In a previous paper (Mears-Young, 1993) I outlined how research into logistics had supposedly evolved from a ‘traditional’ to a ‘non-traditional’ perspective. That paper then went on to propose that the ‘non-traditional’ approach appears to do little but expand the physical boundaries of the logistics concept with no thought as to the legitimacy of this expanded perspective, nor really, of the acceptance of any form of logistics by the practitioner community. This raises the question as to whether all this effort on the part of logisticians is actually contributing to the evolution of knowledge, or is logistics indeed engaged in a playful ‘infinite regress’? Hence, this paper proposes that a significant step forward would be to be to look to outside of the field of logistics in order to determine whether the movements within the field do actually constitute progress. The meta-theoretical framework put forward by Burrell and Morgan (1979) is outlined to explore the underlying principles which constitute the paradigm on which logistics is based.
KeywordsSupply Chain Soft System Methodology Dominant Paradigm Traditional Logistics Hard System
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bowersox, D.J., Carter, P.L., and Monczka, R.M., 1992, Materials logistics management, in: “Logistics — The Strategic Issues”, M. Christopher, ed., Chapman & Hall, London, pp38–48.Google Scholar
- Burrell, G., and Morgan, G., 1979, “Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis”, Gower Publishing Company Limited, Aldershot.Google Scholar
- Chalmers, A.F., 1982, “What is This Thing Called Science?”, 2nd edition, The Open University Press, Milton Keynes.Google Scholar
- Checkland, P.B., 1978, The origins and nature of hard’ systems thinking, Jrnl. Appl. Sys. Anal. 5:2, pp99–110.Google Scholar
- Checkland, P.B., 1981 (a). Rethinking a systems approach, Jrnl. Appl. Sys. Anal. 8, pp3–14.Google Scholar
- Checkland, P.B., 1981(b), “Systems Thinking, Systems Practice”, John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester.Google Scholar
- Jackson, M.C., 1993, Social theory and operational research practice, Jrnl. Opl. Res. Soc., 44: 6, pp563–577.Google Scholar
- Keys, P., 1987, Traditional management science and the emerging critique, in: “New Directions in Management Science”, M.C. Jackson and P. Keys, eds., Gower, Aldershot.Google Scholar
- Kuhn, T.S., 1970, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, 2nd edition, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
- Lane, D.C., 1994, Social theory and systems dynamics practice, in: “Proceedings of the 1994 International Systems Dynamics Conference”, Systems Dynamics Society, Stirling, pp 53-66.Google Scholar
- Mears-Young, B.R., 1993, ‘Non-traditional’ logistics — a step forward?, in: “Proceedings of 3rd Bi-Annual Conference of the UKSS, Systems Science: Addressing the Global Issues”, F. Stowell, D. West and J. Howell, eds. Plenum Press, New York, pp143–148.Google Scholar
- Morgan, Gareth., 1990, Paradigm diversity in organizational research, in: “The Theory and Philosophy of Organizations”, J. Hassards and D. Pym, eds., Routledge, London, pp 13–29.Google Scholar
- Morgan, Glenn., 1992, Marketing discourse and practice: towards a critical analysis, in: “Critical Management Studies”, M. Alvesson and H. Willmott, Sage, London, pp136–158.Google Scholar