Organizational structure and logistics service innovation

Patricia J. Daugherty (Division of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, Michael F. Price College of Business, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA)
Haozhe Chen (Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, College of Business, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA)
Bruce G. Ferrin (Department of Marketing, Haworth College of Business, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA)

International Journal of Logistics Management, The

ISSN: 0957-4093

Publication date: 24 May 2011



The purpose of this paper is to examine how organizational structural factors (namely decentralization, formalization, and specialization) influence a firm's logistics service innovation capability and firm performance.


A conceptual model is proposed combining the Strategy‐Structure‐Performance framework and the Resource‐Based View of the firm. Empirical survey data were collected in the Chinese electronics manufacturing industry, and structural equation modeling is performed to assess measures and test the hypothesized relationships.


In the current research context, both decentralization and formalization were found to be positively related to a firm's logistics service innovation capability, although the formalization was originally proposed to have negative impact on logistics service innovation capability. However, specialization was not a significant predictor according to our results. A positive relationship between logistics service innovation capability and market performance is also confirmed.

Research limitations/implications

In order to improve the validity of the study by eliminating external factors, the study was conducted in a single industry in one country. Therefore, study results should be interpreted and applied with caution, and future research should replicate the tests in different contexts or extend the current study by including other relevant factors.

Practical implications

At a time when market environment is extremely competitive and unstable and service becomes a key differentiator, it is critical for firms to better understand and manage controllable internal factors, organizational structure in this context, to enhance service innovation capability, thus achieving better performance.


This study makes a contribution to the limited yet important knowledge base regarding logistics service innovation.



Daugherty, P., Chen, H. and Ferrin, B. (2011), "Organizational structure and logistics service innovation", International Journal of Logistics Management, The, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 26-51.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.