تبیین مزیت رقابتی ارائه دهندگان خدمات لجستیک : رویکرد مبتنی بر منابع
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1395||2010||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 128, Issue 1, November 2010, Pages 51–67
This article identifies strategic logistics resources acquired and bundled by logistics service providers (LSPs) to achieve competitive advantage. Based on a theoretical framework derived from the resource-based view (RBV) theory, contents of a database of company profiles of 15 selected LSPs are analysed. Results show that all LSPs have been acquiring physical, human, information, knowledge and relational resources and then bundling them together in various specific manners to create inimitable and firm-specific capabilities. However, only some of them performed well financially. The findings contribute to the conceptualisation and measurement of strategic logistics resources and the identification of resource bundling processes.
Since recognised as a new industry in the late 1980s, the logistics service industry has been experiencing growth (Sheffi, 1990). However, the reality is that not all logistics service providers (LSPs) manage to become competitive (Min and Foo, 2006). A recent survey conducted by Langley and Capgemini (2007) indicates that many users are, overall, dissatisfied with services provided by their LSPs. The survey reported that many LSPs failed to deliver the expected cost reduction, trustworthy relationship, and increasing needs for wider portfolio of logistics services and geographical coverage and advanced information technology (Langley and Capgemini, 2007). Consequently, logistics service contracts typically change hands every 2 years and many contracts are limited to only transport and warehouse services (Langley and Capgemini, 2007). The logistics service industry needs theories and solutions to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Some early logistics studies suggested that logistics performance can be explained by firms’ resources including physical resources, technology resources, and managerial competences (e.g. Chiu, 1995; Larson and Kulchitsky, 1999; Alshawi, 2001; Myers et al., 2004; Beinstock et al., 2008). However, these studies were predominantly concerned with the resources of users but ignored those of service providers (Gunasekaran and Ngai, 2003). Instead, some scholars have argued for the need for studies based on the perspective of provider resources in order to enhance the understanding of LSP competitive advantages (Gunasekaran and Ngai, 2003; Panayides, 2007; Ellinger et al., 2008). Such studies will contribute to the logistics industry because logistics service ability or competence could contribute to the market share of LSPs indirectly (Daugherty et al., 1998). The role of resources in the competitive advantages of LSPs can be easily traced from the strategies of most LSPs. In the past decades many LSPs have been engaging in a mixture of organic expansion, merger, acquisition and alliance. Through these activities, LSPs acquire or gain access to resources such as logistics hubs, aircraft, skilled workforces, track and trace software, logistics expertise and knowledge in order to achieve growth and competitive advantage. Also, different LSPs have different portfolios of assets. Some LSPs are asset-heavy (property-based) whereas some are asset-light but knowledge-based (Das and Teng, 2000). Such behaviour can be explained by the resource-based view (RBV) theory. According to RBV theory, firms gain sustainable competitive advantages by ensuring appropriate access to a bundle of idiosyncratic resources which are valuable, rare, inimitable, and non-substitutable (Penrose, 1959; Wernerfelt, 1984; Barney, 1991; Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000). RBV theory appears to be able to provide a key theoretical foundation for explaining the competitive advantages of LSPs. The main objectives of this article are to identify different types of logistics resources and their characteristics, and based on empirical evidence explore how different logistics resources can be bundled together to achieve LSPs’ competitive advantages. It attempts to answer three questions: (1) what logistics resources are accessed by these LSPs? (2) How are different resources bundled together? (3) What are the characteristics of resources accessed by the successful LSPs? Answers for the first question will contribute to the development of the constructs of logistics resources as well as the establishment of the measurement scales for each of these constructs. Answers for the second question will further provide insights to logistics managers on how logistics resources may be bundled together to gain competitive advantages, knowing the fact that the possession of resources does not always warrant success (Rubin, 1973; Barney, 1991). Finally, answers for the third question are paramount to ascertain the specific characteristics of resources accessed by successful LSPs. To answer the three research questions, comprehensive content analyses of company profiles of 15 LSPs are carried out. The protocol of the content analysis is established based on a theoretical framework of resource-based competitive advantages derived from the RBV theory and some recommended best-practices for content analysis (e.g. Barelson, 1952; Holsti, 1969; Krippendorff, 1980; Guthrie et al., 2004). The article is organised as follows. Section 2 develops a theoretical framework which tentatively explains the competitive advantages of LSPs based on RBV theory and some relevant logistics literature. Section 3 describes the chosen methodology. Section 4 analyses findings pertinent to the three research questions. Section 5 critically discusses the findings and their implications to theory and practice. Finally, Section 6 concludes the research and provides suggestions for further research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This research analyses empirical evidences in order to explain the competitive advantages of logistics service providers. The research draws theoretical foundations from the resource-based view (RBV) theory and relevant logistics literature to establish a theoretical framework which comprises of resource structuring, access and bundling as the main stages of achieving resource-based competitive advantages. The research identifies five strategic resources (i.e. physical, human, information, knowledge, and relational resources) and their characteristics. Based on these findings the conceptualisation and measurement of these resource constructs are clarified. In addition to gaining access to idiosyncratic (valuable, rare, inimitable, non-substitutable) resources, this research reveals that it is also important for LSPs to build up the ability to structure a resource portfolio and bundle resources to create competitive capabilities. Guided by the resource-based view (RBV) theory, this research identifies five approaches which are applied to bundle (or exploit) the strategic resources in order to create competitive advantages. Further supported by sound financial performance, the research identified seven characteristics of resource access and bundling which may form theoretical propositions for future investigation. Since much of the third-party logistics literature lacks theoretical foundations (Maloni and Carter, 2006), this research contributes to the development of theoretical-driven framework and propositions for further research. Furthermore, this research represents some of the novel efforts in understanding the competitive advantages of LSPs from the providers’ resources perspectives, unlike the vast majority of other previous studies which focused on the users’ perspective. However, this research has not fully identified the approaches to bundle strategic resources to achieve competitiveness. It is believed that there are still some missing links between resources possession and resource exploitation. This is mainly due to the limitation of the applied research method (content analysis) and the available data. More empirical evidences about knowledge, information and relational resources and other approaches of resource bundling are needed. Other research methods such as case study, focus group and survey shall be applied to further developing and testing relevant theoretical constructs and propositions.