Unchaining supply chains: Transformative leaps toward regenerating social–ecological systems

Jury Gualandris*, Oana Branzei, Miriam Wilhelm, Sergio Lazzarini, Martina Linnenluecke, Ralph Hamann, Kevin J. Dooley, Michael L. Barnett, Chien Ming Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The worsening climate, biodiversity, and inequity crises have existential implications. To help resolve these crises, supply chains must move beyond a minimal harm approach. Instead, supply chains must make positive contributions to and harmoniously integrate with the living systems around them. Despite agreement on this urgent need, supply chain management research still lacks a shared roadmap for establishing economically sustainable supply chains that actively regenerate social–ecological systems. This essay deepens the understanding of regenerative supply chains, inviting supply chain scholars and practitioners to rally around timely questions and codevelop new answers. We first scrutinize the paradigmatic assumptions that continue to anchor contemporary research and practice in supply chain management, showing how these once helpful assumptions now hold the community back from seeking much needed solutions. We then offer real-world examples and synthesize emerging arguments from multiple disciplines to propose three new principles of regenerative organizing: proportionality, reciprocity, and poly-rhythmicity. We also delve into the implications of pursuing these regenerative principles for supply chain coordination, governance, and resilience. Finally, we reflect on the fit of empirical research designs and methods for examining the creation of new regenerative supply chains and the conversion of existing supply chains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-67
JournalJournal of Supply Chain Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Supply Chain Management published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • adaptation
  • climate change
  • coordination
  • degeneration
  • regeneration
  • research methods
  • resilience
  • stakeholder governance
  • supply chain management

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