Jordan, Christine and Bak, Ozlem (2016) The growing scale and scope of the supply chain: A reflection on supply chain graduate skills. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 21 (5). pp. 610-626. ISSN 1359-8546

Purpose - The growing scale and scope of the supply chain requires a greater understanding of the broader supply chain skills picture. This study assesses the supply chain skills needs within the context of a UK based higher education institution involving graduates, academics and employers in order to appreciate the graduate skills demands of supply chains.
Design/Methodology/Approach – A mixed methods study entailing in-depth interviews with academics followed by a questionnaire distributed to graduates and employers has been designed and utilised.
Findings – The findings indicate that the changing supply chain scope encourages the requisition and development of different supply chain skills with varied levels of emphasis in relation to twenty five skills identified in the literature. Key graduate skills needs are highlighted, including time management, collaborative learning, teamwork and problem solving, with the addition of two supply chain skill areas, namely specialist training and the understanding and application of regulations. The findings of the current study presents a limited emphasis on information technology skills, despite the significant information technology advancements and changes in supply chains.
Research implications – The study has been carried out in a UK university delivering undergraduate supply chain management courses. It would be beneficial to test whether the findings are exemplary across other supply chain undergraduate courses, and to investigate the integration of these skills within the supply chain syllabus, and how employers, graduates and academic parties could actively engage in developing the agenda for future supply chain skills needs.
Practical implications –This research paper highlights the gaps in supply chain skills, which
inevitably puts considerable pressure on operatives and managers whose responsibility it is to ensure compliance with professional bodies as well as regulations.
Originality/value –This paper contributes to the supply chain skills discussion and reports subject relevant challenges for supply chain educators by engaging three key stakeholders; graduate employers, graduates and academics. The findings have generated additional supply chain skills to the academic literature as well as providing an understanding of the weighting of skills in terms of their importance and application to industry needs.

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