Job types in the supply chain management profession

Christian L. Rossetti, Kevin Dooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


There is little academic consensus on a definition of supply chain management (SCM). Education and research could benefit from a better understanding of how practice is defining the profession, in terms of the type of jobs associated with SCM. Existing definitions of SCM suggest two archetypal job functions: functional integrator and process manager. To compare existing definitions to practice, we analyzed job descriptions associated with the field of SCM using computerized text analysis. We find tentative support that industry views a SCM professional as a process manager. In a post hoc analysis, cluster analyses based on similarity of job descriptions indicate eight different types of SCM jobs, differentiated by associated tasks as well as industry characteristics. This second analysis shows that SCM is most closely aligned with Sourcing and Operations Management. These results have important implications for the SCM profession. Pedagogically, our results indicate that SCM is becoming a more analytical field with tight links to information systems. There is also a lack of a common definition of SCM that Human Resource departments use when advertising for SCM positions. This lack of shared definition means that researchers should use caution when identifying key informants for empirical research as tasks and responsibilities vary widely between job descriptions in our sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-56
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Supply Chain Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Archival research
  • Cluster analysis
  • Human resources
  • Supply chain management
  • Text analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Marketing


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