Journal of Business Logistics
- Publication date:
- Nbr. 40-3, September 2019
- Nbr. 40-2, June 2019
- Nbr. 40-1, March 2019
- Nbr. 39-4, December 2018
- Nbr. 39-3, September 2018
- Nbr. 39-2, June 2018
- Nbr. 39-1, March 2018
- Nbr. 38-4, December 2017
- Nbr. 38-3, September 2017
- Nbr. 38-2, June 2017
- Nbr. 38-1, March 2017
- Nbr. 37-4, December 2016
- Nbr. 37-3, September 2016
- Nbr. 37-2, June 2016
- Nbr. 37-1, March 2016
- Nbr. 36-4, December 2015
- Nbr. 36-3, September 2015
- Nbr. 36-2, June 2015
- Nbr. 36-1, March 2015
- Nbr. 35-4, December 2014
- Sustainable Supply Chains in the Age of AI and Digitization: Research Challenges and Opportunities
Sustainability has become a global corporate mandate with implementation impacted by two key trends. The first is recognition that global supply chains have a profound impact on sustainability which requires “greening” the entire supply chain. The second is technology—digitization, artificial intelligence (AI), and “big data”—which have become ubiquitous. These technologies are impacting every aspect of how companies organize and manage their supply chains and have a powerful impact on sustainability. In this essay, we synthesize current dominant themes in research on sustainable supply chains in the age of digitization. We also highlight potential new research opportunities and challenges and showcase the papers in our STF.
- Supply Chain Plasticity: Redesigning Supply Chains to Meet Major Environmental Change
Supply chain plasticity refers to the capability of rapidly making major changes to a supply chain in order to accommodate significant shifts in the business environment. We call for research in supply chain plasticity, as the need to adapt to environmental change has never been greater. Further, a distinction between supply chain plasticity and flexibility is provided. We also introduce the articles appearing in this issue of the Journal of Business Logistics, including three papers dedicated to the Special Topic Forum titled “Sustainable Supply Chains in a Digital Inter‐connected World.”
- Issue Information
- Unintended Consequences: How Suppliers Compensate for Price Concessions and the Role of Organizational Justice in Buyer‐Supplier Relations
“You get what you pay for” is one of life's lessons that predominates in purchasing decisions individuals make in their personal lives. The results of this study suggest this lesson should also prevail among management when price‐related purchasing decisions in businesses are being made. An evaluation of over 1,700 purchasing instances across seven years of a longitudinal panel data set collected from Tier 1 production suppliers to the six major North American automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota, found that suppliers compensate for price concessions and price reduction pressure from the OEM in the year following the concession, by reducing product quality, service support, and R&D expenditures associated with goods provided to the OEM. This industry is particularly relevant because it is highly adversarial, yet at the same time reliant on interdependence. The results show that supplier price concessions granted to an OEM led to compensatory supplier behaviors of reduced quality and R&D expenditures toward that OEM. Further, the results suggest that the organizational justice dimensions of distributive justice, procedural justice, interpersonal justice, and informational justice can ameliorate negative supplier compensatory activities. A buyer–supplier relational environment that engenders organizational justice tactics such as open and honest communication with suppliers provides suppliers the expectation of an acceptable return on business over the long term, provides help to suppliers to reduce costs, and builds supplier trust of the OEM had generally positive effects on quality, service, and R&D expenditures. From a management perspective, these results indicate there is a very real risk versus reward issue associated with pressuring suppliers for price reductions.
- Logistics Innovation and Social Sustainability: How to Prevent an Artificial Divide in Human–Computer Interaction
Human–computer interaction (HCI) is a cornerstone for the success of technical innovation in the logistics and supply chain sector. As a major part of social sustainability, this interaction is changing as artificial intelligence applications (Internet of Things, autonomous transport, Physical Internet) are implemented, leading to larger machine autonomy, and hence the transition from a primary executive to a supervisory role of human operators. A fundamental question concerns the level of control transferred to machines, such as autonomous vehicles and automatic materials handling devices. Problems include a lack of human trust toward automatic decision making or an inclination to override the system in case automated decisions are misperceived. This paper outlines a theoretical framework, describing different levels of acceptance and trust as a key HCI element of technology innovation, and points to the possible danger of an artificial divide at both the individual and firm level. Based upon the findings of four benchmark cases, a classification of the roles of human employees in adopting innovations is developed. Measures at operational, tactical, and strategic level are discussed to improve HCI, more in particular the capacity of individuals and firms to apply state‐of‐the‐art techniques and to prevent an artificial divide, thereby increasing social sustainability.
- Using Country Sustainability Risk to Inform Sustainable Supply Chain Management: A Design Science Study
The sustainability of our global supply chains is an essential concern in strategic supply chain management research. Modern information and communication technologies enable stakeholders to punish buying firms for any sustainability‐related grievances at their suppliers, even in remote locations. This study investigates how the notion of country sustainability risk can inform sustainable supply chain management, in particular with respect to sustainability risk assessment at the individual supplier level. Drawing on institutional theory, we provide insights surrounding the emergence of environmental, social, and governance‐related country‐level sustainability risks and show their implications for and application in sustainable supply chain management. The study employs a design science methodology, based on cooperation with a multidivisional German technology firm, to develop a supply chain sustainability risk (SCSR) map as technological solution design. This article contributes to the study of SCSR by reconciling the scholarly SCSR discourse with the buying firms’ pursuit of efficiency. Moreover, it elucidates the augmentation of a research agenda through a design science approach. In practical terms, the technological solution design can directly inform managers about SCSR at the country level and serves as a decision basis for the management of individual suppliers.
- Strategic Purity and Efficiency in the Motor Carrier Industry: A Multiyear Panel Investigation
Two questions facing motor carrier managers are (1) whether carriers should specialize in providing full truckload (TL) or less‐than‐truckload (LTL) services vis‐à‐vis offering mix of both and (2) whether this decision is contingent on carrier size. Yet, the literature provides little guidance because research to date has offered contradictory theoretical predictions and inconsistent empirical findings. Drawing on the theory of strategic purity and information processing theory, we explain why service specialization is likely to increase carriers' technical efficiency and why size will have a more pronounced effect on technical efficiency for carriers specializing in LTL services versus TL services. To test our theory, we assemble a panel data set from archival government sources regarding general freight motor carriers' provision of LTL and TL services. We measure carriers' technical efficiency using data envelopment analysis and test our hypotheses by fitting a series of panel data mixed‐effects models. Our results indicate that carriers are most technically efficient when they specialize in one service type. We also find that size positively affects technical efficiency but only for carriers specializing in LTL services; no returns to scale with regard to technical efficiency exist for carriers specializing in TL services.
- Alignment in the Base of the Pyramid Producer Supply Chains: The Case of the Handloom Sector in Odisha, India
This investigation seeks to explore the effectiveness of alternative approaches to supply chain management for developing the base of the pyramid (BoP) community. Using case research methodology, we investigate the issue of supply chain alignment when the supply base consists of BoP producers. We consider the handloom supply chains in Odisha, India, as the context of our analysis. The study analyzes the supply chains of four handloom retailers. The retailers represent cooperative and private organizational systems with varied levels of operational integration. In light of the insights from these case studies, we theorize factors contributing to operational cost‐effectiveness and conceptualize approaches and considerations for improving the BoP community. Specifically, we clarify the usefulness of alternative supply chain alignment practices in promoting efficiency, innovation, and equitability among the BoP constituents and advance a set of propositions linking the motivations, strategies, practices, and performance in handloom supply chains. Limitations, theoretical and managerial contributions, and future research directions are discussed.
- Identifying Key Success Factors for Social Enterprises Serving Base‐of‐Pyramid Markets through Analysis of Value Chain Complexities
There are people in this world who have little or no access to basic needs and they struggle financially, living on less than a handful of dollars a day. A better understanding of how to supply/serve the world's poor is needed. In this paper, through the lens of Porter's value chain framework we investigate the challenges and opportunities social enterprises face in base‐of‐pyramid (BoP) markets based on secondary data on 23 organizations. Our contribution is twofold: First, we analyze value chain complexities for the social enterprise based on the value creation role (consumer, coproducer) and income level (poverty, extreme poverty) of the local population. We find that nature of customers’ requirements varies across customer segments in the BoP markets and social enterprises face unique challenges in fulfilling such differentiated demand patterns. Second, we develop an affordability–accessibility framework that helps to identify the situations that may be favorable/unfavorable for social enterprises to meet the challenges in BoP markets. We make four propositions that social enterprises may use to cope with difficulties in affordability and accessibility. Our findings will be useful for such organizations to understand and design better supply chains for the base of pyramid.
- Issue Information
- Public–Private Partnerships and Supply Chain Security: C‐TPAT as an Indicator of Relational Security
Following the attacks of September 11th, public and private entities recognized a need to protect the global supply chain from terrorist disruption. In response to this need, the U.S. Government partnered with industry to create the Customs‐Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C‐TPAT) program. This ...
- Stock Market Reaction to Quality, Safety, and Sustainability Awards in Logistics
Although quality, safety, and sustainability are important concerns in logistics, managers are sometimes reluctant to invest in these areas because it is not always clear how such investments will benefit firm performance. Empirical literature provides little guidance in the context of logistics as ...
- A Multidisciplinary Approach to Supply Chain Agility: Conceptualization and Scale Development
Although agility has been identified as one of the most important issues of contemporary supply chain management, the theoretical basis for understanding supply chain agility is fragmented. This research addresses the gap related to the ambiguity surrounding the dimensions and definitions of firm...
- Effects of Motor Carriers’ Growth or Contraction on Safety: A Multiyear Panel Analysis
Motor carrier safety remains a highly relevant issue for supply chain managers and scholars because carriers’ safety affects supply chains as well as the welfare of the motoring public. This article enriches understanding regarding this topic by investigating how motor carriers’ growth or...
- Factors Affecting Global Inventory Prepositioning Locations in Humanitarian Operations—A Delphi Study
This article investigates the factors that are important to humanitarian organizations when determining locations for inventory prepositioning in preparation for emergencies—a critical decision faced by humanitarian managers. Current research in the sector is rich with mathematical models that...
- How to Become Central in an Informal Social Network: An Investigation of the Antecedents to Network Centrality in an Environmental SCM Initiative
Environmental supply chain management (SCM) initiatives often evolve as informal, grassroots efforts that are driven by policy entrepreneurs at lower management levels in an organization. These individuals usually are not in positions of power or authority to convince others to support the...
- 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...
- The Relationship Between Strategic Supply Chain Integration and Performance: A Meta‐Analytic Evaluation and Implications for Supply Chain Management Research
Although research evaluating the impact of supply chain integration on performance has advanced substantially in the last decade, inconsistency and considerable variability of empirical findings leave unanswered questions for both research and practice. Using a meta‐analysis, we examine empirical...
- Tracing Bad Products in Supply Chains: The Roles of Temporality, Supply Chain Permeation, and Product Information Ambiguity
To minimize negative consequences, bad products must be removed quickly once found within supply chains. This makes traceability—the ability to track the flow of a product—a key issue. Unfortunately, firms struggle to create traceability and little interdisciplinary research has been conducted in...
- Developing and Testing a Dynamic Theory of Motor Carrier Safety
Developing an understanding of the longitudinal relationships between different measures of motor carrier safety is important to advance theory and practice regarding this significant supply chain management and public policy issue. In this article, we combine core principles from several...