Mythbusting in the logistics domain: a second look at systems theory usage
First online: 21.04.2012
Cite this article as: Lindskog, M. Logist. Res. (2012) 5: 3. doi:10.1007/s12159-012-0078-9
Logistics has been said to rest on a foundation of systems theory. Recent research has however indicated that such claims merely are myths that have been passed on. These myths are in this paper put to the test. An international survey of logistics/SCM academics rendered 178 usable responses. Two main research questions are examined. One concerns the views on and valuation of the terms systems approach, systems thinking, and systems theory, in relation both to each other and to the logistics discipline. The other concerns the extent to which logistics researchers are familiar with and have explicitly cited scholars that are central to a number of different schools of systems theory. Results point clearly in one direction: myth busted. That is, there is little support for claiming that logistics is rooted in systems theory. Also, more evidence is found that the scope of systems theory that actually has influenced the discipline is rather narrow. There are hints of myopic tendencies. The paper is wrapped up with a glimpse of one possible remedy for this, a rather recent strand of systems theory labelled critical systems thinking.
Systems theory Logistics discipline Survey Myopia Critical systems thinking