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Book part
Publication date: 19 November 2003

Alan C. McKinnon

Abstract

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Handbook of Transport and the Environment
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-080-44103-0

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Alan C. McKinnon

In a previous paper (McKinnon, 2013), the author questioned the principle and practice of journal ranking and discussed its effects on logistics research. Since then…

Abstract

Purpose

In a previous paper (McKinnon, 2013), the author questioned the principle and practice of journal ranking and discussed its effects on logistics research. Since then several important developments have occurred prompting a fresh review of the issues. The paper summarises the results of this review with the aim of stimulating further discussion on the subject.

Design/methodology/approach

New literature on the journal ranking debate has been reviewed. The validity of the journal ranking as a proxy measure of paper quality is explored using data from the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment. Changes to the ranking of ten logistics/supply chain management (SCM) journals in four listings are analysed, and possible reasons for the relatively low status of the journals are examined.

Findings

The influence of journal rankings on the academic research process is strengthening while the debate about their legitimacy has intensified. UK REF data cast doubt on the reliability of the journal ranking as an indicator of a paper’s merit. Logistics/SCM journals continue to occupy mid-to-lower tier positions in most listings, though there has been some improvement in their standing.

Research limitations/implications

The paper aims to alert those managing and undertaking logistics research to the dangers of overreliance on journal rankings in the measurement of research quality and productivity.

Practical implications

The paper may help logistics/SCM scholars to defend the position of their discipline and resist journal-ranking-induced pressures to marginalise it and devalue its outputs.

Social implications

In this paper, academic recruitment, promotion and motivation are considered.

Originality/value

The paper sheds new light on the relationship between journal ranking and individual paper quality, on recent changes in the rating of logistics/SCM journals and on the wider debate about the use of bibliometrics in assessing research quality.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 47 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2018

Xiaohong Liu and Alan C. McKinnon

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which theory-driven supply chain management (SCM) research is of practical relevance. It does this on the basis of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which theory-driven supply chain management (SCM) research is of practical relevance. It does this on the basis of empirical research in China.

Design/methodology/approach

A two-pronged approach was adopted. First, 57 theory-driven SCM studies based in China published in ten leading journals between 2006 and 2015 were surveyed. Second, a questionnaire survey of Chinese managers identified their practical concerns and assessed their alignment with the content of the academic papers.

Findings

Some academic research on SCM does probe industry-relevant problems. From an academic perspective, this confirms that theory-driven SCM research can be of practical value. Overall, however, the survey found that much of the SCM research works do not translate into actionable knowledge for practitioners. Academic research in this field could pursue a more pragmatic path and enhance its practical utility. Two critical components of this path, “practical observation” and “practical verification,” are highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

As the literature review was confined to ten leading journals, relevant papers in other journals were possibly excluded. The research was confined to China and so the results are not necessarily generalizable to other countries.

Practical implications

Chinese academics and practitioners could collaborate in defining research agendas and directions. This would help researchers direct their theory building to issues of relevance to business.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the relevance of theory-driven SCM research from academic and practitioner perspectives in China. It shows how this research might have greater impact on business practice.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Xiaohong Liu and Alan C. McKinnon

Although well established in North America and Europe, the study of supply chain management (SCM) is still at a relatively early stage in its development in China. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Although well established in North America and Europe, the study of supply chain management (SCM) is still at a relatively early stage in its development in China. The transformation and rapid growth of the Chinese economy has, nevertheless, created major supply chain challenges for the country making SCM a very fertile area of business research. In Western countries, research on SCM is now mature and underpinned by a solid body of theory. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which research on SCM in China has also developed a theoretical basis.

Design/methodology/approach

The research involved a systematic review of 150 papers published in 18 journals in the fields of SCM, logistics, operations management and marketing during the period 2004-2014. A three-step process was adopted to select appropriate journals, identify relevant articles and classify them in terms of their theoretical content.

Findings

The study has confirmed that, because of its unique economic, political and cultural setting, supply chain development in China has presented new research challenges. Many examples were found of researchers conducting quasi-experiments to test the applicability of established theories to Chinese supply chains while others have tried to develop new ones that are more closely aligned with the Chinese economy and management practices. Researchers have exhibited a heavy reliance on existing theories, with relatively few attempting to customise them to the Chinese context or to construct new ones.

Research limitations/implications

Given the broad scope of SCM, it is possible that the journal and paper selection processes have accidentally screened out relevant papers. The total sample of papers is, nevertheless, large for an explorative study of this type and should, therefore, give an overall impression of the level of theory development in Chinese SCM research.

Practical implications

This study provides a general framework within which to assess the application and development of theories in the Chinese SCM context. It is principally concerned with three components: the SCM phenomena studied, the Chinese business environment and the theoretical contribution of the research. The paper is targeted more at an academic audience than practitioners, though provides an overview of the research so far undertaken on SCM in China that should be of wider interest.

Originality/value

This study is the first of its kind to review China-based SCM research systematically from the perspective of theory development. It should support the evolution of SCM theory not only in China but also more generally.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1989

Alan C. McKinnon

The volume of road freight movement in the UK has more than doubledover the past 25 years and its present growth is considerably exceedingofficial forecasts made in 1984…

Abstract

The volume of road freight movement in the UK has more than doubled over the past 25 years and its present growth is considerably exceeding official forecasts made in 1984. An attempt is made to explain why this growth has occurred, taking account of the close relationship between tonne‐kilometres and economic growth and outlining several spatial processes likely to have contributed to freight traffic growth. The spatial concentration of economic activity is identified as the dominant influence. The growth process appears to have undergone a major change during the 1980s, with the increase in average length of haul easing and the earlier downward trend in freight tonnage being sharply reversed. The implications of these recent trends for future freight traffic growth are discussed and an assessment made of the likely impact of the Channel Tunnel and deregulation of international haulage on the volume of road freight movement in the 1990s.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Materials Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0269-8218

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2003

Alan C. McKinnon and Deepak Tallam

As the volume of retail sales distributed to the home rises, the proportion of deliveries made when there is no one at home (i.e. “unattended”) is also likely to increase…

Abstract

As the volume of retail sales distributed to the home rises, the proportion of deliveries made when there is no one at home (i.e. “unattended”) is also likely to increase. Traditionally unattended delivery involved leaving orders on the doorstep or with a neighbour. In recent years new systems of secured delivery have been developed, many of them employing reception boxes. This paper classifies the main types of unattended delivery and assesses their relative security. It identifies security problems common to most forms of unattended delivery and examines ways of overcoming them. It also advocates more rigorous analysis of the trade‐offs between delivery cost, customer convenience and security, particularly by the new generation of “e‐fulfilment’ companies.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1990

Alan C. McKinnon

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) can bring many benefits. It allows orders, invoices and other commercial information to be relayed directly between different firms'…

Abstract

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) can bring many benefits. It allows orders, invoices and other commercial information to be relayed directly between different firms' computer networks. Distribution contractors must, like the suppliers, become integrated into these EDI networks.

Details

Logistics Information Management, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6053

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1992

Alan C. McKinnon

Electronic data interchange (EDI) can bring many benefits. Itallows orders, invoices and other commercial information to be relayeddirectly between different firms…

Abstract

Electronic data interchange (EDI) can bring many benefits. It allows orders, invoices and other commercial information to be relayed directly between different firms′ computer networks. Distribution contractors must, like the suppliers, become integrated into these EDI networks.

Details

Logistics Information Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6053

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1992

Alan C. McKinnon

In terms of logistics, manufacturers located in peripheral areas are generally considered to be at a disadvantage. Surveys of Scottish manufacturers suggest that any…

Abstract

In terms of logistics, manufacturers located in peripheral areas are generally considered to be at a disadvantage. Surveys of Scottish manufacturers suggest that any logistical disadvantage is likely to stem more from inadequacies in the quality of transport services than from higher movement costs. The paper attempts to explain why manufacturers in peripheral areas do not incur a significant transport cost penalty and examines the various ways in which their international transport links can be deficient. Little evidence can be found to show that these manufacturers compensate for the greater length of their supply and distribution links by carrying larger inventories.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Alan C. McKinnon and Yongli Ge

The aim is to examine the recent trend in empty running by trucks in the UK and assesses the potential for a further reduction in empty running in the food supply chain…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim is to examine the recent trend in empty running by trucks in the UK and assesses the potential for a further reduction in empty running in the food supply chain using a new technique.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from the UK Government's main road freight survey and other studies are used to investigate the causes of the decline in empty running. Previous attempts to quantify opportunities for backloading are reviewed. The 2002 KPI Survey in the UK food supply chain created a large multi‐fleet database of over 20,000 trips, which permitted retrospective analysis of backloading opportunities. A method was devised to screen these opportunities against four selection criteria and assess the overall potential for cutting empty truck‐kms.

Findings

Suitable backloads were found for only 2.4 per cent of the empty journey legs, representing 2 per cent of empty truck‐kms. The analysis highlights the operational constraints on backloading in a sector characterised by short average trip length, tight scheduling and variable use of refrigeration.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis provides a more accurate and realistic assessment of backloading potential than previous studies, though is still deficient in several respects. The main shortcomings relate to the sampling method and structure of the Transport KPI Survey. The analytical framework requires further development to refine backload search areas, incorporate commercial data and permit sensitivity analysis.

Originality/value

The paper shows how retrospective analysis of road deliveries made over a short period (48 hour) can identify opportunities for backloading at a sectoral level. It combines government statistics and original survey data to provide both a macro‐ and micro‐level perspective on the empty running problem.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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