Dependence, trust, and 3PL integration: an empirical study in China

Baofeng Huo (First Author), Xiande Zhao (Participant Author), Chen Liu (Participant Author), Haozhe Chen (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

26 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate relationships among dependence, trust, and integration in the Chinese 3PL context. 3PL integration is manifested in two key dimensions: information sharing and process coordination. Design/methodology/approach This study develops a dependence-trust-3PL integration-performance model and tests it using structural equation modeling with survey data collected from 361 companies in the Greater China area (i.e. mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan). Findings The results show that switch dependence is indirectly related to information sharing and process coordination through goodwill trust, while goal dependence has direct links with both integrative behaviors. We also found that only goodwill trust mediates the relationship between dependence and integrative behaviors, while ability trust does not mediate any relationships. Finally, our analysis validated the direct link between process coordination and financial performance, but did not find a significant link between information sharing and financial performance. Originality/value Different from most previous studies on similar topics, this study examines the impacts of different types of dependence and trust on different 3PL integration dimensions. As a result, our findings are more specific and have direct relevance to effective 3PL relationship management in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-948
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Corresponding author email


  • Dependence
  • Greater China
  • Information sharing
  • Integration
  • Process coordination
  • Trust

Indexed by

  • ABDC-A
  • Scopus
  • SSCI


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