/97332

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