Contemporary challenges in supply chain management: introducing the ADACI SMART dialogue among Italian scholars and practitioners

  • Francesco Rizzi
  • Marina Gigliotti
  • Paola Signori
Keywords: adaci


The ADACI SMART project consists of biennial cycles of activities aimed at stimulating the dialogue among Italian scholars and practitioners on the contemporary challenges in supply chain management (SCM). Within the last two years, physical meetings and webinars aimed to reduce the distance between the scientific debate and industrial needs. The final goal was to stimulate the design of SCM studies where ADACI’s associates act as stakeholders or, sometimes, even participants.

This Special Issue collects eight papers presented in the ADACI SMART Conference held in September 2020 in collaboration with SIMA - Italian Society of Management. These papers originate from various interactions with companies and lay solid foundations for potential follow-ups and further collaborations between the Academia and industry.

Despite focusing on a variety of facets of the evolution of SCM, these studies reflect the increasing concern towards operating SCM in connection with the broader contextual business environment.

Global value chains and socio-ecological crises exert increasing pressures on procurement professionals and introduce new risks of supply chain disruptions. Furthermore, as Wieland (2021) highlighted, supply chains can become vulnerable and harmful systems when not appropriately operated.

The selected papers have the merit of drawing the attention of scholars and managers to the need to integrate methodologically sound analyses into decision-making processes in response to the complex challenges mentioned above. In so doing, they have a shared ambition to prove that scientific theories and research methods can usefully add value to the empirical experiences that supply chain managers develop in their daily practice.

In detail, the papers in this Special Issue deal with relevant topics related to modern SCM that refer to three main thematic areas: technology and Industry 4.0; risk management; sustainability. These areas reflect, respectively, the drivers, the processes and the goals of the recent evolution of SCM and, thus, provide a pretty comprehensive view on contemporary transformations in a business function that, differently from how it appears today, only a few years ago, was mainly referred to as an organisational structure suffused of primarily administrative and non-strategic responsibilities…. To be continued


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