Ellinger, A. and Richey, G. (2011), "Editorial", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 41 No. 10.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Volume 41, Issue 10

We have been overseeing the journal for more than a year. However, this issue includes the first group of manuscripts that we have been responsible for shepherding through the review process. For this grace period and the opportunity to get our feet on terra firma, we are deeply indebted to Professors Mike Crum and Richard Poist who turned the journal over to us in great shape and were also willing to finalize the substantial amount of manuscripts that were at various stages in the review process at the time IJPDLM moved onto the ScholarOne platform in September 2010. We all agreed that this was fairest for all the authors involved and we believe that the issues in Volume 41 bear testimony to the quality of research submitted to IJPDLM as well as the editorial excellence of Professors Crum and Poist. In particular, the manuscripts invited by Professors Crum and Poist that appear in the 40th Anniversary Issue (Vol. 40, No. 1) provide a thought-provoking overview of “hot topics” in supply chain management and logistics strategy authored by leading researchers in the field. We therefore hope and anticipate that IJPDLM readers and prospective authors will integrate these ideas and directions for future research into their future submissions.

We would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Lucy Sootheran, our publisher at Emerald, to Megan Beech (and previously, Ruth Heppenstall) our assistant publishers and to Andrea Watson-Lee, our ScholarOne guru. Each of these individuals has provided us with tremendous support and great communication from “across the pond” as we have transitioned the journal to the ScholarOne system. We are pleased to announce that this has been a seamless transition and that the ScholarOne system offers us the best possible opportunity to “keep the trains running on time” – one of our major commitments to the community as we assume the editorship. We also thank Jennifer Phillips, our marvelous editorial assistant, and the Deans (Barry Mason and Mike Hardin) and our colleagues in The Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration at The University of Alabama who provide the resources and support that allow us to edit to journal.

As we write our first editorial we would like to follow up on our initial introductory podcast ( by sharing some of our ideas and aspirations for the journal. Our Mission is for the IJPDLM to the be the principal home the world comes to for leading edge research bridging strategic areas of business-to-business management, physical distribution, business logistics, marketing channels, and supply chain management strategy.

With this in mind we are expanding the Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) to 100 members to better cope with the large influx of manuscripts we are receiving as a result of being included in the Web of Science database. In the first six months of 2011 we have received 275+ submissions via manuscript central and special issue submissions. With the help of the EAB and a dynamic pool of subject matter expert ad hoc reviewers, we will do our utmost to provide authors with “best in class” service through timeliness and fairness in the review process, inclusiveness, receptivity to different perspectives, and ultimately impact. EAB members will be recognized in each issue and ad hoc reviewers will be recognized in the final issue of each volume. We will review the EAB annually in June of each year and anticipate inviting several ad hoc reviewers to join the EAB each year.

We have strived to ensure that the expanded EAB has true international representation so that each manuscript sent out for review can be reviewed by one North American-based, and one non-North American-based reviewer. Each member of the EAB has been specifically selected for his or her research impact across the fields of business-to-business management, physical distribution, business logistics, marketing channels, and supply chain management strategy. EAB members are asked to review up to four manuscripts per year (one per quarter). In addition, reviewers for each manuscript are hand selected by the editors for fit – not electronically assigned or assigned by an editorial assistant as is becoming increasingly common at some other journals. We also ask our reviewers to send us a quick and personal e-mail in the rare event that they must decline a review. This way we can check our logic and make sure our selections are doing justice to our reviewers and authors. This attention to detail helps us eliminate mismatches between reviewers and research topics, and reduces the time in review for authors (our current first review cycle average is less than 30 days and we very much hope to keep it there despite the aforementioned onrush of submissions). However, since we only assign two reviewers per manuscript, our ability to “keep the trains running on time” is totally dependent on the goodwill and cooperation of our volunteer reviewers. We will follow up with a more specific reviewing podcast that will be posted on the journal web site.

We will also be sending you invitations to events at leading conferences around the world such as the new Distribution Research Symposium (DRS) (formerly SCMID) that will be hosted by the Academy of Marketing Science in 2013, and the 2012 NOFOMA Conference both of which yield annual special issues of IJPDLM. We firmly believe that impactful special issues are a differentiating aspect of the journal. Accordingly, we have sought to strengthen traditional ties with the European NOFOMA Conference and are launching the DRS in partnership with the Academy of Marketing Science Conference in order to provide a North American based forum for cutting edge SCML research. Traditionally, in excess of 100 conference papers represent the pool from which papers for these special issues are selected so inclusion in these conference special issues is highly competitive. We are delighted to announce that the first DRS Special Issue will be co-edited by Professors Patricia Daugherty (Professor Emeritus, The University of Oklahoma) and Gyöngyi Kovács (Hanken School of Economics). We are currently finalizing plans for another special issue in partnership with a leading Latin American Conference.

We have appointed Professor Chad Autry from The University of Tennessee as the journal’s first Systems Editor. Professor Autry’s responsibilities will include editing an annual special issue for “Managerially Relevant Logistics Models” and also increasing North American submissions. Modeling papers may be submitted at any time to IJPDLM and will be sent to Professor Autry for consideration. Professor Autry and Professor Judith Whipple of Michigan State University are also co-editing a special issue of IJPDLM on “Logistics and supply chain solutions for a changing competitive landscape: impacts of sustainability and resource scarcity” that is designed to further the research agenda articulated in Carter and Easton in the 40th Anniversary Special Issue (IJPDLM Vol. 41, No. 1). In addition, Professors Ron Fisher (Griffith University, Australia), Robert Lusch (University of Arizona) and Stephen Vargo (University of Hawaii) are co-editing a special issue of IJPDLM entitled “Applying service-dominant (S-D) logic to physical distribution and logistics management” that is designed to extend ideas put forth in Tokman and Beitelspacher’s manuscript in the SCMID Special Issue (IJPDLM Vol. 41, No. 7).

Calls for each of these special issues can be found on the journal web site (

We are very interested in receiving impactful proposals for future special issues especially from researchers based in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. We will also invite a few manuscripts per year from distinguished researchers and/or practitioners whose ideas have the potential to stimulate and extend the IJPDLM research agenda.

The first of these invited manuscripts is the lead article in this issue co-authored by Professors Stank, Dittmann and Autry (University of Tennessee). Their manuscript expands on the thought-provoking ideas in the 2010 publication The New Supply Chain Agenda co-authored by Reuben Slone, Paul Dittman and the late Tom Mentzer. We believe that the key pillars of a successful supply chain strategy articulated in the authors’ New Supply Chain Agenda represent a fruitful research agenda for SCML scholars. We therefore anticipate that this invited manuscript will stimulate research submissions on these and other related critical topics.

Three other high-quality manuscripts were polished by their authors to round out this issue. First, Rollins, Pekkarinen, and Mehtälä give us a deep examination of the value of knowledge management in “Inter-firm customer knowledge sharing in logistics services: an empirical study.” This work specifically examines the importance of transparent communication in customer knowledge sharing and satisfaction with logistics service providers. The outcomes of the study are extremely relevant to both researchers and practitioners. Next, Hussain and Drake present a tight discussion of complexities that exist in the “Analysis of the bullwhip effect with order batching in multi-echelon supply chains.” This study does a wonderful job of pairing the classic bullwhip phenomenon with newer discussions of multi-echelon relationships. Employing a creative use of the iThink software, this study opens the door for researchers to test old models in new ways and for future cost analysis considerations to be factored into emerging studies and practice. Finally, Shabani, Torabipour and Farzipoor-Saen, publish their first manuscript in IJPDLM and provide the community with a data envelope analysis (DEA) guiding hand in “Container selection in the presence of partial dual-role factors.” This is the first and only paper in our history which applies advanced DEA models to container selection in cold chaining (time and temperature control items). Readers should note that this is the type paper we hope to publish in the annual models issue edited by Professor Chad Autry.

In conclusion, we feel very privileged to be the new co-editors of this prestigious journal. IJPDLM has many strengths. First, IJPDLM is the longest standing SCML journal and has a well-respected global reputation. Second, many leading international scholars like our excellent European editors Professors Spens and Kovács (Hanken School of Economics), and Professor Martin Christopher (Cranfield Unviersity) who generously represented the journal at the 2011 EUROMA conference continue to be willing to perform ambassadorial roles to help raise awareness and encourage quality submissions to the journal. Third, IJPDLM currently has the strongest global presence among journals in the field with readership and authors evenly split between North America and the rest of the world. Contributions from Asia and Europe are steadily increasing and initiatives are in hand to encourage more submissions from Latin America and Africa. Fourth, as mentioned, the journal has been handed over in great shape, and perhaps most importantly, thanks to the efforts of Emerald Group Publishing and Professors Crum and Poist, is now included in Thomson Reuters ISI database. Evidence of the journal’s impact is already evident. The first published impact factor of 2.617 for 2010 has just been announced by Thomson Reuters. This places IJPDLM 30th in the Management category – a great start that we hope our readers, authors, and reviewers will help us to build on!

Alex Ellinger, Glenn Richey