Building a Profession: Towards a Supply Chain and Logistics Body of Knowledge

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Voak, Adam (2020) Building a Profession: Towards a Supply Chain and Logistics Body of Knowledge. Other Degree thesis, Victoria University.


Continual advances in understanding the elements and interactions underpinning Supply Chain and Logistics (SCL) processes have become invaluable within the industry for improving organisational performance and securing competitive advantage. However, notwithstanding the importance of this enhanced understanding, there are still crucial concepts of consequence to the management of SCL practices which are not fully comprehended, nor universally recognised. This lack of clarity and accord within the area allows significant uncertainties to arise in the pursuit of maintaining and evolving professional practice. Uncertainty about the elements and interactions underpinning SCL processes accords with the lack of a generally accepted and universally agreed body of knowledge (BOK). An agreed BOK is pivotal for a profession because it informs its intellectual and formal development. These problems of comprehension must be resolved to ensure SCL’s acceptance and recognition by the broader academic community as a specialist discipline, and that its intellectual development is raised to levels equivalent to its essential global economic contribution. A secure theoretical footing is necessary to build the intellectual frameworks needed to support and firmly establish academic understandings of SCL, which will allow its recognition as a profession. The conceptual framework for this research was derived from a novel deployment of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy (Anderson et al., 2001). Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy assists in the reworking and merging of three discrete but relevant academic constructs: national qualification frameworks (NQFs), a summary of higher education qualifications and parallel BOK frameworks which exist for cognate professions. The research methodology included a qualitative review of existing contributions to the field, with data being analysed using Attride-Stirling’s (2001) thematic analysis approach. The survey focused on a purposively selected sample of Masters by coursework SCL programs in the public domain, restricting the selection to those that met specific accreditation criteria and university ranking requirements. They were taken from first-generation NQF jurisdictions, namely Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom (excluding Scotland) and Scotland (separately). The outcomes of this investigation were identification of substantial consistency in SCL developmental themes in first-generation NQF providers, a tentative formulation of a baseline BOK for the SCL profession, and a path- breaking methodological approach to distilling agreed knowledge within emerging disciplines that seek to develop professional status.

Additional Information

Doctor of Business Administration

Item type Thesis (Other Degree thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords supply chain; logistics; agreed body of knowledge; Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy; national qualification frameworks
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