Purpose: Logistics service providers (LSPs) have started to transform their operations and strategy to be more effective from a green perspective. This transformation can mean opportunities to increase the company’s competiveness, but may also impose challenges and concerns how to organise this. One concern that can be of particular interest of LSPs is how to create organisational green awareness and translate green initiatives into practise in their transport and logistics operations. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the roles of green strategic commitment and organisation in LSPs’ adoption of green initiatives.
Research approach: The data for this study were collected through a questionnaire survey, investigating a sample of LSPs operating on the Swedish, Finnish and Italian markets. The questionnaire was derived from earlier research results, mainly based on case studies and literature reviews. Literature on green logistics and service development support this paper. From the literature, a set of testable hypotheses was developed. The data were analysed regarding how the green strategic priority and the scope of functional involvement when adopting green initiatives correlate with each other in the LSP company.
Findings and Originality: This research takes an organisational perspective on green logistics within LSPs, which is a quite unexplored area. The results indicate, that there are relationships between the nature as well as the scope of functional involvement and the green strategic priority. The results further suggest that the inclusion of environmental consideration in the overall business strategy is positively related to the involvement of multiple functions as well as existence of a separate environmental function. Further, some differences between sizes and types of LSPs are explored, along with differences in the data sample related to the nationality of the LSPs.
Research Impact: The contribution of this paper is a further insight into the relationships between functional involvement in LSPs adoption of green initiatives, and different factors influencing this. These results may in turn provide a basis for further research to explore more specifically how LSPs internally integrate and coordinate their green business development related to their service offerings.
Practical Impact: The paper will describe the incidence of functional involvement when LSPs adopt green initiatives. This in turn will provide inspiration and additional insights among practitioners on how their competitors currently have approached and managed green initiatives in their operations.
Authors: Karin Isaksson*, Maria Huge-Brodin*, Heikki Liimatainen**, Pietro Evangelista***
* Division of Logistics Management, IEI Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Sweden
** Transport Research Centre Verne, Tampere University of Technology, Finland
*** IRAT-CNR and Department of Management Engineering, University of Naples, Italy
Article published in the Proceedings of the 17th Annual Logistics Research Network Conference (LRN2012), September 5-7, 2012, Cranfield, United Kingdom.