College Rankings Method
Most people use scm/logistics rankings published by U.S. News to determine good supply chain management university. Another emerging survey is something done by leading research firm Gartner. In 2011, they produced one research called North American Supply Chain University program (subscription is required to view this report). Survey and interview were the main data collection method. Practitioners were asked to gather industry requirements while academia were asked to provide program details. More than 400 respondents and about 54 university programs took part in this survey.
Maloni et al 2012 has a different perspective towards the quality of university program. They determined the ranking of supply chain management university by measuring how often faculty members/students publish articles on scholarly journals in supply chain management. The results include many universities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Brand Awareness Method
This is a bit casual method. People usually ask something such as "what's the best supply chain management program?" to someone/expert they know to get a couple of possible alternatives. This method can be called as top of the mind brand awareness. It's the simple but effective measurement which actually the way to measure "reputation". It goes without saying that reputation is the sum of many attributes.
Methodology of This Study
This study tries to combine 2 existing methods into one with conceptual model as below,
(1) Three aforementioned rankings (U.S. News Graduate Program Ranking, Gartner Graduate Program Ranking and Maloni et al 2012) are used as seeding lists (other rankings based solely on editorial opinions are not included under this study). This produces 80 entries of top supply chain management universities. When duplication is removed, it's narrowed down to top 52 universities from 4 continents.
(2) In order to emulate brand awareness survey, this study deploys the method called brand search. It's the simple method that social media/online marketing professionals use to determine the awareness of online brands, business entities and products. The basic idea is that you determine how many times people search for your business names, brands and product names on search engine like Google. The more people search for your brands, the more people are aware of you. For example, if people don't know anything about supply chain program, they will usually search something like "top supply chain program". But when people search for "supply chain program at xxx university", they already know about reputation of this university.
To do this, Google Keyword Tool will be used and examples are as below,
|Keyword Tool Input Screen|
(3) The next screenshot will look something like this,
|Related Keywords Suggested by Google|
Google has the ability to show related keywords because people search for the same thing using many different keywords. Only keywords related to supply chain program, education and degree at each university are included. On the right column, "Local Month Searches" expresses how many times people search for each keywords.
(4) Then, search volume of all related keywords are added up.
(5) After that, the names of top 52 universities will be used to produce queries ("University + Logistics / University + Supply Chain"). Related keywords are identified and related search volume will be collected as explained previously.
(6) The result will be ranked based on search volume and only the result of 10 universities with highest search volume will be presented.
And the winners of 10 Best Supply Chain Management Programs - The World Rankings go to...
|Top Supply Chain Programs Based on Worldwide Online Reputation|
Interesting Statistics and Discussion
Let's see the search volume a bit.
|Actual search volume is intentionally omitted|
Again, I would like to reemphasize that this study is the measure of worldwide online reputation. Anyway, my personal observation is that many top schools on U.S. News ranking are not here. The reason may be that the ranking itself also includes many programs in OM/OR. Moreover, many top schools are highly recognized as "top MBA program", "top industrial engineering program" and "top OM/OR program" but they are less recognized as top logistics/supply chain program.
What about previous rankings?
|Performance Based On Previous Studies|
This table shows how well each university on top 10 list performs on previous studies. As you may notice, MSU, Penn State and ASU performs very well across the board. MIT, U of M, Northwestern and Georgia Tech are not on the result of Maloni et al 2012 because this research didn't include journals related to OM/OR. Cranfield and Cardiff are the only 2 universities outside North America who are at world class level, they are the new forces to be reckoned with. Rutgers University is definitely a rising star.