Reminder: Call for Papers for Emerging Discourse Incubator

Call for papers

Posts tagged Management
EDI: Journal of Supply Chain Management launches call for papers for it's first Emerging Discourse Incubator

Emerging Discourse Incubator: 
Research where the focal actor in the network is not a for-profit firm

As part of its strategy of stimulating rigorous empirical research that contributes to theory on topics that have not yet garnered the attention they merit, the Journal of Supply Chain Management is launching a new Emerging Discourse Incubator (EDI). While the goal is similar to that of a special issue or special topic forum, the EDI format will allow the discourse on an emerging topic to develop over more than a year, beginning with invited papers from eminent scholars and emerging researchers in the first issue, followed by submitted articles in subsequent issues. The longer timeframe will lead to deeper insights and provide a stronger foundation for future research.

The topic for the first EDI is research where the focal actor in a supply network is not a for-profit firm. The goal is to incubate a discourse where organizations such as NGOs, regulators, and the like are viewed as managers of their own supply networks, rather than as non-traditional members of other firms’ networks. While these networks may contain for-profit firms, the focus is on managing them from the perspective of organizations whose main motivation is not profit maximization (Carter, et al., 2015; Pagell & Wu, 2009).

With the exception of humanitarian logistics, SCM research is almost always based on a for-profit firm as the focal actor in the network, typically with the explicit aim of increasing its profits. This is a major oversight, since actors such as NGOs also manage supply chains, thus, perspectives other than maximizing one actor’s profits may be more relevant (Pagell & Shevchenko, 2014). For example, Rodríguez et al., (2016) describe how NGOs use traditional supply chain management practices to alleviate poverty. NGOs and the like are expected to develop unique practices, due to their motivation and resources (Rodriguez, et al., 2016). Research needs to explore this, in order to both improve management of these actors’ networks and enable for-profit firms to better achieve their sustainability goals. Thus, the goal of this EDI is to expand our knowledge so that the SCM field is of value to all organizations involved in managing a supply network.

We will consider all research addressing supply chains from this perspective that advances JSCM’s mission of publishing high-quality, high-impact behavioral research focusing on theory building and empirical methodologies. Potential focal actors include:
• NGOs
• Social ventures, B-corporations and other organizations for which profitability matters, but is not the primary goal
• Regulators and other governmental entities
• Co-ops and other collectives
• The communities and natural systems where for-profit ventures operate

Topics include, but are not limited to, questions such as:
• When and how can traditional SCM practices be adopted, when the focal actor in the network is not motivated primarily by profit?
• Which unique or presently unknown practices do these actors use to achieve their goals? Can these practices enable for-profit firms achieve their sustainability goals?
• Are the networks these actors construct different from networks constructed by for-profit firms? Does this have implications for their effectiveness? 
• How does a focal actor with limited financial resources govern its network, especially if it contains powerful for-profit entities and or firms with different motivations?

All submissions are expected to make a contribution to theory; we envisage that exploring these focal actors will offer rich opportunities to elaborate on existing theory or build new theory. At a minimum, by expanding research to consider new actors, all submissions should explicate boundary conditions, laying a foundation for further theoretical development.


June, 2017 Initial call for submissions
June, 2017-December 2018 Submissions to the EDI are welcomed, as well as regular submissions
January, 2018 Invited papers that will be published in the first issue will appear on-line, initiating the discourse
January-December, 2018 As papers related to the EDI are accepted, they will be published online, followed by publication in the journal

For additional details please click here.

Discussing the Emerging Discourse Incubator

How is an EDI different from a special issue or a special topic forum?
While the goals of both are similar, there are two primary differences. First, the timeframe for the EDI will extend across an entire year, thus, it is like an annual theme, leading to deeper discourse, as later papers build on and respond to both invited papers and earlier submitted articles. Second, in order to ensure consistency and speed of the review process, the manuscripts submitted to the EDI will be processed by JSCM’s editors, following the regular review process, rather than by guest editors.

Does this mean that I can’t submit a paper that is not related to the EDI?
Not at all; we encourage the submission of papers on all topics that are relevant to the journal. The papers that are part of the EDI will be earmarked as such, but integrated into issues that publish papers on all topics.

Will EDI submissions receive a higher priority?
No, all submissions will be treated and processed in the same way, and the journal will provide its usual level of service to all submissions, while the EDI call is ongoing.

How do I designate my submission as an EDI submission?
Please indicate this in your cover letter.

Are there reviewers who are knowledgeable about topics related to the EDI?
As with all submissions, the editors will ensure that EDI submissions are assigned to reviewers and AEs who are knowledgeable about their topic.

Is the discourse primarily online, or will EDI papers also be published in JSCM?
EDI papers, as well as regular papers, will be published online upon acceptance, followed by publication in the journal. Initial on-line publishing means that earlier submissions can be made available to other researchers sooner.

Is there a limit to the number of papers that can be included in the EDI?
Like all calls for papers, there is a limit to the amount of space to be dedicated to the EDI. Once that space has been filled, subsequent submissions will be treated as regular submissions.

Why does the EDI begin with invited papers?
Initiating the discourse with invited papers from both eminent scholars and emerging researchers provides a foundation for the emerging discourse and potentially frames later submissions.

Can I submit a paper related to the EDI after the end of 2018?
Of course. The goal of the EDI is to stimulate research on a previously under-researched topic. Success will ultimately be indicated by a new, continuing stream of research related to supply chains where the focal actor’s primary goal is not profit. While papers published after Volume 54 will not be indicated as part of the EDI, they are welcomed and encouraged.

What should I do if I have additional questions?
Please direct queries to any of JSCMs co-editors Mark Pagell (, Brian Fugate (, or Barbara Flynn (