The emergence of logistics and supply chain management as a fully mature business discipline may depend on the development of foundational supply chain management perspectives embracing a focus on responsiveness. Hundreds of papers in our field conceptualize responsiveness and related concepts in disconnected ways ignoring this potentially valuable foundation for investigating supply chain strategic and logistical adjustments. Although these extant studies highlight many important issues related to responsiveness, their conceptualizations and nomological networks vary considerably. This diffuse focus seriously hinders efforts to create an overarching theoretical perspective in a dynamic field without one. The result is a masking of promising research directions that could help define the discipline. Drawing from the organizational economics, logistics, and supply chain management literatures, we begin the argument that responsiveness—realized through logistics and supply chain management—has strong potential as our defined foundational perspective. All roads to superior performance depend upon supply chain responsiveness to the environment, supply chain members, stakeholders, and the consumer. Our proposed Responsiveness View of supply chain management supports the exploration of how supply chains compete successfully amidst disruption and change, helping to define a young, theoretically distinct, research domain.
- Theory development