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Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial)Logforum. 2015. 11(1), article 10, 109-117; DOI: https://doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2015.1.10


Patrycja Klimas, Sebastian Twaróg

University of Economics in Katowice, Katowice, Poland


Background: One of major areas of modern research econnected with management issues covers inter-organizational networks (including supply chains) and cooperation processes aimed at improvement of the effectiveness of their performance to be found in such networks. The logistics is the main factor responsible for effectiveness of the supply chain.  A possible and a quite new direction of research in the area of the performance of processes of the inter-organizational cooperation is the proximity hypothesis that is considered in five dimensions (geographical, organizational, social, cognitive, and institutional). However, according to many authors, there is a lack of research on supply chains conducted from the logistics point of view. The proximity hypothesis in this area of research can be seen as a kind of novum. Therefore, this paper presents the proximity concept from the perspective of the management science, the overview of prior research covering the inter-organizational proximity with supply chain from the logistics point of view as well as the possible future directions of the empirical efforts.

Methods: The aim of this paper is to present previous theoretical and empirical results of research covering inter-organizational proximity in logistics and to show current and up-to-date research challenges in this area. The method of the critical analysis of literature is used to realize the goal constructed this way.

Results: Knowledge about the influence of the inter-organizational proximity on the performance of supply chains is rather limited, and the research conducted so far, is rather fragmentary and not free of limitations of the conceptual and methodological nature. Additional rationales for further research in this area include knowledge and cognitive gaps indentified in this paper. According to authors the aim of future empirical research should be as follows: (1) unification and update of used conceptual and methodological approaches in research on the proximity in supply chains, (2) testing of theoretical hypotheses with attention paid to importance of the proximity for supply chains taking into account the significant heterogeneity of this form of inter-organizational cooperation, and (3) recognizing the role of the inter-organizational proximity for the practice of supply chain management and for the realization of the integration function of the logistics.  

Conclusions: There is a shortage of scientific research (both in the theoretical and empirical dimension) explaining the importance of the proximity hypothesis for the performance of supply chains.  Additionally, there are interesting gaps in existing scientific output, connecting the logistics output (effectiveness and performance of supply chains) and economic geography (the proximity hypothesis). Closing these gaps should increase our understanding of the supply chains performance and, therefore, this will be the area of further research of authors.

Keywords: inter-organizational proximity, supply chain, logistics
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For citation:

MLA Klimas, Patrycja, and Sebastian Twaróg. "Inter-organizational proximity in the context of logistics – research challenges ." Logforum 11.1 (2015): 10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2015.1.10
APA Patrycja Klimas, Sebastian Twaróg (2015). Inter-organizational proximity in the context of logistics – research challenges . Logforum 11 (1), 10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2015.1.10
ISO 690 KLIMAS, Patrycja, TWARãG, Sebastian. Inter-organizational proximity in the context of logistics – research challenges . Logforum, 2015, 11.1: 10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2015.1.10