Reverse resource exchanges in service supply chains: The case of returnable transport packaging

Selviaridis, Kostas and Matopoulos, Aristides and Szamosi, Leslie Thomas and Psychogios, Alexandros (2016) Reverse resource exchanges in service supply chains: The case of returnable transport packaging. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal., 21 (3). pp. 157-165. ISSN 1359-8546

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Abstract

Purpose – The paper seeks to understand how resource dependencies and reverse resource exchanges are managed in the service supply chain (SSC) of returnable transport packaging (RTP) in logistics service provider (LSP)-customer relationships.

Design/methodology/approach – A single case study was conducted in the context of automotive logistics focusing on the RTP service supply chain. Data was collected through sixteen (16) interviews primarily with managers of logistics providers and analysis of contractual agreements with key customers of the packaging service.

Findings – Resource dependencies among actors in the SSC result from the importance of the RTP resource for the customer’s production processes, the competition among users for RTP and the negative implications of the temporary unavailability of RTP for customers and the LSP (in terms of service performance). Amongst other things, the LSP is dependent on its customers and third party users (e.g., the customer’s suppliers) for the timely return of package resources. The role of inter-firm integration and collaboration, formal contracts, as well as customers’ power and influence over third party RTP users as key mechanisms for managing LSP’s resource dependencies are stressed.

Research limitations/implications – A resource dependence theory (RDT) lens is used to analyse how resource dependencies and associated reverse resource exchanges in SSCs are managed, thus complementing the existing SSC literature emphasising the bi-directionality of resource flows. The study also extends the recent SSC literature stressing the role of contracting by empirically demonstrating how formal contracts can be mobilised to explicate resource dependencies and to specify and regulate reverse exchanges in the SSC.

Practical implications – The research suggests that logistics providers can effectively manage their resource dependencies and regulate reverse exchanges in the SSC by deploying contractual governance mechanisms and leveraging their customers’ influence over third party RTP users.

Originality/value – The study is novel in its application of RDT, which enhances our understanding of the management of resource dependencies and reverse exchanges in SSCs.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: N200 Management studies
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School > Dept. Management, HR and Enterprise
Depositing User: Professor Alexandros Psychogious
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2017 13:23
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2017 13:23
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4718

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