To read this content please select one of the options below:

Logistics principles vs. legal principles: frictions and challenges

Andreas Norrman (Department of Industrial Management and Logistics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)
Oskar Henkow (Department of Business Law, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 3 November 2014




Logisticians propose changes to improve supply chains, and legal practitioners do likewise, but from a different perspective. Proposals from one domain increasingly have an impact on the other due to e.g. globalization – but cross-disciplinary knowledge often seems limited. The purpose of this paper is to facilitate interaction between the domains by increasing the level of joint understanding of the principles used in each domain, and to look at the potential frictions and challenges.


Management principles for efficient logistics and supply chain management as well as key principles governing the legal systems are summarized on both a paradigmatic and an action level. Illustrations from practice are presented. These have been obtained by a cross-functional team which has interviewed both logisticians and lawyers. Findings are based on cross-functional comparative analysis of principles and illustrations.


Frictions between operational principles were found to exist in each domain, with some principles harder to reconcile than others. There are also challenges between the two paradigms of logistics and law that influence the operational principles.

Research limitations/implications

One implication is that the knowledge gap, challenges and frictions between the professions and domains, both in practice and academia, would benefit from more research.

Practical implications

Although it may seem trivial, logisticians and lawyers need to cooperate better. The research shows on a fundamental level, with practical examples, the challenges and frictions that occur.


The cross-functional approach with law, and the discussion and comparison of principles.



The authors would like to thank VINNOVA for funding this research.


Norrman, A. and Henkow, O. (2014), "Logistics principles vs. legal principles: frictions and challenges", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 44 No. 10, pp. 744-767.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles