Toward a unified theory of logistics

John T. Mentzer, Soonhong Min, L. Michelle Bobbitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the growing importance of logistics in corporate strategy and the global economy, the logistics literature reveals little effort to build a unified theory of logistics (i.e. a theory of the role of logistics in the firm). Thus, the purpose of this paper is to move toward a unified theory of logistics within the contexts of the strategic role and capabilities of logistics. Considering the importance of logistics in today's corporate strategy, various theories of the firm are adapted to explain the reasons for logistics activities within the firm. The proposed theory should serve as a conceptual reference point for future theory development and empirical research in logistics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-627
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Sept 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Transportation
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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