Date of Graduation

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Marketing

Advisor

Rossiter-Hofer, Adriana

Abstract

A crucial goal of manufacturers and retailers is to develop an efficient management of resources in order to ultimately achieve a strategic competitive advantage in the marketplace. Given the current global scenario, supply chain operations, such as the storage and transportation of materials from the shipper's facilities to the end customer, can become very complex and time consuming to manage in-house. Therefore, shippers are encouraged to outsource these logistics operations to third party experts known as 3PLs (third party logistics providers) that support the domestic and global transportation of goods safely, securely and cost-effectively. Moreover, as companies become more global, people of different cultures find themselves working together and communicating more often; some, are being accountable for multiple countries. Consequently, many challenges may arise so it is important to understand the differences and status quo of different countries. This paper will contribute to the current research in the logistics outsourcing industry by utilizing a theoretical framework of institutional theory-which has not yet been used within the logistics outsourcing field. Investigation of logistics outsourcing practices in select countries and a comparison and contrast of unique challenges and opportunities that are clearly structured by economic, regulative, and socio-cultural forces will be provided. The identification of these forces will help build a conceptual model of institutional forces that shape the development of logistics outsourcing relationships. Moreover, it will contribute to firms that are considering expansion of operations to the countries of study. The findings will prepare businesses to overcome possible obstacles in the coordination of logistics outsourcing practices and engagement in relationships with the 3PL or 3PL-customers in foreign countries. Specifically, this study focuses on Brazil and the US, two key players in the world's economy. It aims to shed some light on the unique intricacies of both markets regarding aspects such as 3PL selection, contracting, and relationship management. In addition, an investigation on the relative impact of institutional forces (economic, socio-cultural, and regulative forces) on logistics outsourcing practices in both countries will be provided.

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