Rock, Kevin
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It is a paradox that despite efforts by companies to differentiate themselves from one another, they become more alike. This trend is global, evidenced across the spectrum of industry sectors and can be explained by the theory of institutional isomorphism. Institutional isomorphism consists of three mechanisms – normative, coercive and mimetic; each having some influence on organisational behaviour. This research was conducted to better understand the influence of the phenomenon in the South African freight logistics industry. The methodology employed was initially to contextualise the subject by conducting a comprehensive literature review. The topics covered were; institutional isomorphism, third party logistics, fourth party logistics, the South African road freight industry and strategy. Six propositions were generated based on the learning taken from this literature review. A questionnaire was subsequently designed in order to establish which facets of the freight logistics value chain were influenced by the individual institutional isomorphism mechanisms. The value chain elements chosen were resource procurement, corporate governance, operational issues, supply chain strategy, supply chain integration and strategic drivers. A pilot study was first conducted validating the research instrument and the use of correspondence analysis as appropriate methodology for the work. The questionnaire was then completed by a non-probability sample of thirty one respondents consisting of academics, administrators and practitioners involved in the freight logistics sector. The influence of the individual mechanisms within the different value chain elements was quantified through correspondence analysis. In terms of resource procurement it was found that normative behaviour of an explicit and largely voluntary nature was prevalent. Corporate governance was found to driven by coercive influences and too was explicit in nature. 3 Operational issues, contrary to expectation were subject to obligation and coercion. The significance of this finding is developed in the interpretation section. Both supply chain strategy and integration fell in the ambit of mimetic and implicit behaviour which was consistent with the literature review (and consequently the propositions). Strategic drivers were found to be influenced almost equally by all the mechanisms perhaps indicating a holistic approach to this value chain element. This research report is concluded by proposing areas for additional research
MBA thesis - WBS
Freight logistics, Logistics