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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2008

Jesper Aastrup and Árni Halldórsson

The purpose of this paper is to develop the paradigmatic justification for the use of case studies in logistics research. The argument is based on a critical realist (CR…

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4057

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop the paradigmatic justification for the use of case studies in logistics research. The argument is based on a critical realist (CR) ontology and epistemology. The current logistics paradigm's flat ontology – based on regularity – is replaced by an ontology emphasising structures and mechanisms underlying actual events in the form of logistics practice and performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of desk research, conceptual work and theorizing.

Findings

Based on this CR view of the logistics domain it is argued that the justifications for conducting case studies lie in their ability: to reach the causal depth required for revealing the real domain of logistics activities and performance: to reveal the working of mechanisms in loosely coupled structures showing open systems characteristics through a constant alternation between abstract and concrete reasoning and; to include the causal powers and effects of agents' ascribed meanings. Also, it is argued, in contrast with Yin's work which refers to the possibility of generalising case studies, that the justification of case studies not only must refer to their complementary role in research but also must build on groundings that allow this form of research to take a primary role in knowledge creation.

Practical implications

The arguments have direct implications primarily for the scientific justification for case studies in logistics. CR thinking in this respect offers a view in which case studies should be seen as a more legitimate method in logistics inquiries. Second, the paper has implications for further work on the methods of using case studies in logistics: between what types of case studies can one distinguish, and which practical guidelines regarding design and reasoning can be developed based on the CR view?

Originality/value

The paper problematizes current research methodology in logistics. Based on critical realism, it presents a thorough and systematic justification for using case studies as a research approach.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 38 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Jesper Aastrup, Herbert Kotzab, David B. Grant, Christoph Teller and Mogens Bjerre

The purpose of this paper is to propose a model which structures and links different types of efficient consumer response (ECR) measures; it does so by considering the use…

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3594

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a model which structures and links different types of efficient consumer response (ECR) measures; it does so by considering the use of both quantitative or “hard” and qualitative or “soft” measures in ECR, emphasizing the importance and causal role of “soft” measures throughout the ECR process.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the ECR and performance measurement literature and proposes a model that explains linkages from intra‐organizational, inter‐organizational and industry prerequisites through ECR activities to ECR outcomes; and highlights the role of performance, behavioural, attitude and capability measures. Two extant studies from Austria and Denmark are examined in the context of the model to exemplify some of its features.

Findings

Similarities regarding issues of inter‐organizational and intra‐organizational prerequisites were found, but the two studies also demonstrated variety in the use of measures in ECR research.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed model is presented for primarily future investigation; thus there is no empirical study in this paper other than a comparison of the two extant studies to support some constructs and variables. However, the model represents a structure that can guide future research on more specific ECR elements.

Practical implications

The model makes a practical contribution by providing a structure from which measurement or scorecard systems can be established.

Originality/value

The model makes a theoretical contribution by providing an overall structure to link different areas of ECR research such as barriers for ECR implementation, and specific ECR concepts, activities, and their outcomes.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2009

Jesper Aastrup and Herbert Kotzab

The purpose of this paper is to examine out‐of‐stock (OOS) challenges in the independent grocery sector with a special emphasis on in‐store root causes. The analysis aims…

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3823

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine out‐of‐stock (OOS) challenges in the independent grocery sector with a special emphasis on in‐store root causes. The analysis aims to assess the extent and root causes for OOS in the independently controlled retail sector and provide a comparison of these results with the centrally controlled chain sector in Denmark. The paper also seeks to examine the practices and challenges of store ordering and store replenishment processes in the independent sector and identify practical implications for store management and other members of the grocery channels.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design includes two studies. Study‐I surveys and compares the extent and root causes of OOS of 42 stores from eight chains in the two sectors. Study‐II identifies, based on qualitative interviews with 17 store managers/owners of independent stores, specific insights on store operations.

Findings

The quantitative study shows that the OOS rates in the independent sector are significantly higher than in the centrally organized sector. Furthermore, the independent grocery sector faces OOS challenges in more categories than the centrally controlled sector. The study also reveals a very large variation in the performance of independent stores. Contrary to the centrally controlled chain store sector, the major root cause for OOS in the independent sector is found in the store ordering process. The qualitative study shows that the main discriminating issues between stores with a low and a high OOS rate are: store management emphasis and commitment to OOS issues; the resulting priority and managerial guidance in store ordering and store replenishment tasks; the stability of staff and the proper planning for replenishment peaks; the store size and resulting space conditions; and the use of appropriate decision heuristics and use of inventory in store ordering.

Practical implications

The findings have practical implications for store management as it reveals practices to pursue and to avoid. Also, it is argued that the findings have implications for the other members of the grocery channels.

Originality/value

Empirically, this paper explores two issues not being dealt with in depth in previous research, i.e. the OOS challenge in the independent sector and the emphasis on store operations.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 37 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 November 2008

Gyongyi Kovacs and Karen Spens

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778

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 38 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

John Fernie

Downloads
363

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 July 2009

John Fernie

Downloads
377

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 37 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 January 2009

Gyongyi Kovacs and Karen Spens

Downloads
611

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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