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Abductive reasoning in logistics research

Gyöngyi Kovács (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki, Finland)
Karen M. Spens (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki, Finland)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 1 February 2005

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14580

Abstract

Purpose

To construct a framework for exploring and discussing the use of different research approaches – deductive, inductive and abductive – in logistics.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of research articles in three major logistics journals (International Journal of Logistics Management, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management and Journal of Business Logistics) from 1998 to 2002.

Findings

Recognizes the dominance of deductive research in logistics, and the need for more inductive and, in particular, abductive research for theory development. Discusses the use of the abductive research approach in logistics.

Research limitations/implications

Keywords searches led to a small sample size; more thorough content analysis is needed to apply the findings from the constructed framework.

Practical implications

Useful source of information on the three different research approaches, their possibilities and implications for research.

Originality/value

The abductive research approach has not yet been discussed in logistics.

Keywords

Citation

Kovács, G. and Spens, K.M. (2005), "Abductive reasoning in logistics research", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 132-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600030510590318

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited