Purpose This paper is a viewpoint and its objective is to discuss questionable research practices in business research, particularly in the logistics and supply chain management discipline, in light of antecedents influenced by the current academic environment and the consequences for academic rigour and relevance in order to stimulate thinking and debate among the academic community. Design/methodology/approach A literature review and autoethnographic approach were used to examine these issues based on over sixty years’ collective academic experience of the authors. Data was collected from discussions among the paper’s authors as well as recounting open discussions with other academics and journal editors to collate their observations. Findings Evidence is provided of issues the authors have seen first-hand where antecedents in the academic environment influences questionable research practices, which then detrimentally affect research rigour and relevance, integrity and proper contributions to ground-breaking research and knowledge advancement. Research limitations/implications This paper is based on personal observations and experiences of the three authors as well as open-ended discussions with others in the academic community. Suggestions are provided for various academic stakeholders to address these issues. Practical implications Practical implications are only provided for academics in their roles as authors, journal editors and reviewers. Social implications Encouraging the academic community to eliminate questionable research practices to improve the rigour, relevance and quality of research will provide more credibility and integrity resulting in better impact and outcomes for society at large. Originality/value The value of this paper is in stimulating thinking and debate amongst academics to return to core issues and values in academia opposed to focussing on narrow university goals focussed on other antecedents of questionable research practices.