Alike or not? Partner similarity and its outcome in horizontal cooperations between logistics service providers
First online: 12.07.2013
Cite this article as: Raue, J.S. & Wallenburg, C.M. Logist. Res. (2013) 6: 217. doi:10.1007/s12159-013-0106-4
Despite the increasing importance of horizontal cooperations between logistics service providers (LSPs), little research has been conducted on the optimal set up and management of these cooperations. As their performance depends significantly on the partner fit between cooperating LSPs, this research outlines and tests the impact of partner similarity on the outcome of horizontal LSP cooperations. In doing so, transaction cost economics is combined with a conceptual framework based on the two opposing forces inherent in horizontal cooperations, namely (1) competition and (2) common understanding and compatibility. A theoretically derived model is examined based on data from 220 LSP cooperations using structural equation modeling. It turns out that the similarity dimensions considered (competences, geographic markets, and corporate cultures) vary in their influence on the two intermediate outcomes (cooperation innovativeness and cooperation commitment) and the ultimate outcome of LSP cooperations (overall cooperation performance). The strength of these influences depends on the scope of the cooperation, i.e., the breath of business functions involved into cooperation activities. The findings help managers of LSPs in choosing partners and achieving horizontal LSP cooperations among more adequately fitting LSPs.
Horizontal cooperation Partner similarity Cooperation scope Logistics service providers Transaction cost economics Empirical study