Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business boasts strong programs across its six departments, but especially when it comes to supply chain management. For the past decade, Broad has held the No. 1 ranking for supply chain management/logistics undergraduate programs, along with being No. 1 for graduate programs for four consecutive years.
Beyond the college’s status as a programmatic frontrunner, Broad’s supply chain management faculty are exceptional leaders in research productivity. Since 2010, Broad has been ranked No. 1 in the SCM Journal List for research output in empirically focused journals.
“The empirical research at the department is focused on a wide variety of approaches and methods,” said Sriram Narayanan, Kesseler Family Endowed Faculty Fellow, who serves as the department editor in inter-organizational relationship for the Journal of Operations Management, a top-tier journal in operations research and management science.
“Importantly, the research is focused on cutting-edge, real-world problems that have direct relevance not only to industry but to the community at large,” Narayanan said. “This impact from our research is brought to life by our lasting ranking as No. 1.”
Research and thought leadership from the department explore deeply diverse industries — everything from factory worker inclusion to global disruption of wildlife trafficking to managing hospital operating room waste.
“Business as a discipline — and supply chain management and logistics especially — is practical in its focus,” said Stanley E. Griffis, Bowersox-Thull Endowed Professor. “Ultimately, research in empirical journals is more grounded in what businesses actually do rather than being off in the ether.
“Being ranked No. 1 among these journals means the faculty here at the Broad College are clearly engaged with the real-world application of our research. And that’s not the easiest thing to do but should be expected in the top program.”
A perfect example of this real-world application has been how the department’s work has played a role in helping practitioners around the world amid COVID-19. Supply chain faculty have led the way with their expertise, weighing in with need-to-know information for CEOs to pivot operations effectively, advice for leaders to emerge post-pandemic, best practices for manufacturers to consider during economic recessions and insights into how the supply chain industry at large must change.
Numerous faculty members have also been recognized for contributing research articles that have high citation counts in top scholarly journals, with manufacturing and service sectors given equal levels of importance. Like Narayanan, Anand Nair, Eli Broad Endowed Professor, serves as a departmental editor in health care for the JOM and emphasized how research shapes a diverse range of outcomes and decisions.
“Research studies by department faculty members balance rigor with relevance and offer directions for manufacturing and service organizations within for-profit and not-for-profit sectors,” Nair said. “Researchers are skilled in multiple methodologies and employ them based on the suitability for addressing the problem context under consideration. Theoretical and managerial implications are given equal importance so that the findings are relatable to academics, practicing managers and business students.
“This emphasis allows researchers and editors to help in producing well-cited studies and shaping future research in the field,” he continued. “Findings from many of these studies provide directions for crafting decisions that can influence outcomes at various levels: individuals, projects, firms, networks and society at large.”
Influential roles with leading journals
In tandem with their reputation for robust, impactful and relevant research output, MSU supply chain management faculty are leading some of the field’s most reputed publications as editors. With this role comes the prestige of being recognized as an influential scholar and the responsibility as a decision maker for the journal.
“We place great value on the service of our faculty members to the profession through editorial positions in top-tier and high-impact journals,” said Vedat Verter, department chair and John H. McConnell Endowed Chair Professor. “These are very important responsibilities whereby we collectively hold the pulse of scholarly research and boost the quality of the research output published in our journals. Editors have a significant influence on the careers of younger generations of researchers.”
Since 2010, Verter has served as editor in chief of Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, a journal focusing on decision-making challenges in the public sector. Under his leadership, SEPS was accepted to the Web of Science citation list and, consequently, the volume and quality of submissions to the journal have improved significantly. SEPS is now ranked No. 15 in the list of 83 operations research and management science journals, enhancing the reputation of the publication overall.
Tobias Schoenherr, Hoagland-Metzler Endowed Professor, has served as one of four editors in chief of the International Journal of Operations and Production Management since 2017. IJOPM investigates opportunities, challenges and frontiers of developing and implementing strategies, systems, processes and practices in operations and supply chain management.
“We publish leading-edge, innovative research that has the potential to significantly advance the field of operations and supply chain management, theoretically and practically,” Schoenherr said. “Our editorial philosophy was able to substantially elevate the impact of the journal, as evidenced by a significant improvement in its impact factor and the journal continuing to be regarded as one of the top-tier journals in the world.
“As such, my editorship provides considerable exposure to Michigan State University and Broad,” he continued. “What I particularly enjoy in my role is to mentor doctoral students and junior faculty through the many talks I have been giving around the world on best practices in publishing.”
In June, Sri Talluri, Hoagland-Metzler Endowed Professor and Decision Sciences Institute Fellow, became one of two co-editors in chief of Decision Sciences Journal. DSJ is a premier business research publication with international visibility and impact that addresses contemporary business problems primarily focused on operations, supply chain and information systems and simultaneously provides novel managerial and theoretical insights.
“DSJ has a rich history of over 50 years as an elite journal, and it is one of the four journals in the SCM Journal List that has contributed to our No. 1 rank for research productivity,” Talluri said. “As a co-editor, my goal is to maintain and enhance the reputation of the journal by publishing high-quality work in a timely manner. One of the key changes in our editorial policy is for potential authors to establish practical relevance of their research via direct interactions with relevant constituents. At DSJ, we do not want to give the impression that the research we publish is merely concocted in an academic office without the benefit of input from the most relevant practitioners.”
With an eye to the future, Verter explained how the work is never done. “We will continue to further improve the department’s recognition among supply chain management scholars around the world,” he said. “To this end, we work very hard to recruit the most talented young researchers and provide them with the best environment to conduct high-quality research. We aspire to strengthen our productivity in analytically focused research as well.”
Clearly, the supply chain management department at MSU is a powerhouse. From our lasting legacy for the best undergraduate and graduate programs to our world-class reputation for thought leadership and research, Spartans dominate the supply chain.