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Participant observation in logistics research: Experiences from an RFID implementation study

Pålsson, Henrik LU (2006) 18th Annual NOFOMA Conference, 2006 In International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management 37(2). p.1-16
Abstract
Abstract in Undetermined
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the advantages, challenges and uncertainties of
collecting and analyzing data using participant observation in logistics research.
Design/methodology/approach – Experiences from a participant observation study of an
interorganizational radio frequency identification (RFID) implementation in an international
environment are presented and reflected on. The RFID implementation included complex
interactions between three leading companies.

Findings – The results appear to support an increased use of participant observation in qualitative
logistics research, particularly when investigating interorganizational aspects. The... (More)
Abstract in Undetermined
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the advantages, challenges and uncertainties of
collecting and analyzing data using participant observation in logistics research.
Design/methodology/approach – Experiences from a participant observation study of an
interorganizational radio frequency identification (RFID) implementation in an international
environment are presented and reflected on. The RFID implementation included complex
interactions between three leading companies.

Findings – The results appear to support an increased use of participant observation in qualitative
logistics research, particularly when investigating interorganizational aspects. The analysis
highlights values, general limitations and challenges of using participant observation in logistics.
The paper illustrates that using participant observation results in significant and detailed findings,
which would be difficult to achieve with other methods. Suggestions on how to take advantage of the
method’s benefits and overcome methodological challenges are provided.

Research limitations/implications – Future research may address experiences from other studies
regarding how to analyze and report data from a participant observation study. It may also clarify the
role the method is given in case studies and extend the analysis of epistemological aspects conducted
in this paper.

Practical implications – This paper may inspire logistics researchers to consider participant
observation, either as sole method or as part of a multi-methodical case study, in order to make use of
its benefits and thus broaden the dimensions of logistics research.

Originality/value – A broad literature review indicates that participant observation studies are
rather uncommon in logistics research. This paper thus highlights the potential of using this method in
logistics research, particularly when investigating the overlooked, but essential, interorganizational
aspects of logistics and SCM. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Logistics research, Interorganizational, Participant observation, RFID implementation, Qualitative research, Packaging logistics
host publication
Special Issue : Papers from the 18th NOFOMA conference held in Oslo, Norway, 2006 - Papers from the 18th NOFOMA conference held in Oslo, Norway, 2006
series title
International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
editor
Hazen, Ben
volume
37
issue
2
pages
16 pages
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
conference name
18th Annual NOFOMA Conference, 2006
conference location
Oslo, Norway
conference dates
2006-06-08 - 2006-06-09
ISSN
0960-0035
DOI
10.1108/09600030710734857
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
42f7773f-60ed-4c9f-a66a-ce53e690fc4b (old id 1545661)
date added to LUP
2016-04-04 10:45:05
date last changed
2021-03-22 13:34:58
@inproceedings{42f7773f-60ed-4c9f-a66a-ce53e690fc4b,
  abstract     = {Abstract in Undetermined<br/>Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the advantages, challenges and uncertainties of<br/>collecting and analyzing data using participant observation in logistics research.<br/>Design/methodology/approach – Experiences from a participant observation study of an<br/>interorganizational radio frequency identification (RFID) implementation in an international<br/>environment are presented and reflected on. The RFID implementation included complex<br/>interactions between three leading companies.<br/><br/>Findings – The results appear to support an increased use of participant observation in qualitative<br/>logistics research, particularly when investigating interorganizational aspects. The analysis<br/>highlights values, general limitations and challenges of using participant observation in logistics.<br/>The paper illustrates that using participant observation results in significant and detailed findings,<br/>which would be difficult to achieve with other methods. Suggestions on how to take advantage of the<br/>method’s benefits and overcome methodological challenges are provided.<br/><br/>Research limitations/implications – Future research may address experiences from other studies<br/>regarding how to analyze and report data from a participant observation study. It may also clarify the<br/>role the method is given in case studies and extend the analysis of epistemological aspects conducted<br/>in this paper.<br/><br/>Practical implications – This paper may inspire logistics researchers to consider participant<br/>observation, either as sole method or as part of a multi-methodical case study, in order to make use of<br/>its benefits and thus broaden the dimensions of logistics research.<br/><br/>Originality/value – A broad literature review indicates that participant observation studies are<br/>rather uncommon in logistics research. This paper thus highlights the potential of using this method in<br/>logistics research, particularly when investigating the overlooked, but essential, interorganizational<br/>aspects of logistics and SCM.},
  author       = {Pålsson, Henrik},
  booktitle    = {Special Issue : Papers from the 18th NOFOMA conference held in Oslo, Norway, 2006},
  editor       = {Hazen, Ben},
  issn         = {0960-0035},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {1--16},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
  series       = {International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management},
  title        = {Participant observation in logistics research: Experiences from an RFID implementation study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09600030710734857},
  doi          = {10.1108/09600030710734857},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2006},
}