Flexibility, collaboration and relationship quality in the logistics service industry: An empirical study

Shihyu Chou, Chi Wen Chen*, Ya Ting Kuo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between competitive capabilities, including flexibility and collaboration between logistics service providers (LSPs) and their customers, and relationship quality, as measured by trust, dependence and commitment. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 309 logistics managers were invited to participate in this study and structural equation modeling was performed to analyze the measurement and structural models. Findings: The results show that both flexibility and collaboration positively influence trust and dependence. Moreover, dependence does not appear to influence commitment. Finally, the authors hypothesize and find that trust plays an important role in the research model and positively increase commitment. Research limitations/implications: The main limitation of this study is that this study used a cross-sectional survey approach to collect data on all research variables. Compared with longitudinal data, cross-sectional data might not be able to demonstrate completely the temporal sequence of the antecedents and consequences, which might result in spurious cause-effect inferences. Practical implications: The findings offer several important implications for LSPs. First, the findings imply that LSPs need to make their customers want to share useful information related to operations and logistics. Second, flexibility plays an important role in forming customers’ trust in logistics service industry. Originality/value: Little research has been done on combining a resource-based view (RBV) and relationship marketing (RM) together in logistics service context. Therefore, this study advances the RBV and RM and adds value to the literature by demonstrating the applicability of the observed relationships among LSPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-570
Number of pages16
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility
  • Logistics service provider
  • Relationship quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing


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