There is a lack of consensus in conceptualizing and defining logistics flexibility as a distinct construct among supply chain scholars. The purpose of this paper is to systematically analyze the existing literature on logistics flexibility.
By taking a systematic approach to literature review, a total of 100 academic articles were content analyzed. As a general framework, the classification broadly provided by Zhang et al. (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) was applied in order to increase the consistency and validity of the review.
The results show that logistics flexibility has gained an increasing academic attention in the past two decades in terms of the number of published articles. First, the various terminologies often used in relation to logistics flexibility are explored. Second, the definitions of logistics flexibility at various levels of analysis are presented along with methodological considerations of the current literature. It is shown that most of the existing articles claim to study the matter at the chain level. The main methodological tools used in studying logistics flexibility are revealed as well as the fact that the majority of the empirical studies correspond to the manufacturing industry. Moreover, a synthesis of the principal measures used to gauge logistics flexibility is provided. Finally, current and emerging themes in logistics flexibility research are highlighted. The study also underlines the main measures used in studying logistics flexibility.
This paper only focusses on academic articles published in journals and does not include other contributions such as books, etc. The systematic literature review facilitates further conceptual and empirical studies; however, more narrative literature reviews could complement the results of this study.
This paper is unique in the sense that it specifically reviews the literature on logistics flexibility in a systematic fashion. The content analysis has been carried out using NVivo 10 enabling the systematic nature of the review as well as increasing the pedagogical value of the method.
This research was funded by The Swedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council (Handelns Utvecklingsråd – HUR).
Jafari, H. (2015), "Logistics flexibility: a systematic review", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 64 No. 7, pp. 947-970. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-05-2014-0069Download as .RIS
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