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Logistics needs qualitative research – especially action research

Näslund, Dag LU (2002) In International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management 32(5). p.321-338
Abstract

This paper describes how qualitative research methods, particularly action research case studies, can contribute to further advance and develop logistics research. The paper also describes limitations with the current dominance of quantitative (especially survey) research in logistics. However, the paper is not a pure criticism of the use of quantitative research methods in general or in logistics in specific. Rather, the argument is that it is necessary to use both quantitative and qualitative methods if we really want to develop and advance logistics research. Logistics problems are often ill-structured, even messy, real-world problems. Modern logistics is based on holistic and systemic thinking and uses multi-disciplinary and... (More)

This paper describes how qualitative research methods, particularly action research case studies, can contribute to further advance and develop logistics research. The paper also describes limitations with the current dominance of quantitative (especially survey) research in logistics. However, the paper is not a pure criticism of the use of quantitative research methods in general or in logistics in specific. Rather, the argument is that it is necessary to use both quantitative and qualitative methods if we really want to develop and advance logistics research. Logistics problems are often ill-structured, even messy, real-world problems. Modern logistics is based on holistic and systemic thinking and uses multi-disciplinary and cross-functional approaches. Thus action research case studies are especially suited for an applied field such as logistics since they strive to advance both science and practice. This should also be reflected in published logistics research, which it is not. In order to change this situation, we first have to understand paradigms and their influence on how we approach and evaluate research. Second, we have to define what case studies in journal articles mean. Third, we need to develop criteria for evaluating action research case studies.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Action research, Case studies, Logistics, Paradigms
in
International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
volume
32
issue
5
pages
18 pages
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
external identifiers
  • scopus:1342267191
ISSN
0960-0035
DOI
10.1108/09600030210434143
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
acc41b3f-85fc-49f7-abbe-417630e41447
date added to LUP
2019-06-20 15:37:16
date last changed
2020-12-27 03:33:07
@article{acc41b3f-85fc-49f7-abbe-417630e41447,
  abstract     = {<p>This paper describes how qualitative research methods, particularly action research case studies, can contribute to further advance and develop logistics research. The paper also describes limitations with the current dominance of quantitative (especially survey) research in logistics. However, the paper is not a pure criticism of the use of quantitative research methods in general or in logistics in specific. Rather, the argument is that it is necessary to use both quantitative and qualitative methods if we really want to develop and advance logistics research. Logistics problems are often ill-structured, even messy, real-world problems. Modern logistics is based on holistic and systemic thinking and uses multi-disciplinary and cross-functional approaches. Thus action research case studies are especially suited for an applied field such as logistics since they strive to advance both science and practice. This should also be reflected in published logistics research, which it is not. In order to change this situation, we first have to understand paradigms and their influence on how we approach and evaluate research. Second, we have to define what case studies in journal articles mean. Third, we need to develop criteria for evaluating action research case studies.</p>},
  author       = {Näslund, Dag},
  issn         = {0960-0035},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {321--338},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
  series       = {International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management},
  title        = {Logistics needs qualitative research – especially action research},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09600030210434143},
  doi          = {10.1108/09600030210434143},
  volume       = {32},
  year         = {2002},
}