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Collaboration within Supply Chains: Can conflicts be attributed to the different roles of logistics companies?
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CeLS).
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CeLS).
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Introduction – Supply chains increase in size and complexity, more actors are becoming involved and an increased collaboration among actors are a necessity. Still, undesired conflicts occurs and are unavoidable in a collaboration. There are ways to reduce the negative effects and improve management of conflicts provided by previous researchers focus on conflicts and conflict management in general. However, this thesis emphazises on investigating what conflicts that occur within different collaboration setups that can be attributed to the type of logistics company involved. Therefore, the following purpose is stated:

Investigate what types of conflicts occurring during collaboration that can be attributed to the different roles of 3PL and 4PL companies.

Methodology – To answer the purpose a single case study was conducted which involved a focal firm and its collaboration with two different logistics companies (a 3PL and a 4PL) within the same economical climate. Due to the uniqeness of the case, a multiple methods qualitative study was performed and to strengthen the validity of the data collected both documantary analysis as well as semi-structured interviews were conducted. Respondents were handpicked based on knowledge of both collaboration setups, to ensure quality of the data collected. Gathered data were sumarized and categorized using Mamad and Chahdi (2013) conflict factors, and later analyzed to accurately detect key points to generate a result and answer the research questions.

Result – To summarize the result, findings of what we discovered through our data analysis generated similarites and differences in conflicts occurred within both collaboration setups. These conflicts are linked to Mamad and Chahdi (2013) conflicts factors regarding collaboration among actors, in order to clarify why and which conflict area these conflicts occurred in.

Analysis – From the conflicts identified in the result, further analysis were conducted. Where, previous literature regarding logistics companies (3pl and 4PL) were applied in order to enable attribution of conflicts to company types.

Conclusion – Through the analysis, many conflicts that occured are based on factors such as operational structure, problem solving and company policies which are not affected by the company type. However, three conflicts and problem areas can be connected to be generally more common either with 3PL companies or 4PL companies. The first lies within the commitment area where 3PL companies can generally be seen as less committed. The second area is communication were important information were more often late due to passing through more actors, causing more conflicts when collaborating with a 4PL. The last problem area were within formalization where findings suggests that there are conflicts caused by 4PLs using several carriers which causes problems such as varying regulations and truck dimensions from carriers. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 66 p.
Keyword [en]
Supply Chain Management, 3PL, 4PL, Collaboration, Conflicts
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30259ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160258OAI: diva2:933457
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Available from: 2016-06-21 Created: 2016-06-05 Last updated: 2016-06-21Bibliographically approved

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