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An empirical examination of the contribution of capabilities to the competitiveness of logistics service providers: A perspective from China

Xiaohong Liu (Department of Business and Economics, University of Erlangen‐Nuremberg, Nuremberg, Germany)
David B. Grant (Logistics Research Centre, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Alan C. McKinnon (Logistics Research Centre, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Yuanhua Feng (Department of Economics, University of Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 9 November 2010

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on an investigation of logistics service provider (LSP) capabilities and how these capabilities contribute to LSP competitiveness in the context of China.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on work from economics and strategy on firm‐level competitiveness, particularly the resource‐based view, to develop and empirically examined 13 firm‐specific capability constructs based on a survey of Chinese LSPs.

Findings

Exploratory factor analysis and factor analysis regression indicated all 13 constructs are critical to a Chinese LSP's competitiveness and are interlinked in contributing to it. The findings also revealed the most critical capability is service quality; this capability was further assessed and two sub‐constructs of operations and relationship management emerged.

Practical implications

The results of the empirical study provide a useful way for LSP managers to identify and appraise their firm's capabilities and competitiveness.

Originality/value

This study contributes by addressing a gap of empirical research concerning LSP competitiveness and capabilities.

Keywords

Citation

Liu, X., Grant, D.B., McKinnon, A.C. and Feng, Y. (2010), "An empirical examination of the contribution of capabilities to the competitiveness of logistics service providers: A perspective from China", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 40 No. 10, pp. 847-866. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600031011093232

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited