Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical framework involving dependence, relationship commitment, logistics outsourcing and service quality to exhibit the roles of the relational factors involved in logistics outsourcing and their outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – Based on data collected from 361 companies in Greater China, the authors use the structural equation model approach to examine the hypothesized relationships. Findings – Both normative and instrumental relationship commitment are necessary for third party logistics (3PL) users to cope with their goal dependence on 3PL providers. However, only normative relationship commitment is necessary when users perceive switch dependence. Normative relationship commitment also plays a more important role than instrumental relationship commitment in facilitating the adoption of 3PL logistic outsourcing. In addition, both basic and advanced outsourcing practices have a positive effect on service quality. Originality/value – This study contributes to both 3PL theories and practices by clarifying how relationships between 3PL users and providers in China are managed.
|International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
|Published - 2015
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- Logistics outsourcing
- Relationship commitment
- Service quality