Supply chain transparency: A bibliometric review and research agenda

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Many organizations are confronted with the challenge of improving supply chain transparency not only to meet regulatory requirements, but also to optimize operations, guarantee the quality of outputs, and ensure the sustainability of processes. As this topic has garnered significant interest across a wide range of academic disciplines, there is a need to synthesize and categorize these diverse contributions to inspire future investigations of emerging or under-researched substantive areas. This article addresses this need by reviewing existing research on supply chain transparency and offers an integrated understanding of this growing literature. By analyzing a sample of over 300 peer-reviewed articles through bibliometric and automated text mining methods, we identify six distinct clusters that represent substantive literature subdomains: transparency technologies, knowledge integration, governance, sustainability, traceability, and resilience. Building on these structured analyses, we develop a literature framework to comprehensively organize insights from these clusters and illustrate the conceptual relationships between transparency management systems, transparency vehicles, and transparency outcomes. By providing a holistic examination of how supply chain transparency is enabled, our framework aids researchers’ future studies and guides practitioners’ strategies to identify, diagnose, and address modern challenges that face supply chains (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic, workplace exploitation, increased third-party scrutiny).
Original languageEnglish
Early online date4 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2021


  • Supply chain trasparency
  • Visibility
  • Traceability
  • Blockchain
  • Bibliometric review
  • Text mining


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