This chapter makes a case for the need for theory that is unique to purchasing and supply management. It builds on the need for both discipline and creativity in developing theory, describing a variety of approaches that synthesize discipline with imagination to develop purchasing and supply management theory. Approaches for enhancing established theory include conceptual approaches, development of typologies, and systematic literature reviews. Approaches for building new theory include building theory from case-based analysis, critical engaged research, discourse analysis, metaphorical transfer, and topic modeling. An overview of each of these approaches is provided, along with detailed examples and procedures for developing theory. The chapter concludes with ideas for approaches to theory development that are still emerging, including dark data, data mining, data visualization, ethnography, data virtualization, 'live' big data, meta-analysis, predictive analytics, operating and sensing data, and thick data.
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