Global logistics management curriculum: Perspective from practitioners in Taiwan

Yen Chun Jim Wu, Shihping Kevin Huang, Mark Goh, Ying Jiun Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: This study attempts to list and rank the necessary skills required of a global logistics professional based on objective evaluations from industry. Design/methodology/approach: This paper adopts a novel mixed-methods approach using elements of concept mapping (brainstorming, multi-dimensional scaling, cluster analysis), and link analysis. Concept mapping through repeated brainstorming by industry practitioners helps to summarize the key skill required of an effective global logistician. The multidimensional scaling method and cluster analysis support the classification and weighting of the capabilities into nine clusters. Link analysis helps to evaluate the significance of the results and addresses the gap between industry and academic perceptions of the existing global logistics curriculum in Taiwan. Findings: In dealing with globalization, a logistician needs to be able to integrate, communicate, and analyze from an international perspective, perform financial analysis, maintain good industry and customer relations, exhibit strong people skills, stay healthy, and understand laws and regulations. Significant differences exist between industry practitioners and educators. The former believe that cross-functional marketing skills are critical and emphasize the importance of risk and financial management. In contrast, logistics educators consider the traditional logistics management skills, such as demand forecasting, sourcing, planning, and system integration, as key priorities. Research limitations/implications: There is room for research and theory on how to narrow the mismatch between the current logistics curricula in academia and practical requirements. Different pedagogical strategies and techniques can be further investigated to orchestrate an effective and balanced global logistics management course. One research limitation arises from the sample which is confined to Taiwan. Thus, the authors' findings may be constrained by local and cultural influences. Future research could extend to a large-scale multi-country data collection and analysis to reduce the possibility of cultural and context bias. Practical implications: Arming students with such important but diverse global logistics skills presents a challenge for logistics educators who need to find the right balance between breadth and depth of the modules. Educators and practitioners need to work closely together to co-design and adapt the logistics curricula for a rapidly changing global environment. This will help to shorten the last stage from the classroom to the workplace by keeping abreast of the changes in industry and produce relevant logisticians without compromising on rigour. Originality/value: The results provide a reference for educators keen on blending logistics education course design with practitioner inputs, to better develop global logistics capabilities. It also provides a reference to help prioritize what skills are important to be taught jointly in a module.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-388
Number of pages13
JournalSupply Chain Management
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul 15
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Curriculum design
  • Distribution management
  • Global logistics
  • Management education
  • Managers
  • Skill requirements
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

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