Providing explicit descriptions of studied systems: more than a necessary evil?
Paper in proceedings, 2015

Purpose Explicit descriptions of studied systems can support researchers in clarifying objects of study and motives of research as well as in structuring research design. However, since many scholars of systems approaches operate outside the field of logistics, applying systems approaches in logistics can be challenging. The purpose of this paper is therefore to describe how a systems approach can be applied in logistics so as to provide guidance for logistics researchers in their descriptions of studied systems. Design/methodology/approach Two systems approaches were used to describe the systems studied in six doctoral theses. A series of workshops was conducted to compare the descriptions and share challenges. Findings Key aspects for adapting the selected systems approaches corresponded to four areas of logistics—activities, flow, performance, and actors—all of which can be included in the selected systems approaches. Advice for doctoral students on applying these frameworks is provided. Research limitations/implications This research can provide support to other logistics researchers when applying systems approaches and developing explicit descriptions of studied systems. Original/value Systems approaches are central to logistics research, a field in which scholars are encouraged to apply well-known systems approaches. This paper contributes value by providing explicit examples of how such approaches were applied in six logistics research projects.

Systems approaches

logistics

methodology

research design

supply chain

Author

Kristina Liljestrand

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

Patrik Fager

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

Christian Finnsgård

Chalmers, Applied Physics

Sara Rogerson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

Vendela Santén

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

Martin Svanberg

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Logistics & Transportation

Nofoma Conference Proceedings

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Mechanical Engineering

Areas of Advance

Transport

ISBN

978-82-7962-202-4

More information

Created

10/8/2017