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The impact of information technology on the financial performance of third‐party logistics firms in China

Qiang Wang (School of International Trade and Economics, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, PR China)
Fujun Lai (School of Accounting and Information Systems, University of Southern Mississippi, Long Beach, Mississippi, USA)
Xiande Zhao (Department of Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 14 March 2008

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4433

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine the impact of information technology (IT) on the financial performance of third‐party logistics (3PL) firms in China.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire‐based mail survey was conducted in mainland China. Path analysis and spline regressions were used to model the relationship between IT and financial performance.

Findings

This study found that IT can significantly improve 3PL firms’ financial performance and there are complementarity and plateau effects of influencing financial performance between IT advantage and executives’ involvement in both IT and business strategy planning.

Research limitations/implications

The modeled relationship between IT and competitive advantages may not hold in different cultural environments and industrial settings. The sample size was small. Perceptual performance data were used.

Practical implications

To achieve better financial performance, it is essential for 3PL firms to sense strategically the importance of IT and commit sufficient managerial efforts and resources to achieve IT competency. In addition, IT executives should involve themselves in strategic business planning to better understand business strategies.

Originality/value

The results of this study – which constitutes the first to investigate IT in the 3PL industry in China – provide empirical evidence and a better description of the relationship between IT and financial performance. The findings provide valuable managerial guidance and insights for logistics managers.

Keywords

Citation

Wang, Q., Lai, F. and Zhao, X. (2008), "The impact of information technology on the financial performance of third‐party logistics firms in China", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 138-150. https://doi.org/10.1108/13598540810860976

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited