Logistics research: a 50 years’ march of ideas
First online: 14.01.2009
Cite this article as: Klaus, P. Logist. Res. (2009) 1: 53. doi:10.1007/s12159-008-0009-y
Logistics—as a field of the Applied Sciences addressing issues from the worlds of business and the economy—is now more than 50 years old. This essay makes an effort to review, reflect, and interpret what researchers have done and thought in this field so far, what kind of impact their ideas apparently made, and where the “march of ideas” about logistics research might lead in the future. The first part of the review presents data that recently have become available about the quantitative impact of logistics in an international comparison between countries. From this review some hypotheses are derived about the growth opportunities for the field in the future and the challenge of maintaining the dynamics of the development of logistics in maturing, post-industrial economies. In the second part the qualitative evolution of scientific logistical thinking—the “march of ideas” of the last 50 years—is reviewed, mapped and, again, interpreted with respect to the question, where the “next” challenges, new ideas, and directions may be found to further advance the “Science of Logistics”.
Logistics research Epistemology Quantitative measurements Instrumentation Industrialization Flow dynamics Cross-organizational integration