Journal of Business Logistics

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  • Issue Information
  • A Tribute to Our Founding Father, Professor Bernard J. “Bud” LaLonde

    This editorial pays tribute to the founding editor of the Journal of Business Logistics, Professor Bernard J. “Bud” LaLonde, who passed away recently. Professor LaLonde's influence on the field—and the individuals that compose it—is immeasurable. We reflect on his career, achievements, and motivations for creating JBL. Further, we attempt to build on his proud legacy with an introduction of articles featured in the current issue.

  • Supply Chain Integrity: A Key to Sustainable Supply Chain Management

    As stakeholders continue to increasingly hold firms accountable for environmental and social performance in their supply chains, the importance of understanding how firms can be more sustainable becomes more prescient. Based on the underlying premise of stakeholder theory that business and ethics decisions are intertwined, the current research introduces the concept of supply chain integrity (SCI) to explore how the interdependence of business and ethics decisions can lead to improvements in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) practices. Exploratory analysis employing secondary data sources in an elastic net (EN) logistic regression provides support for the proposed construct, by providing preliminary empirical evidence that SCI, measured through two subdimensions of structural and moral SCI, can be linked to firm sustainability. The research contributes to the supply chain management literature by: (1) introducing the concept of SCI; (2) performing an exploratory econometric analysis to provide initial validity of the SCI construct; and (3) providing a research agenda to guide further research on the concept of SCI and its role in SSCM.

  • Crowdsourcing Last Mile Delivery: Strategic Implications and Future Research Directions

    The rise of e‐commerce over the past 20 years has created an increased need for responsive omnichannel distribution to meet the last mile challenge. Some companies are experimenting with the use of the sharing economy business model to augment distribution strategies. The use of so‐called “Crowdsourced Logistics” (CSL) is becoming more prevalent in practice, but the role in logistics strategy of this new phenomenon has not been thoroughly investigated and understood. Using a contingency theory lens, this research contributes a nascent understanding of how CSL performs in terms of logistics effectiveness by simulating same‐day delivery services from a distribution center to 1,000 customer locations throughout New York City under dynamic market conditions and by comparing the results to those of a traditional dedicated fleet of delivery drivers. The findings are analyzed to suggest how firms may find strategic benefit using CSL. An agenda for future research is provided to explore these strategic implications and to deepen knowledge about the CSL phenomenon.

  • Sustainable Supply Chain Design in Social Businesses: Advancing the Theory of Supply Chain

    A significant conceptual and practical challenge for companies is how to integrate triple bottom line (TBL) sustainability into their global supply chains. In supply chain research, the classic economic perspective—the business of business is to be profitable—still dominates, followed by coverage of the environmental dimension; the social dimension is underrepresented. Stakeholders, however, are calling for a TBL perspective that simultaneously includes environmental, social, and economic gains. While there have been recent theoretical advances on how to characterize supply chains in terms of their structure, how to connect these insights into supply chain design for TBL sustainability has not been studied. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to move the theory of supply chain forward into the sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) research agenda. Toward that purpose, the paper analyzes the sustainable supply chain design (SSCD) at social businesses, incorporating the physical chain and the information and financial support chains. Four social businesses located in Haiti are used as cases of innovative supply chain structures for TBL sustainability. By analyzing the supply chain structures and boundaries of these social businesses, three supply chain configurations combining physical and support chains are presented.

  • Consistency and Recovery in Retail Supply Chains

    Practitioners and researchers describe inventory service level with metrics that communicate the likelihood of demand fulfillment without considering the ongoing capabilities of the supplier, for example, in‐stock and fill rate. We develop a method for measuring inventory service level that incorporates such supplier capabilities, namely consistency (the ability of a supplier to fulfill orders repeatedly) and recovery (the ability of a supplier to fulfill orders after a lapse in service). Using data from two retail supply chains, we illustrate our approach. To demonstrate the impact of consistency and recovery on supply chain performance, we model a retailer purchasing from competing suppliers with different levels of consistency and recovery. The model incorporates the retailer's uncertainty about demand and the retailer's uncertainty about its suppliers' service levels. We characterize how the retailer's orders and profitability change with a supplier's delivery performance through numerical experiments calibrated with field data. We find notable differences in market share across suppliers with similar traditional inventory service level metrics but differences in consistency and recovery. Further, we observe that a retailer can increase its profitability by determining orders via consistency and recovery in lieu of common metrics like in‐stock. Given the influence of consistency and recovery on supply chain outcomes, we discuss implications for practice and future research.

  • Managing Internal Supply Chain Integration: Integration Mechanisms and Requirements

    In response to globalization, diversification, and other organizational drivers, managers continue to seek organizational designs that promote integration. We study this phenomenon by focusing on requirements and mechanisms for internal supply chain integration (SCI). Using qualitative interview data, we examine how managers in manufacturing firms integrate internal supply chain activities. We elaborate and extend the information processing view by studying why organizations integrate (integration requirements) and how integration mechanisms are associated with different integration requirements. Four patterns of integration requirement–mechanism linkages emerged from our study, depicting integration mechanisms that are associated with a particular integration requirement, and those that are not. We provide a detailed examination of the multidimensional nature of integration requirements, as well as an increased understanding of how integration mechanisms are used to manage different integration requirements. These findings offer deeper insights into organizational integration, enhancing the understanding of integration in the context of internal supply chains, while also contributing to the literature on organizational design. For supply chain managers, these findings describe ways in which organizational design decisions can support internal SCI efforts with varying aims.

  • Re‐Examining Supply Chain Fit: An Assessment of Moderating Factors

    Research has emphasized the importance of matching products' characteristics with their supply chain design (i.e., supply chain fit). Fisher () introduced the notion of supply chain fit and indicated that before developing a supply chain firms must consider the nature of the demand for their products. I expand on the Fisher () framework by offering a more comprehensive understanding of when it pays off for firms to deploy resources to achieve supply chain fit. I argue that it is simplistic to assume that perfect supply chain fit will always lead to improved financial performance because the benefits generated by perfect supply chain fit might be offset by the resources deployed to achieve that fit. In order to execute this research I use archival and survey data to evaluate the moderating effects of six dimensions of environmental uncertainty (e.g., munificence, market dynamism, technological dynamism, technical complexity, product diversity, and geographic dispersion) on the relationship between supply chain fit and financial performance.

  • The Rise of Crowd Logistics: A New Way to Co‐Create Logistics Value

    Patterned on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, a new crowd practice has emerged in recent years: crowd logistics. In this paper, we propose a first conceptualization of this growing phenomenon. Crowd logistics is a novel way of providing logistics services that taps into the dormant logistics resources and capabilities of individuals, using mobile applications and web‐based platforms. Although crowd logistics has been widely discussed in the business world, it has not yet been the subject of any academic publication. Following an exploratory case study approach, we review the websites of 57 crowd logistics initiatives around the world and highlight the main distinctive characteristics of crowd logistics, as compared to traditional business logistics. We introduce a segmented analysis in which crowd logistics solutions are classified according to four types of service offered. Finally, we introduce six theoretical propositions on the future development of crowd logistics. At a theoretical level, our findings contribute to enriching the service‐dominant logic perspective in the logistics field by conceptualizing the crowd as a co‐creator of logistics value. At a managerial level, our findings contribute to identifying which types of crowd logistics services are more likely to threaten or disrupt traditional business.

  • The Role of Academic Research in Supply Chain Practice: How Much Are We Contributing?

    Supply chain academics and practitioners enjoy a unique bond. The applied heritage of logistics and supply chain scholarship motivates researchers to identify problems residing in current and future practice, address them in a conscientious manner, and to provide findings that yield meaningful insights. Yet, this bond is sometimes strained when scholarship loses touch with “real problems” found in industry. Strains in the bond then limit the contribution potential and impact of resultant work. This editorial calls for supply chain researchers to embrace the discipline's applied heritage in the identification of problems and delivery of results, while employing the requisite rigor for valid conclusions. Fortunately, there has never been a better time to work with practitioners in light of the disruptive forces at work in industry and the thirst for meaningful insights.

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