Connecting industry and supply chain management education: exploring challenges faced in a SCM consultancy module

Ozlem Bak, Véronique Boulocher-Passet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Consultancies provide a beneficial teaching tool in linking industry with supply chain education. With the scarcity of supply chain talent and real life experience, there is a real interest in using consultancy modules to bring the two worlds closer. This research paper aims to explore the challenges faced by key stakeholders (clients, lecturers and students) who participate in a supply chain management (SCM) consultancy module. Design/methodology/approach: Case study methodology is used to describe the challenges faced by the stakeholders in running a SCM consultancy module. Using the existing literature on consultancy module challenges as a point of departure, this paper explores these challenges within a SCM consultancy module. A triangulated research approach allowed capturing the views of the key stakeholders. Findings: The findings confirmed that the case entailed all initial 13 challenges faced by key stakeholders, as well as four more challenges (health and safety risks; expertise assessment; depicting supply chain management boundaries; and SCM consultancy skills) which were relevant to the SCM field. Research limitations/implications: The paper offers an insight into the challenges of teaching a supply chain management consultancy module and addresses the issues for academics to bridge the divide between theory and practice. Practical implications: This paper assists supply chain educators in consultancy module development and helps companies willing to participate in such modules prepare for the challenges that they will encounter. It also contributes to debate on SCM difficulties in building business-university collaboration. Originality/value: Consultancy challenges observed in higher education have been based on individual cases and mainly covered in the marketing literature. This paper is the first case study that depicts all consultancy module challenges faced by key stakeholders and within the supply chain management subject; it highlights some subject relevant challenges for supply chain educators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-479
Number of pages12
JournalSupply Chain Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


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