The non-adoption of supply chain management

Scott Fernie, Stuart Tennant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Largely taken for granted within the UK construction sector has been a view that supply chain management theory is robust, relevant and reliable. As such it has formed a substantial aspect of previous and contemporary policy and government funded research. Despite this, the general view of its development and diffusion over the last 15 years within the construction industry has been problematic. Coincidentally, prevailing debates within the supply chain management academic community point to the lack of unified theory, models of diffusion and strong connections to organization theory. Using Straussian grounded theory, iterations between data and organization theory provided a fresh perspective on the development and diffusion of supply chain management in construction. This inductive research provided contextually rich explanations for development and diffusion that explicitly connected with and drew upon robust, relevant and reliable theories of institutions, innovation diffusion, triads, quasifirms and mechanisms of organizational governance. These explanations challenge the simplistic assumption that chains and networks of organizations are holistically managed and controlled by any single organization or institution in the construction industry. The debate therefore shifts away from proselytizing supply chain management towards research that explores the rigour, relevance and reliability of supply chain management assumptions in construction. The gap between industry practice and policy is exposed and the question is posed: to what extent policy and practice do, or should, constitute a recursive relationship.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1038-1058
Number of pages21
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Clans
  • Grounded Theory
  • Quasi-form,
  • Suply Chain management
  • triads

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