Logistics case study based research: Towards higher quality

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Purpose: This paper aims to assess the quality of the case study based research approach as documented in articles published during the past 13 years, based on a synthesis of indicators for the quality criteria truth-value, transferability, and traceability. Design/methodology/approach: Content analysis of 134 case study-based articles published in six leading logistics and supply chain management (SCM) journals between 1998 and 2010 is used to assess and evaluate the quality of the case study-based research approach as documented in these publications. Findings: This research provides an overview of the quality of the case study-based research approach. Results show that the quality is generally low, supporting the ongoing, but empirically unsupported criticism on the quality of case study-based research. The results also highlight which specific aspects authors and reviewers need to address to ensure high quality of the case study-based research approach in published articles. Research limitations/implications: This study is limited to the analysis of published articles in six logistics and SCM journals. Further research should investigate different journals in logistics and other disciplines, and the relationship between the rigor of case study based research and its contribution to the field. Practical implications: The findings give guidance to authors and reviewers in developing articles with a high-quality case study-based research approach and help reviewers and readers to evaluate the quality of the described approach. Originality/value: The paper verifies the validity of ongoing claims for more rigor in case study-based research and identifies areas of improvement. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management





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