Value (co-)creation in third-party logistics outsourcing relationships

  • Alexandre Metreveli

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Sustaining mutual beneficiary relationships is vital in supplier-customer dyads. The relationship value (co-)creation starts to become a common dominator in achieving such relationships. Surprisingly, the empirical evidence is lacking in defining what actual value the supplier and customer can (co-)create in business-tobusiness (B2B) settings, and what roles these parties play in such processes. As the first step to address this gap, the present research constructed the literature-based preliminary conceptual framework on the supplier-customer relationship value (co-) creation. The functionalist perspective of creating a value by the relationship valuecreating functions and sub-functions was adopted. The supplier-customer common perception and the purposeful intent on the relationship value creation for the intended beneficiary were considered as the condition for the relationship value cocreation. The preliminary conceptual framework was then empirically examined and explored in the context of third-party logistics (3PL) outsourcing relationships. For this, qualitative semi-structured interviews with some of Europe's leading suppliers and buyers of 3PL services were conducted. The analytic induction research approach and theoretical sampling method was utilised. The empirical data was analysed by the combination of the qualitative content analysis, hermeneutics and narrative analysis methods. Also, the theoretical saturation approach was employed for defining the sufficiency of the collected data, while the reliability and validity procedures ensured the credibility of the analysis. As the result of the empirical study, the new empirically-based framework on the B2B supplier-customer relationship value (co-)creation was established. The theoretical contribution of this research was proposed by comparing the literature with the empirical evidence of this study. The empirical results served as a basis for improving the preliminary conceptual framework, resulting in the final conceptual framework. Finally, the managerial contributions of this research and the future research directions were suggested.
Date of Award19 May 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorBeverly Wagner (Supervisor) & Fred Lemke (Supervisor)

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