Strategic adoption of logistics and supply chain management

Edward Sweeney*, David B. Grant, D. John Mangan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop a thorough understanding of the adoption of logistics and supply chain management (SCM) in practice, particularly at a strategic level, through an investigation of the four perspectives taxonomy of the relationship between logistics and SCM. 

Design/methodology/approach: Based on a comprehensive literature review, three specific research questions are proposed. The empirical work addresses these questions and comprised three phases: focussed interviews, a questionnaire survey and focus groups.

Findings: The findings provide a usage profile of the four perspectives and indicate a divergence between the understanding and adoption of logistics and SCM principles and concepts at a strategic level in firms. The findings also identify the critical success factors (CSFs) and inhibitors to success in addressing this divergence.

Research limitations/implications: The insights generated using the authors’ methodologically pluralist research design could be built upon to include case studies, grounded theory and action research. Replicating the research in other geographical areas could facilitate international comparisons.

Practical implications: The findings allow practitioners to compare their perspectives on the relationship between logistics and SCM with those of their peers. The CSFs and inhibitors to success provide a rational basis for realising the strategic potential of logistics and SCM in practice. 

Originality/value: New insights are generated into practitioner perspectives vis-à-vis logistics vs SCM. A fresh understanding of those factors which drive and hinder the adoption of strategic SCM is also developed and presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-873
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number3
Early online date21 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2018


  • Logistics
  • Practitioner perspectives
  • Strategic
  • Supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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