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Last-mile logistics in the sharing economy: sustainability paradoxes

Last-mile logistics in the sharing economy: sustainability paradoxes The purpose of this paper is to explore sustainability paradoxes in sharing economy initiatives by focusing on logistics management in last-mile logistics.Design/methodology/approachIn this exploratory study, a total of 10 case studies were conducted in three categories of companies: anti-waste platforms, food delivery platforms and bicycle delivery companies. Twenty-seven face-to-face interviews with founders and/or managers and contractors (couriers, logistics service providers or volunteers) were the primary source of data collection. The heterogeneity of the sample enabled the authors to build an understanding of sustainability paradoxes in the logistics of sharing economy initiatives.FindingsThe findings indicate how logistics management impacts the sustainability of sharing economy initiatives in last-mile delivery. The authors identify seven paradoxical tensions (five of them social) generated by the contradictions between the organizations' promised environmental and social values and the impacts of their operations.Research limitations/implicationsThis exploratory research is based on a qualitative study of 10 cases and 27 interviews from heterogeneous samples; further empirical research is needed to ensure generalization.Practical implicationsThe paper increases the understanding of environmental and social paradoxical tensions and awareness of logistics challenges.Social implicationsThe paper helps identify ways to reconcile promised values and impacts generated by sharing economy initiatives while managing last-mile delivery.Originality/valueThe results enrich the literature about the paradoxes in sharing economy initiatives by providing illustrations in last-mile logistics and exposing the underlying challenges for sharing economy logistics actors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management Emerald Publishing

Last-mile logistics in the sharing economy: sustainability paradoxes

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0960-0035
DOI
10.1108/ijpdlm-10-2019-0328
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore sustainability paradoxes in sharing economy initiatives by focusing on logistics management in last-mile logistics.Design/methodology/approachIn this exploratory study, a total of 10 case studies were conducted in three categories of companies: anti-waste platforms, food delivery platforms and bicycle delivery companies. Twenty-seven face-to-face interviews with founders and/or managers and contractors (couriers, logistics service providers or volunteers) were the primary source of data collection. The heterogeneity of the sample enabled the authors to build an understanding of sustainability paradoxes in the logistics of sharing economy initiatives.FindingsThe findings indicate how logistics management impacts the sustainability of sharing economy initiatives in last-mile delivery. The authors identify seven paradoxical tensions (five of them social) generated by the contradictions between the organizations' promised environmental and social values and the impacts of their operations.Research limitations/implicationsThis exploratory research is based on a qualitative study of 10 cases and 27 interviews from heterogeneous samples; further empirical research is needed to ensure generalization.Practical implicationsThe paper increases the understanding of environmental and social paradoxical tensions and awareness of logistics challenges.Social implicationsThe paper helps identify ways to reconcile promised values and impacts generated by sharing economy initiatives while managing last-mile delivery.Originality/valueThe results enrich the literature about the paradoxes in sharing economy initiatives by providing illustrations in last-mile logistics and exposing the underlying challenges for sharing economy logistics actors.

Journal

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: May 27, 2021

Keywords: Sharing economy; Logistics; Paradoxes; Tensions; Environmental impact; Social impact; Last-mile delivery

References