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Simplicity vs. complexity in the logistics discipline - a paradigmatic discourse

Nilsson, Fredrik LU (2004) 16th Annual Conference for Nordic Researchers in Logistics : NOFOMA 2004 In [Host publication title missing] p.533-549
Abstract
Today one could argue that most of the logistics research available has a strong connection to the positivistic paradigm where there is a great emphasis on simplicity in both the research conducted and in the solutions produced. The overall ability to design, plan and control is promoted by the researchers to a great extent. Consequently, firms invest money, time and resources in solutions, based on linear cause and effect relationships, to control and predict logistics activities. As a result, firms’ efforts to manage logistics systems and processes often result in frustration and anxiety, not least for the people who are supposed to be in charge.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a paradigmatic discourse in order to move... (More)
Today one could argue that most of the logistics research available has a strong connection to the positivistic paradigm where there is a great emphasis on simplicity in both the research conducted and in the solutions produced. The overall ability to design, plan and control is promoted by the researchers to a great extent. Consequently, firms invest money, time and resources in solutions, based on linear cause and effect relationships, to control and predict logistics activities. As a result, firms’ efforts to manage logistics systems and processes often result in frustration and anxiety, not least for the people who are supposed to be in charge.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a paradigmatic discourse in order to move the logistics discipline on the ontological axis towards a less positivistic view i.e. towards considering more complexity in the problematic situations being studied and the solutions provided. A new perspective, the complexity perspective is provided which indicates changes in our epistemological considerations resulting in another, more complex, paradigmatic view, where emphasis on simplicity is set aside and other more complex phenomena such as emergence, non-linearity, heterogeneity and self-organisation are brought into focus. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
complexity, emergence, Paradigm, self-organisation, logistics, packaging logistics
in
[Host publication title missing]
pages
533 - 549
publisher
Logistics Management, Linköpings Universitet
conference name
16th Annual Conference for Nordic Researchers in Logistics : NOFOMA 2004
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
20c7e464-c95e-48c6-9646-fef37a24e00a (old id 539032)
date added to LUP
2007-09-24 09:40:29
date last changed
2016-07-13 13:13:19
@inproceedings{20c7e464-c95e-48c6-9646-fef37a24e00a,
  abstract     = {Today one could argue that most of the logistics research available has a strong connection to the positivistic paradigm where there is a great emphasis on simplicity in both the research conducted and in the solutions produced. The overall ability to design, plan and control is promoted by the researchers to a great extent. Consequently, firms invest money, time and resources in solutions, based on linear cause and effect relationships, to control and predict logistics activities. As a result, firms’ efforts to manage logistics systems and processes often result in frustration and anxiety, not least for the people who are supposed to be in charge. <br/><br>
The purpose of this paper is to provide a paradigmatic discourse in order to move the logistics discipline on the ontological axis towards a less positivistic view i.e. towards considering more complexity in the problematic situations being studied and the solutions provided. A new perspective, the complexity perspective is provided which indicates changes in our epistemological considerations resulting in another, more complex, paradigmatic view, where emphasis on simplicity is set aside and other more complex phenomena such as emergence, non-linearity, heterogeneity and self-organisation are brought into focus.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Fredrik},
  booktitle    = {[Host publication title missing]},
  keyword      = {complexity,emergence,Paradigm,self-organisation,logistics,packaging logistics},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {533--549},
  publisher    = {Logistics Management, Linköpings Universitet},
  title        = {Simplicity vs. complexity in the logistics discipline - a paradigmatic discourse},
  year         = {2004},
}