Operations/supply chain management in a new world context
After some decades of relative stability, admittedly with some turbulent events such as the 2008–10 global financial crisis, many operations and supply chains had reached a relatively mature state of stability in late 2019. The current pandemic has placed a lot of stress on many systems and many people, and seems to be exacerbating the world’s focus on many other challenges that were simmering or growing. These provide in aggregate a new set of challenges for the whole world of work and its economies, and within that for the design of operations and supply chains. Going forward, and ultimately with the pandemic behind us, economic conditions will be changed for a long time, and hence the context of trade, production and distribution, and at a micro-level, the nature of work will have new challenges to overcome and with that, new opportunities. As incoming editors a year ago, our 2019 editorial described 14 topic areas deserving of research and professional practical attention in operations and supply chain management (O/SCM), that are still important and deserving of scholarly and practical work (Samson and Kalchschmidt, 2019). While the topics such as supply chain risk, sustainability and new technology have remained relevant, the context of our world, our organisations, and the way we work and consume, within which O/SCM operates, have changed markedly in a short time. Many new challenges have emerged or been sharpened and refocussed. Certainly, this brings new research problems. Many of the new conditions that O/SCM work within are either directly or indirectly related to the global pandemic that has swept across the planet. We encourage researchers to study and submit papers to Operations Management Research that are of course of high quality in every way and focussed on these contemporary issues. We have initiated special issues and also welcome such papers and studies for our regular stream. We are also of course seeing a healthy stream of more traditional articles, and we continue to welcome these.