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Third party logistics:a literature review and research agenda

Selviaridis, Kostas and Spring, Martin (2007) Third party logistics:a literature review and research agenda. International Journal of Logistics Management, 18 (1). pp. 125-150. ISSN 0957-4093

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Abstract

Purpose – To provide a taxonomy of third party logistics (3PL) research and, based on that, to develop a research agenda for this field of study. Design/methodology/approach – The proposed 3PL research classification framework is based on a comprehensive literature review, which concentrates on peer‐reviewed journal papers published within the period 1990‐2005. A total of 114 academic sources have been retrieved and analysed in terms of research purpose and nature, method employed, theoretical approach and level of analysis. Findings – The review reveals that 3PL research is empirical‐descriptive in nature and that it generally lacks a theoretical foundation. Survey research is the dominant method employed, reflecting the positivist research tradition within logistics. It identifies certain knowledge gaps and develops five propositions for future research. It suggests that focus should be directed towards more normative, theory‐driven and qualitative method‐based studies. It also argues that further empirical research in relation to 3PL design/implementation and fourth party logistics services is needed. Originality/value – This paper fulfils an identified need for a comprehensive classification framework of 3PL studies. It essentially provides both academics and practitioners with a conceptual map of existing 3PL research and also points out opportunities for future research.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Logistics Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: Third party vendors ; Distribution management
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Departments: Lancaster University Management School > Management Science
ID Code: 45111
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2011 19:26
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2014 13:15
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/45111

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