Research Project

The final project for this course is an original research paper that will showcase your breadth of knowledge of supply chain principles, as well as a thorough depth of knowledge focused on your research into a specific business problem.

Your research project for this course involves the examination of a problem faced by supply chain managers (SCM) within a general topic area of your choice.  Choose a broad topic area from the list in the Research Project Instructions located in the Course Project Module.  Your topic merely serves as a broad category to guide you in identifying some pressing issue that SCMs struggle to manage.


List of suggested topics: Select one of the broad categories listed below as the basis for a problem that you will investigate in this course.  Your research paper is not to be a report on one of these topics.  The topic you select is simply a guide to help you identify a specific problem uniquely important to supply chain management.

  • Channel Capacity
  • Integration
  • Supply Chain Technology
  • Supply Chain Modeling
  • Product Life Cycle
  • Sustainable Procurement
  • The Next Big Thing in SCM
  • Supplier Relationship Management
  • Disruptions and Risks


Your paper must conform to APA formatting guidelines. You will find a grading rubric for this project on page 3 below.  There is an easy-to-use guide on APA formatting at  Your paper must contain the following sections:

  • Cover page
  • Table of contents
  • Body
    • Background and Research Questions- see below how to complete
    • Statement of Purpose- see below how to complete
    • Review of Relevant Literature- see below how to complete
    • Research Method- see below how to complete
    • Findings- see below how to complete
    • Conclusion and Recommendations- see below how to complete
    • References

You must submit the completed final paper as a single MS Word formatted document


Background & Research Questions

The first section is the Background and Research Questions section.  This assignment consists of three components.

  1. Problem Statement: Apply the concepts in Chapter 2 of the Leedy and Ormrod (2013) text describe a very specific problem (related to your topic area) that clearly lies within the scope and authority of a Supply Chain Manager’s (SCM) responsibility.  You should be able to articulate your problem in no more than one or two grammatically correct sentences.  Keep your research project simple by limiting your problem by geography, industry, culture, politics, economy, or any combination of factors such as these.
  2. Background: Use your research to provide a brief (approx 300 words) explanation of your problem statement.  Support your work with at least 3 newspaper, magazine, or trade publication sources published within the past 24 months.
  3. Research Questions:  Describe a minimum of three specific research questions specifically related to your topic area of supply chain management.   Present your research questions in paragraph format rather than a bulleted list.  Include an explanation of how each question is relevant to your analytical research project.  Remember, the research problem must be specific to supply chain management in your chosen topic area.  As you develop your research questions, ask yourself: a) How does this reflect my chosen topic area?  b) How does this relate to supply chain management?  For more on writing research questions, see :

Statement of Purpose


The second section of your final research project for this course is the Statement of Purpose section.  This week’s assignment is to apply the concepts in Leedy and Ormrod (2013) along with additional scholarly research to describe the purpose of your study.  Further elaborate on how your study will benefit the practice of supply chain management within your chosen topic area.  Begin your purpose statement with a single, concise sentence that outlines you study method and overarching goal, e.g., “The purpose of this exploratory study is to…”  (describe your study goal).


Review of Literature


The third section of your final research project for this course is the Review of Relevant Literature section.  For this assignment, first list your updated problem statement.  Next, prepare a review of the relevant (Peer reviewed) literature for your study.   Your Peer review articles should provide a topical discussion of theories and principles relevant to the problem in your research paper.  Use subheadings to divide the literature review by principle, not by source.  For each subheading define the relevant construct and explain how it applies to supply chain management.

Ensure there are three additional Peer reviewed scholarly articles related to your stated problem.  All research should be published within the past 5 years.


Research Method


Explain what research methods you implored.

Begin this section with a brief summary (300 words) of the problem and why it is important, key findings relevant to your problem, and areas for future research.




The fifth section of your final research project for this course is the Findings section.  In 500 to 1000 words, summarize the findings of your research.  Specifically discuss how practitioners have applied relevant supply chain theories to the problem, outcomes they have achieved, and the effectiveness of their approach.


Conclusion and Recommendations


In 500-1000 words, describe specific recommendations for SCM practitioners that face the subject problem in your study.   Your recommendations should involve innovative solutions that are appropriate for a rapidly changing global marketplace.  Simply re-stating what others have done in the past is neither appropriate nor sufficient for this level of inquiry.



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