H&M - Dissertations from the International Linkping...

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Unformatted text preview: Dissertations from the International Linkping Studies in Graduate School of Management and Science and Technology Industrial Engineering, IMIE Thesis No. 1179 No. 92, Licentiate Thesis LiU-TEK-LIC 2005:34 On Logistics in the Strategy of the Firm Tobias Kihln 2005 Logistics Management Department of Management and Economics Linkpings universitet, SE-581 83 Linkping Tobias Kihln, 2005 ISBN: 91-85299-79-0 ISSN: 0280-7971 ISSN: 1402-0793 Printed by: UniTryck, Linkping 2005 Distributed by: Linkpings universitet Department of Management and Economics SE-581 83 Linkping, Sweden Tel: +46 13 281000, fax: +46 13 281873 Abstract The purpose of this thesis is to describe and analyse the role of logistics in the strategy of the firm. Leading to this purpose are empirical observations of firms that manage to grow under sustained profitability, by the means of logistics. The clothing retailers H&M and Inditex manage to pursue strategies of growth under sustained profitability. Both H&M and Inditex acknowledge that logistics is used in achieving these strategic goals. The competitive environments are similar for the two retailers. However, the strategy content, i.e. the what of strategy, differs greatly between H&M and its Spanish competitor. H&M focuses on economies of scale in their operations to allow for low logistics costs and a cost-efficient geographical expansion. Inditex focuses on flexibility and speed, being able to quickly respond to changes in demand, which calls for a more agile logistics platform. From this background, two cases are studied as regards the role of logistics in the strategy. The case companies Ahlsell and Bergman & Beving, two wholesalers of industrial goods, display growth under sustained profitability and have an outspoken focus on logistics in their strategies. The cases are described in terms of the content and the context of logistics in the strategy of the firm. The content is the what of strategy whereas the context is the where of strategy. The context is further divided into inner and outer context, where inner context is the firm and outer context is its environment. The theoretical basis of this research is found in logistics and in strategy: Logistics research on the relation between logistics and strategy from a logistics perspective, and strategy theory ranging from the resource-based view of the firm, or the inside-out perspective, to positioning theory, or the outside-in perspective. A pattern-matching methodology is used to establish an appropriate description of the logistics content and context in the strategy of the firm. In the content-dimension, the opposing views of the resource-based view and positioning theory are tested on the cases. In the context-dimension, the cases and their environment are described with a stance taken in the contingency approach to the organisation of logistics....
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H&M - Dissertations from the International Linkping...

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