تامین تجهیزات خدمات لجستیک و توسعه پایدار در اروپا: زمینه فعالیت ها و نتایج تجربی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|17039||2013||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, Volume 19, Issue 3, September 2013, Pages 122–133
This paper strives to answer the general question; how far purchasers of logistics services take into account aspects of sustainable development. Modeled on the German Sustainable Development Strategy, which is based on the EU Sustainable Development plan, five fields of activity are defined: the reduction of transport intensity and emission, the reduction of land use, the choice of carrier under consideration of sustainable aspects, the permanent improvement of working conditions, and the enhancement of qualified employment. Then, propositions for purchasing companies of logistics services are developed, which contribute to safeguard ecological as well as social sustainability. In order to conduct an explorative study, a questionnaire was sent to 750 purchase and logistics managers. It was found that purchasing companies place high value on ecological and social aspects. But the perceived importance is not associated with purchasing companies' own contributions to logistics service providers' sustainable activities. Additionally, it was seen that purchasing companies exert only a minor influence on logistics service providers regarding ecologically and socially sustainable actions. A fundamental precondition for a sustainably oriented procurement of logistics services can be seen in the purchasing companies' awareness of the need for integrating sustainable aspects in economic decisions.
Companies in highly developed economies can resort to a diversified market of logistics services. Consequently, the procurement of logistics services plays an important role. Above all, it comprises the assessment of logistics service providers' capabilities and previous operations. Among the typical approaches of managing buyer–supplier-relationships, literature increasingly discusses approaches considering the integration of sustainable aspects in buyer–supplier-relationships (Seuring and Müller, 2008a and Miemczyk et al., 2012). The concept of sustainable development raises the question of how to safeguard forceful growth and social as well as ecological sustainability at the same time (United Nations, 1987). Recognizing this, the paper strives to answer the general question, how far purchasers of logistics services take into account aspects of sustainable development. In order to answer this comprehensive general question, more detailed research questions are necessary. Thereby, two different perspectives are taken into account. First, we believe that the purchasing company must observe its own contribution, if it seeks to enhance the sustainable behavior of service providers (Cowan et al., 2010). Following this idea, we argue that within buyer–supplier relationships, purchasing companies must be willing to enable supplier's sustainable actions. (Philipp and Militaru, 2011). Therefore, the first research question (RQ 1) is: • How strong is the purchasing companies' willingness to enable logistics service providers' sustainable activities? Secondly, literature emphasizes the potential influence of buyers on logistics service providers' sustainable actions (Lieb and Lieb, 2011). Considering this viewpoint we derived the second research question (RQ 2): • To what extent purchasing companies influence sustainable actions of logistics service providers? Literature on buyer–supplier-relationships in logistics increasingly takes into account the aspect of sustainability (Seuring and Müller, 2008a and Miemczyk et al., 2012). This existing body of knowledge is presented in chapter two. Defining the scope of the research field conceptual deliberations can be done (McCutcheon and Meredith, 1993). This study's conceptual framework is based on governmental initiatives to promote and safeguard international sustainability standards. Proceeding from the German Sustainable Development Strategy (Federal Government of Germany, 2002), which is based on the European Union (EU) Sustainable Development Plan (Commission of the European Communities, 2001a) five fields of activity are deduced in the third chapter. Especially, the first research question directs our attention to the phenomenon of buyers' willingness in the process of sustainable procurement of logistics services, and hence takes on a new scientific perspective. There is thus comparatively little scientific knowledge about this particular issue. Accordingly, existing literature is not sufficient to formulate reasonable hypotheses. Before hypotheses about these new issues can be formulated and tested, a general understanding of sustainable purchasing of logistics services is required. In such cases, Frankel et al. (2005) recommend a qualitative research approach. Therefore, a qualitative research approach seems to be appropriate (Pedrosa et al., 2012). Consequently, to answer the research questions and to evaluate the general role of sustainability in the purchase of logistics services and especially the contribution of logistics service buying to the five fields of activity an explorative survey was conducted (see chapter four). The fifths chapter describes and discusses the empirical results of this survey. The concluding section presents the study's central findings and defines practical implications.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study is exploratory in nature and gives general insights in companies' willingness and activities concerning sustainable logistics service buying. Furthermore, five fields of activity were developed in order to conceptualize contributions of purchasing companies to sustainably purchasing logistics services. The five defined fields of activity give a reference framework for discussing possibilities of ecologically and socially sustainable procurement of logistics services in order to contribute to the realization of the goals of the European and German Sustainability Development Strategy. In comparison to existing classifications and related practices the results show different emphases. As well our paper provides new contributions to a comprehensive understanding of sustainable service buying. It can be stated that the first field of activity (reduction of transport intensity and emission) focuses on a special part of Sustainable Transportation conceptualized by Ciliberti et al. (2008). Similarly, the third field of activity (choice of carrier under considerations of sustainable aspects) relates to transportation but discusses more detailed modal shift-related sustainability practices barely noticed in practice and LSR literature. The second field of activity can be regarded as part of Sustainable Warehousing as conceptualized by Ciliberti et al. (2008). But our research emphasizes explicitly the reduction of land use which is considered in practice only to some extent. Furthermore, the developed fields of activity have a special emphasis on the social dimension of sustainability. Given recent classifications, social aspects are dispersed among different categories like human rights, safety, ethics, philanthropy or quality of live for drivers (Carter and Jennings, 2002 and Ciliberti et al., 2008). The suggested fields of activities bundled social practices into the two categories of “improvement of working conditions” and “improvement of qualified employment”. In addition, the idea of considering purchasing companies' own contribution and willingness to enable logistics service providers’ sustainable activities is emphasized. This is a new perspective which expands existing conceptualizations concerning the influence of purchasing companies on service providers' sustainable activities. Furthermore, sustainable activities are closely linked to governmental plans. The developed conceptualization directly refers to governmental initiatives. Therefore, this approach can be applied by purchasing companies to place their sustainable activities within the context of governmental plans. In practice these five fields of ecologically and socially sustainability are considered to be important. However, they do not seem to be considered as criteria during the selection process with the same intensity. Concerning the first research question, results show that sustainability's perceived importance is not associated with purchasing companies' willingness and own contributions to logistics service providers’ sustainable activities. Furthermore, purchasing companies influence logistics service providers to a minor extent regarding ecologically and socially sustainable actions (RQ 2). Comparing the five fields of activity among each other, the sustainable criteria of choosing mode of transports (field of activity 3) receives the slightest consideration. Furthermore, direct influence of purchasing companies on the logistics service providers´ sustainable actions is put into effect especially in the case of achieving economic goals at the same time. Further research can explore main requirements which are necessary for integrating ecological and social issues in economic considerations. This investigation presents main preconditions for ecologically and socially sustainable actions and their link with economic aspects. Therefore, further research could explore possibilities to link the three dimensions of economic, ecological and social sustainability. Especially actions within the fifth field of activity (enhancement of qualified employment) receive little attention. With regard to the high-pressure work situations, especially of operational staff, the need for action is clearly evident. Moreover, support and direct influence of the purchasing companies can be one way to enable changes (Philipp and Militaru, 2011). However, this result should be also discussed in the light of a possible bias caused by social-desirability-responses (Randall and Fernandes, 1991). Maybe the respondents presented themselves in an overly positive way, because they know that sustainability should be important and that the researchers expect a high degree of agreement. Although we cannot eliminate any possibility of this bias, the relevance in this case seems to be low, because the data was collected anonymously by means of a web-based questionnaire. Taking into account the almost explorative nature of the questionnaire, the low number of responses and the suggestion that rather sustainable committed respondents completed the questionnaire, the results present a first impression of the extend purchasers of logistics services take into account aspects of sustainable development.