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Strategic adoption of logistics and supply chain management

Edward Sweeney (Aston Logistics and Systems Institute, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
David B. Grant (Hull University Business School, University of Hull, Hull, UK) (Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland)
D. John Mangan (School of Engineering, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 21 February 2018

Issue publication date: 12 March 2018




The purpose of this paper is to develop a thorough understanding of the adoption of logistics and supply chain management (SCM) in practice, particularly at a strategic level, through an investigation of the four perspectives taxonomy of the relationship between logistics and SCM.


Based on a comprehensive literature review, three specific research questions are proposed. The empirical work addresses these questions and comprised three phases: focussed interviews, a questionnaire survey and focus groups.


The findings provide a usage profile of the four perspectives and indicate a divergence between the understanding and adoption of logistics and SCM principles and concepts at a strategic level in firms. The findings also identify the critical success factors (CSFs) and inhibitors to success in addressing this divergence.

Research limitations/implications

The insights generated using the authors’ methodologically pluralist research design could be built upon to include case studies, grounded theory and action research. Replicating the research in other geographical areas could facilitate international comparisons.

Practical implications

The findings allow practitioners to compare their perspectives on the relationship between logistics and SCM with those of their peers. The CSFs and inhibitors to success provide a rational basis for realising the strategic potential of logistics and SCM in practice.


New insights are generated into practitioner perspectives vis-à-vis logistics vs SCM. A fresh understanding of those factors which drive and hinder the adoption of strategic SCM is also developed and presented.



Sweeney, E., Grant, D.B. and Mangan, D.J. (2018), "Strategic adoption of logistics and supply chain management", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 852-873.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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