Recent Submissions

  • Larson, Paul D. (2019-12-19)
    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop and test theory-driven hypotheses on the influence of corruption and gender inequality on logistics performance. Design/methodology/approach – This paper develops hypotheses based on a review of the literature and theory linking corruption, gender inequality and logistics performance. Testing the hypotheses draws on the following secondary data sources: the World Bank Logistics Performance Index, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index and the United Nations Development Programme Gender Inequality Index. Regression analysis is used to test the hypotheses. Findings – A significant direct effect is evident between corruption perceptions and perceived logistics performance. Corruption is detrimental to logistics. Further, there is evidence of an indirect effect, via gender inequality. Gender inequality is also linked directly to lower logistics performance. Gross domestic product/ capita enters the analysis as a control variable. Research limitations/implications – While the analysis uses secondary data, sources are credible and their methods – while not perfect – are logical and appear to be reasonable. It is possible that excluded variables could further explain the relationships under study. This implies future research opportunities, perhaps involving case studies of specific nations. Practical implications – The results should inspire businesses, non-governmental organizations and governments to invest in, aid, advocate for and legislate toward greater gender equality – and against corruption. Logistics educators have an important role in disseminating this message. Social implications – Gender inequality and corruption are current, global social issues. Moving forward toward equality and away from corruption are the right moves. Such moves appear to also yield better logistics. Originality/value – This paper is among the first linking corruption and gender inequality to logistics performance. It shows how social issues impact logistics performance at a national level.
  • Caic, Martina; Holmlid, Stefan; Mahr, Dominik; Odekerken-Schröder, Gaby (2019-12-31)
    In design for service, understanding the social fabric of the service system demands special focus, because the networks of actors that collaboratively create value strongly affect the multitude of service values for the beneficiaries of the system. This article explores mental models of actor networks from the phenomenological perspective of the beneficiaries, who ultimately determine the value of the service. The authors argue for a visual phenomenology and leverage the resourcefulness of individual network actors through a qualitative interpretive study that relies on in-depth interviews supported by generative card activities. By asking service beneficiaries (in this case, the elderly) to map their care-based network contexts, this method encourages human-centered, participatory approaches that reveal service systems from beneficiaries’ perspectives. With an analysis of constructed visual artefacts and data-rich narratives that uncover the instrumentality of visualizations, the authors further identify different types of networks and the dominant values held by each network’s focal actors. The authors hence suggest that not only should value creation as such be viewed as idiosyncratic, but so should the networks of actors that co-create value. Finally, the concept of service resonance is suggested to aid in accounting for the pluralistic perspectives of the network actors.
  • Elg, Mattias; Gremyr, Ida; Halldorsson, Arni; Wallo, Andreas (2020-01-08)
    Purpose – Conducting research that is both practice- and theory-relevant is important for the service research community. Action research can be a fruitful approach for service researchers studying the transformative role of service research and wanting to make contributions to both the research community and to practical development. By exploring the current use of action research in service research, this study aims to make suggestions for enhancing the contribution to theory and practice development and to propose criteria for research quality for action research in service research. Design/methodology/approach – This study builds on a systematic literature review of the use of action research approaches in service research. Findings – The study makes three main contributions. First,it posits that any action research project needs to consider the four elements of problem identification, theorization, creating guiding concepts and intervention. Second, based on these elements mirrored in service action research, it outlines and analyzes three approaches to action research (i.e. theory-enhancing, concept developing and practice-enhancing). Third, it suggests a move from instrumental to a more conceptual relevance of the research and elaborates on the criteria for research quality. Originality/value – This study contributes to the understanding of how action research may be applied for conducting high-quality collaborative research in services and proposes measures to enhance research quality in action research projects focusing services.
  • Grange, Ray; Heaslip, Graham; McMullan, Caroline (2019-12-04)
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify how coordination has evolved in humanitarian logistics, what were the triggers for change, and how have they been facilitated. Design: Systematic literature review of academic journals. Findings: This is the first paper to discuss the concepts of network orchestration and choreography in a humanitarian context. The research revealed that network coordination has moved on in the commercial sector to include orchestration and now, choreography concepts which have not been tested in HL literature. This reveals a lag exists between HL research and practice. Research limitations/implications: This paper represents an exploratory study and provides the basis for further research on the concepts of orchestration and choreography in humanitarian logistics. The paper sets a research agenda for academics. Practical implications: This paper is the first to discuss the concepts of network orchestration and choreography in a humanitarian context. Originality/value: The areas of orchestration and choreography have received limited consideration within the humanitarian aid logistics literature to date. This paper is designed to redress this shortfall. As a result, it is hoped that it will act as a catalyst for further research and to widen and deepen the resultant debate with a view to improving the outcome for those affected by current and future disasters.
  • Vega, Diego (2019-10-31)
    Project networks link specialists from different fields and organizations to work jointly on a shared activity for a limited period. In this structure, the central actor - the project owner - plays a key role acting as host, sponsor or parent of the project network. But, how do owners fulfil their role?We argue that the role of the project owner is to continuously reconfigure the relationships among the networks to quickly develop temporary organizations that respond to emerging needs. Using a humanitarian organization, we consider the important activity of the project owner as dynamic assembling. This capability relies on the owner's capacity to conceive, combine, coordinate and control the network. By adopting a dynamic view of the project, businesses could increase their capability to rapidly respond to trends. Playing a central role on multiple project network contributes to the owner's capability to dynamically combine resources and increase its innovation capacity.
  • Ekwall, Daniel; Torstensson, Håkan (Turku School of Economics, 2019)
    The transport of dangerous goods incorporates hazards, which may seriously affect people, property and the environment in various adverse ways. In a previous HAZARD project report, transport stresses were addressed, in particular concerning their impact on dangerous goods transport and the risk of subsequent accidents. The report referred to essential results from the vast research and regulatory work,which was carried out by the end of the 20th century in order to provide guidance for designing and testing packagings and packages for the transport. There is now a need to scrutinise those results with regard to possible changes over time. The present report therefore addresses some of the issues again, now based on a questionnaire to stakeholders, aiming to identify whether conditions are sufficiently stable to validate the results of the first report. The results presented here are based on a questionnaire to stakeholders which, with reservation for its very limited response, essentially confirms that the previous findings are still valid. As always, organisational issues and human error are the primary causes of adverse events, but may still not be adequately addressed in activities for prevention of cargo loss and damage. Education, instructions, training and, where necessary, supervision are therefore of crucial importance. In addition, ensuring that equipment and technology are in order and not malfunctioning, is essential. Appropriate quality routines, inspections and testing should be in focus. While previous research thus to a large extent is still applicable, there is always a need for refinement. At the organisational level as well as in associated research, relevant risk analyses should be carried out. As noted in the previous report, a first step for future research in this area should be a simple risk assessment for the most common causes of cargo damage (shock and impact, vibration, stacking overload, torn packaging, moisture, mould, wet packaging, overheating, freezing, over pressure, leakage and fire) but also in relation toot her reasons for cargo losssuch as thef tor jettison.The present report contributes to the understanding of whether the trends regarding cargo damage and loss are changing or remain stable over time, which helps to assess the relevance of available data and the need for further investigations.Nothing in this report contradicts or falsifies the findings summarised in the previous report, which in a way, however limited, can be considered validated.
  • Syrjälä, Henna; Norrgrann, Anu (Emerald, 2019)
    Purpose: This chapter examines two rather extreme examples of non-human entities in home assemblage, interior objects, and companion animals, and how their agency appears distributed with human consumers in assembling home. The authors aim at drawing conceptual contrasts and overlappings in how agency expresses itself in these categories of living and non-living entities, highlighting the multifaceted manifestations of object agency. Methodology/Approach: This chapter employs multiple sets of ethnographi-cally inspired data, ranging from ethnographic interviews and an autoethno-graphic diary to three types of (auto-)netnographic data. Findings: The findings showcase oscillation of agency between these three analytic categories (human, non-human living, and non-human non-living), focusing on how it is distributed between two of the entities at a time, within the heterogeneous assemblage of home. Furthermore, the findings show instances in which agency emerges as shared between all three entities. Originality/Value: The contribution of this chapter comes from advancing existing discussion on object agency toward the focus on distributed and shared agency. The research adds to the prevailing discussion by exhibiting how agency oscillates between different types of interacting entities in the assemblage, and in particular, how the two types of non-human entities are agentic. The research demonstrates the variability and interwovenness of non-human and human, living and non-living agency as they appear intertwined in home assemblage.
  • Vuori, Vilma; Bor, Sanne; Polsa, Pia; Käpylä, Jonna; Helander, Nina (SCITEPRESS Science And Technology Publications, 2019-01-01)
    This position paper introduces ongoing research efforts that addresses the ability of political and legal institutions and management practices to cope with complex environmental planning and policy-making problems in the Finnish context. The research applies a business perspective on collaborative governance solutions, with a focus on how organizations (public, private, third and fourth sector) can co-create shared value. This phenomenon is studied through a multi-case study of different environmental cases from Finland.
  • Kelleher, Carol; O'Loughlin, Deirdre; Gummerus, Johanna; Peñaloza, Lisa (2019-11-06)
    The predominant value discourse among scholars characterizes value cocreation as involving multiple actors at the micro-, meso-, and macrolevels in service systems. This research contributes to the knowledge of the interdependencies among multiple resource-integrating actors and value outcomes by employing a relational perspective on value cocreation within the empirical context of family caregiving. The findings reveal how interdependent actors orchestrate value cocreation in service systems, how this impacts value, and how orchestration precipitates system adjustments, which form the recursive context of value cocreation over time. We differentiate and delineate three multi-actor orchestration mechanisms—assembling, performing, and brokering—through which nonreferent beneficiaries coordinate value cocreation on behalf of dependent referent beneficiaries. We term the mutually generalized oscillating multiform negative and positive well-being outcomes that emerge from orchestration among interdependent actors as relational value. In employing the metaphor of the kaleidoscope to emphasize system dynamism, our discussion of relational value cocreation deepens our understanding of how nonreferent beneficiary-led orchestration, founded on generalized mutuality and on behalf of referent beneficiaries with reduced agency, enhances and balances multiform, oscillating and positive and negative well-being outcomes in service systems. This will help service practitioners facilitate orchestration and optimize value for all.
  • Vega, Diego; Roussat, Christine (2019-11-11)
    Purpose: Service development and outsourcing are growing trends in humanitarian logistics (HL). Humanitarian organizations (HOs) have developed specialized units to perform logistics activities on behalf of other aid organizations, as a commercial logistics service provider (LSP) would do. The purpose of this paper is to explore the characteristics of HOs acting as LSPs and the differences with their commercial counterparts. Design/methodology/approach: This research uses a two-level content analysis of 149 annual reports from 50 local and international HOs, performed with the help of qualitative data analysis software. First, a manifest content analysis identified the number of occurrences of logistics-related words and later, a latent content analysis studies the use in context of such words to characterize the nature of HOs as LSPs. Findings: Evidence shows that some international HOs – in some cases through specialized logistics units – perform the same activities as commercial LSPs, providing similar services. However, due to the characteristics of the humanitarian context, HOs acting as LSPs can offer a wider range of value-added and dedicated services to clients (other HOs) than commercial LSPs. Research limitations/implications: Exploring the activities performed by HOs on behalf of other aid organizations and characterizing them as service providers constitutes a first attempt to grasp the unique features of these particular humanitarian LSPs. The results open the discussion about the services HOs offer, thus contributing to theory development in HL. Practical implications: The identification of HOs acting as LSPs introduces a new actor to the humanitarian network, which the authors refer to as humanitarian service provider (HSP). This supposes two main managerial implications. First, the results support the idea of seeing servitization as a competitive difference, having a substantial impact on the way HOs build their strategies and achieve competitive advantage. Second, HSPs can push their commercial equivalents to identify new activities or services to offer and maintain their competitive advantage with regard to the newcomers. Originality/value: This paper furthers the discussion on the concept of HSPs and demonstrates its uniqueness, thus contributing to the ever-growing body of knowledge of HL research.
  • Larson, Paul D.; Larson, Natalie M. (2019-11-28)
    The United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that more than 820 million people suffer from chronic undernourishment, and it identifies poverty as the principal cause of hunger. According to the World Bank, 767 million people live on less than $1.90 per day, i.e. below the international poverty line. Other causes of hunger include conflict, political instability, food and agricultural policies and climate change. To these causes, this paper adds gender inequality. The study uses regression analysis of secondary data to test the impact of gender inequality, income and environmental performance on the hunger of nations. Statistical results confirm interrelationships among several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Policy implications include a call to identify and address root causes of hunger and to adopt a long-term focus.
  • Aminoff, Anna; Kovacs, Gyöngyi (2019-10-10)
  • Vu, Thao Phuong; Grant, David B.; Menachof, David (2019-12-26)
    Paper explores different stakeholder perceptions of logistics service quality in Hai Phong, Vietnam, one of the country’s most important port complexes and largest logistics hubs. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with customers, logistics service providers and port operators. Fourteen important variables were found with delivery time and shipment condition perceived by all groups as most important. Variables related to human factors were considered important by customers but not by logistics service providers. The paper contributes to our knowledge of what logistics service quality entails in a developing country that is lower on a logistics maturity scale, such as Vietnam, and provides managers with insights on what logistics service quality factors to address to enhance customers’ perceptions regarding their expectations.
  • Kovacs, Gyöngyi; Moshtari, Mohammad; Kachali, Hlekiwe; Polsa, Pia (2019-12-10)
  • Caic, Martina; Mahr, Dominik; Odekerken-Schröder, Gaby (2019-08-12)
    Purpose: The technological revolution in the service sector is radically changing the ways in which and with whom consumers co-create value. This conceptual paper considers social robots in elderly care services and outlines ways in which their human-like affect and cognition influence users’ social perceptions and anticipations of robots’ value co-creation or co-destruction potential. A future research agenda offers relevant, conceptually robust directions for stimulating the advancement of knowledge and understanding in this nascent field. Design/methodology/approach: Drawing from service, robotics and social cognition research, this paper develops a conceptual understanding of the value co-creation/destruction potential of social robots in services. Findings: Three theoretical propositions construct an iterative framework of users’ evaluations of social robots in services. First, social robots offer users value propositions leveraging affective and cognitive resources. Second, users’ personal values become salient through interactions with social robots’ affective and cognitive resources. Third, users evaluate social robots’ value co-creation/destruction potential according to social cognition dimensions. Originality/value: Social robots in services are an emerging topic in service research and hold promising implications for organizations and users. This relevant, conceptually robust framework advances scholarly understanding of their opportunities and pitfalls for realizing value. This study also identifies guidelines for service managers for designing and introducing social robots into complex service environments.
  • Sthapit, Erose; Björk, Peter (2019-09-25)
    Purpose: This study aims to explore the antecedents that generate value co-destruction, the negative outcomes resulting from interactive value formation, in the sharing economy context, particularly taxi services. The focus of the study is on customers’ Uber reviews that are written in English and posted online. Three keywords, “bad”, “terrible” and “awful”, were used to capture online narratives linked to customers’ negative experiences with Uber. Out of the 758 online reviews, 75 negative reviews were analysed in this study. Design/methodology/approach: A grounded theory approach was used for data analysis. Findings: Two distinct themes resulted in value co-destruction: Uber drivers’ bad behaviour and poor customer service. The managerial implications include that Uber clearly should invest more resources to minimise the negative experiences of its customers by clearly defining the taxi drivers’ tasks and responsibilities. In addition, when customers report their dissatisfaction, they should be dealt with promptly and effectively through good customer service. Research limitations/implications: First, the netnography study, by its nature, was restricted to those customers who shared their reviews online. The study did not consider those customers who have not posted their reviews online. Second, the focus of the study was on customer reviews that were written in English. Third, only three keywords (“bad”, “terrible” and “awful”) were used in the data selection process, limiting the number of review posts (75) that were analysed in this study. In addition, even if this study does not produce statistically generalizable findings, the findings are valuable in an analytical sense. Practical implications: From a managerial perspective, Uber clearly should invest more in resources to minimise the negative experiences of its customers (both domestic customers and tourists) by clearly defining the taxi drivers’ tasks and responsibilities. If the drivers’ tasks are unclear, then customers cannot be served in an effective manner and with consistent service quality. The taxi drivers, regardless of their full-time or part-time work shifts, should ensure that quality services are offered to customers. Providing high-quality service might reduce the number of complaints and result in positive comments and compliments. Originality/value: This study addresses the gap in previous literature by examining customers’ negative experiences during the overall service encounter and antecedents of value co-destruction in the context of Uber. This study contributes to a better understanding of value co-destruction within the sharing economy.
  • Fougère, Martin; Solitander, Nikodemus (2019-12-23)
    Multi-stakeholder initiatives involve actors from several spheres of society (market, civil society and state) in collaborative arrangements to reach objectives typically related to sustainable development. In political CSR literature, these arrangements have been framed as improvements to transnational governance and as being somehow democratic. We draw on Mouffe’s works on agonistic pluralism to problematize the notion that consensus-led multi-stakeholder initiatives bring more democratic control on corporate power. We examine two initiatives which address two very different issue areas: the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (The Accord). We map the different kinds of adversarial relations involved in connection with the issues meant to be governed by the two initiatives, and find those adversarial relations to take six main shapes, affecting the initiatives in different ways: (1) competing regulatory initiatives; (2) pressure-response relations within multi-stakeholder initiatives; (3) pressure-response relations between NGOs and states through multi-stakeholder initiatives; (4) collaboration and competition between multi-stakeholder initiatives and states; (5) pressure-response relations between civil society actors and multi-stakeholder initiatives; and (6) counter-hegemonic movements against multi-stakeholder initiatives as hegemonic projects. We conclude that multi-stakeholder initiatives cannot be democratic by themselves, and we argue that business and society researchers should not look at democracy or politics only internally to these initiatives, but rather study how issue areas are regulated through interactions between a variety of actors—both within and without the multi-stakeholder initiatives—who get to have a legitimate voice in this regulation.
  • Kunz, Werner; Heinonen, Kristina; Lemmink, Jos (2019-08-12)
    Purpose: Service technologies are transforming the business landscape rapidly. This paper aims to explore the current scope of research in regard to emerging service technologies by comparing the content of articles in academic journals with practitioner-oriented publication outlets. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 5,118 technology-related articles from service journals, service conferences, business journals and business magazines are analyzed. Text-mining on abstracts is used for the thematic and semantic analysis. Common research themes and their relationships are depicted in a two-dimensional structured network. Further, the sample is analyzed regarding various technologies mentioned in the Gartner Hype Cycle. Findings: The paper reveals differences in academic and business perspectives in regard to service technologies. In comparison to business journals, scientific service research is more focused on customer-related aspects of technology. Service research has a less concrete focus on technology than in business publications. Still, service conference articles show a broader scope of emerging service technologies than academic journal articles. Research limitations/implications: Scientific research should focus on more concrete service technologies. Business magazines serve as a good source for that and the paper identifies several promising new technology fields. Practical implications: Although business magazines cover significantly more concrete service technologies, they miss the integrated perspective that academic articles usually offer. Academia can help business to better align concrete technologies with different internal and external perspectives. Originality/value: This paper serves as an introduction to the special issue Future Service Technologies. Additionally, a quantitative study of recent service technology research serves as a reality check for academic researchers on business reality and provides research and practical recommendations.

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