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Logistics IS resources, organizational factors, and operational performance: An investigation into domestic logistics firms in China

Xiaodan Pan (John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)
Martin Dresner (Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA)
Yurong Xie (School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 14 March 2019

Issue publication date: 15 May 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the resource-based view and resource complementarity theory, the purpose of this paper is to investigate two research questions: To what extent are logistics information system (IS) resources associated with improved operational performance? And to what extent are these relationships contingent on organizational factors?

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual model with a nested structure is presented to link logistics IS resources and organizational factors with operational performance. The findings are validated using a cross-sectional sample of secondary data from domestic logistics firms in China.

Findings

This paper extends existing operational-level measures for logistics IS resources into a three-tier tactical-level typology: inside-out resources (operation-focused IS, decision-focused IS and IS development capability); outside-in resources (relation-focused IS and market-focused IS); and spanning resources (IS integration capability and IS management capability). Though logistics IS resources, in general, are positively related to operational performance, inside-out IS resources have the most significant impact. Organizational factors, such as firm size, firm age and firm ownership, may enhance or suppress the effects of logistics IS resources on performance.

Practical implications

The findings are valuable to both logistics firms and buyer firms in an emerging market, as logistics IS resources may affect costs and quality of logistics service. The tactical-level typology allows logistics firms to better plan for and manage emerging IS resources in a competitive environment.

Originality/value

This paper extends prior work regarding the complementary effects of logistics IS resources and organizational factors on operational performance. Logistics firms should carefully manage the three types of tactical-level IS resources according to their organizational environment to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful for the data support from the China Communications and Transportation Association (CCTA) and NSFC Grant 71390034.

Citation

Pan, X., Dresner, M. and Xie, Y. (2019), "Logistics IS resources, organizational factors, and operational performance: An investigation into domestic logistics firms in China", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 569-594. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-02-2018-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited