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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Susanne Durst and Pietro Evangelista

This paper aims to explore knowledge management (KM) practices implemented by third-party logistics service companies (3PLs) and the main barriers slowing down the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore knowledge management (KM) practices implemented by third-party logistics service companies (3PLs) and the main barriers slowing down the adoption of such practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodological approach used in this paper is based on a multiple case study analysis involving a set of 3PLs operating in Italy and Sweden. The empirical analysis has explored the KM practices used by 3PLs and the main barrier hindering their adoption.

Findings

In spite of some adoption, the findings suggest that 3PLs are not sufficiently realizing the full potential of KM. The evidence also indicates that there is a link between the type of 3PL company (in terms of the breadth and complexity of the services supplied) and the sophistication of KM tools adopted.

Research limitations/implications

From a research point of view, further research should focus on the validation of the link between the number and sophistication of KM tools used and the breadth of services supplied. Further research should also focus on exploring how KM can support 3PL companies in enhancing their performance.

Practical implications

From a practical point of view, the findings may help the management of 3PL companies to take a more strategic approach to KM and thus its contribution to the firms’ overall goals. Additionally, it is critical to conduct a careful analysis of current and future KM needs to identify the most suitable KM solutions linked to the specific characteristics of the business in which 3PLs operate.

Originality/value

This study provides fresh insights into the adoption of KM practices in logistics service organizations. The findings advance the limited body of knowledge regarding this topic and contribute to the further development of the study of KM.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2020

Maria Huge-Brodin, Edward Sweeney and Pietro Evangelista

Various suggested paths for greening logistics and supply chains often address the specific perspectives of single supply chain actors. Drawing on stakeholder theory, the…

Abstract

Purpose

Various suggested paths for greening logistics and supply chains often address the specific perspectives of single supply chain actors. Drawing on stakeholder theory, the purpose of this paper is to develop a deeper understanding of the alignment between logistics service providers (LSPs) and shippers in the context of adopting more environmentally sustainable logistics practices.

Design/methodology/approach

With a case study approach, a dual perspective is taken in which both LSPs and shippers were researched. The cases comprise eight LSPs and six shipper companies in Sweden, Italy and Ireland. Information was first analysed in relation to levels of environmental awareness, customer requirements and provider offerings and critical success factors (CSFs) and inhibitors. In a second step, the findings were analysed using stakeholder theory.

Findings

LSPs demonstrate higher ambition levels and more concrete offerings compared to shippers' requirements for green logistics services. Paradoxically, customers are an important CSF and also an inhibitor for both LSPs and shippers. Both LSPs and shippers perceive financial factors and senior management priorities as important CSFs. The application of stakeholder theory helps to illuminate the importance of the many secondary stakeholders vs that of one or a relatively small number of primary stakeholders.

Originality/value

The three-dimensional analysis of environmental alignment between LSPs and shippers reinforces existing knowledge and provides new insights. A novel use of stakeholder theory in a supply chain context underlines its usefulness in research of this kind.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Pietro Evangelista and Susanne Durst

The purpose of this paper is to provide a structured literature review on knowledge management (KM) and KM strategy in environmental sustainability practices of logistics…

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1737

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a structured literature review on knowledge management (KM) and KM strategy in environmental sustainability practices of logistics service providers. The paper highlights the nature and scope of existing research and identifies areas for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The study consists of a systematic review of existing research regarding KM in sustainable logistics. In all, 38 refereed research papers formed the basis of analysis. This methodology allows for the minimization of researcher bias and the maximization of reliability and replicability.

Findings

The literature review made possible the identification of three basic elements through which building-up appropriate KM approaches and KM strategies in the area of environmental sustainability by third-party logistics service companies will be enhanced: customer relationship management, quality of human resources and the adoption of information and communication technology tools and systems.

Research limitations/implications

This study may not have enabled a complete coverage of all articles in the field of KM in the context of environmental sustainability practices of logistics service companies. Yet, it seems reasonable to assume that the review process covered a large share of studies available. The main research implications deriving from the study concern research methods, analysis of factors hampering/supporting the implementation of KM in practices related to environmental sustainability, development of measures to demonstrate the impact of KM on sustainability practices and role of different stakeholders in the implementation of KM in environmental sustainability practices.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors ' knowledge, no systematic literature review on this topic has previously been published in academic journals.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Pietro Evangelista and Edward Sweeney

In today's supply chain management practices, a successful strategy depends increasingly on the performance of third party logistics (3PLs) providers as they play a key…

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5336

Abstract

Purpose

In today's supply chain management practices, a successful strategy depends increasingly on the performance of third party logistics (3PLs) providers as they play a key integrative role linking the different supply chain elements more effectively. Information and communications technology (ICT) has become an important element of 3PL competitive capability as it enables higher levels of supply chain integration. Recent industry developments have widened the technological gap between large and small 3PLs. This is critical particularly for those markets populated by a large number of small 3PLs such as the Italian logistics industry. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of ICT adoption in small logistics service providers. The focus of the study is the Italian 3PL market.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology adopted in this paper is based on the action research framework and it is a combination of theoretical analysis and empirical findings (focus groups and surveys). Firstly, a literature review on ICT dissemination in the international and Italian 3PL industry has been carried out. Then, a field survey has been developed preceded by two focus groups. The empirical investigation examined a sample of 153 small Italian 3PLs on the base of a definition and taxonomy proposed by the authors.

Findings

The results provide a useful technological profile of the surveyed companies, as well as an analysis of the role of ICT in customising services and of the factors influencing ICT adoption.

Research limitations/implications

To give a more robust scientific justification of the survey results, it would be useful to carry out an additional large‐scale analysis including other countries with a high presence of small logistics service companies. Furthermore, a complementary case‐study analysis would be of help in defining the role of specific factors in different types of 3PL. Further investigations in this field are needed to better understand innovation paths, and how ICT can improve the competitive capabilities of 3PLs and of the wider supply chain.

Practical implications

Managers of small 3PLs can use the findings to set‐up guidelines for improving a company's technology innovation. Technology vendors can use the findings to better market their service/product into the small logistics service provider segment.

Originality/value

Despite the fact that much has been written about the dissemination of ICT, there is still a shortage of research in the field of small 3PLs with little empirical investigation into the usage of ICT by small 3PLs. This paper provides a contribution to filling this void and suggests some possible research directions.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2012

Pietro Evangelista, Riccardo Mogre, Alessandro Perego, Antonino Raspagliesi and Edward Sweeney

In today's competitive scenario, effective supply chain management is increasingly dependent on third‐party logistics (3PL) companies' capabilities and performance. The…

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2817

Abstract

Purpose

In today's competitive scenario, effective supply chain management is increasingly dependent on third‐party logistics (3PL) companies' capabilities and performance. The dissemination of information technology (IT) has contributed to change the supply chain role of 3PL companies and IT is considered an important element influencing the performance of modern logistics companies. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between IT and 3PLs' performance, assuming that logistics capabilities play a mediating role in this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical evidence based on a questionnaire survey conducted on a sample of logistics service companies operating in the Italian market was used to test a conceptual resource‐based view (RBV) framework linking IT adoption, logistics capabilities and firm performance. Factor analysis and ordinary least square (OLS) regression analysis have been used to test hypotheses. The focus of the paper is multidisciplinary in nature; management of information systems, strategy, logistics and supply chain management approaches have been combined in the analysis.

Findings

The results indicate strong relationships among data gathering technologies, transactional capabilities and firm performance, in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness. Moreover, a positive correlation between enterprise information technologies and 3PL financial performance has been found.

Originality/value

The paper successfully uses the concept of logistics capabilities as mediating factor between IT adoption and firm performance. Objective measures have been proposed for IT adoption and logistics capabilities. Direct and indirect relationships among variables have been successfully tested.

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2013

Pietro Evangelista, Alan McKinnon and Edward Sweeney

The main aim of the research is to shed light on the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the logistics innovation process of small and medium‐sized…

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3248

Abstract

Purpose

The main aim of the research is to shed light on the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in the logistics innovation process of small and medium‐sized third party logistics providers (3PLs).

Design/methodology/approach

A triangulated research strategy was designed using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The former involved the use of a questionnaire survey of small and medium‐sized Italian 3PLs with 153 usable responses received. The latter comprised a series of focus groups and the use of seven case studies.

Findings

There is a relatively low level of ICT expenditure with few companies adopting formal technology investment strategies. The findings highlight the strategic importance of supply chain integration for 3PLs with companies that have embarked on an expansion of their service portfolios showing a higher level of both ICT usage and information integration. Lack of technology skills in the workforce is a major constraint on ICT adoption. Given the proliferation of logistics‐related ICT tools and applications in recent years it has been difficult for small and medium‐sized 3PLs to select appropriate applications.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides practical guidelines to researchers in the effective use of mixed‐methods research based on the concept of methodological triangulation. In particular, it shows how questionnaire surveys, focus groups and case study analysis can be used in combination to provide insights into multi‐faceted supply chain phenomena. It also identifies several potentially fruitful avenues for future research in this specific field.

Practical implications

The paper's findings provide useful guidance for practitioners on the effective adoption of ICT as part of the logistics innovation process. The findings also provide support for ICT vendors in the design of ICT solutions that are aligned to the needs of small 3PLs.

Originality/value

There is currently a paucity of research into the drivers and inhibitors of ICT in the innovation processes of small and medium‐sized 3PLs. This paper fills this gap by exploring the issue using a range of complementary research approaches.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Constantin Bratianu and Ettore Bolisani

Downloads
970

Abstract

Details

VINE, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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Article
Publication date: 16 December 2019

Vahid Jafari-Sadeghi, Salman Kimiagari and Paolo Pietro Biancone

Global economies are involved with enormous activities of internationalization that provide pure and untapped opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to place and…

Abstract

Purpose

Global economies are involved with enormous activities of internationalization that provide pure and untapped opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses to place and promote their products.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors applied structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis with the partial least squares (PLS), conducting an empirical analysis of data from 28 European countries.

Findings

The results reveal that the higher level of education/knowledge in a country enhances the foresight competencies of entrepreneurs and that they both have a positive influence on the effective business creation. The findings of this paper also stress on the positive relationship between the effect of business creation and international intensity in economy level.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of this study lies in the impossibility of obtaining a larger and more complete data. Consequently, this study uses national-level data from 28 European countries, which makes the sample too small. In addition, although innovation is one of the driving factors in both internationalization and entrepreneurship, because of the limitation, it has not been considered in this study.

Practical implications

The authors assert that countries, specifically European nations studied in this research, can improve their employment rate and value creation (through their products in international markets) by giving a special attention to the entrepreneurial-oriented human capitals.

Social implications

This research warns policymakers that they can have a serious contribution in promoting (international) entrepreneurship. They should draw a rigorous plan for formal and informal educational systems that effectively develops essential knowledge for launching new businesses and fosters the innovation and entrepreneurship.

Originality/value

This study set out to improve the understanding of the role of level of education/knowledge and foresight competencies, as the elements of human capitals, on international entrepreneurship.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 18 March 2019

Heloísa Alves de Figueiredo Sousa, Josemar Gonçalves de Oliveira Filho, Mariana Buranelo Egea, Edilsa Rosa da Silva, Dirceu Macagnan, Marcio Pires and José Peixoto

Banana is an important tropical fruit with high demand in the market. The ripe fruits are less resistant to transport making logistics difficult. Moreover, as a…

Abstract

Purpose

Banana is an important tropical fruit with high demand in the market. The ripe fruits are less resistant to transport making logistics difficult. Moreover, as a climacteric fruit, it has a short post-harvest shelf life. Edible coatings/films, including active substances, have been used as an alternative for preserving fruits and vegetables during post-harvest period. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the incorporating clove essential oil on the properties of cassava starch films and their effect on the post-harvest quality of different banana varieties.

Design/methodology/approach

Cassava starch films incorporating clove essential oil were developed and the films were characterized with respect to moisture, thickness, solubility, water vapor permeability (WVP), biodegradability, color and in vitro antifungal activity. Cultivars such as Prata-Anã, Grand Nine, BRS Tropical and BRS Conquista were coated with cassava starch, cassava starch film with clove essential oil (CSEO) and polyvinyl polychloride (PVC). The quality of fruits was monitored during eight storage days using mass loss, total soluble solids content (TSS) and titratable acidity (TTA).

Findings

Incorporation of clove essential oil significantly increased film thickness, reduced moisture content, solubility and WVP (p < 0.05) and did not affect the biodegradability and color of the films. The essential oil incorporated films showed antifungal activity against the fungi Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Colletotrichum musae, but not against the yeast Saccharomyces bourladii. CSEO and PVC coating were more efficient in reducing the mass loss, SS content and TTA of the coated fruits in all varieties studied. Both CSEO and PVC coatings improve the quality attributes such as TSS and TTA and reduced mass loss, of the banana varieties such as Prata-Anã, Grand Nine, BRS Tropical and BRS Conquista during storage.

Originality/value

The active film with essential oil showed antifungal activity and essential oil can be incorporated into other food systems. This study approaches a new possibility of film coating with essential oil for a banana that showed minimum weight loss and satisfactory quality and increased shelf life. This film coating demonstrates biodegradable characteristics that could be eco-friendly and sustainable to consumers.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 49 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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