Logistics principles vs. legal principles: frictions and challenges

Andreas Norrman, Oskar Henkow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


Structured Abstract:

Purpose of this paper
Logisticians propose changes to improve supply chains, and legal practitioners do likewise, but from a different perspective. Proposals from one domain increasingly have an impact on the other due to e.g. globalization – but cross-disciplinary knowledge often seems limited. Our purpose is to facilitate interaction between the domains by increasing the level of joint understanding of the principles used in each domain, and to look at the potential frictions and challenges.

Management principles for efficient logistics and supply chain management as well as key principles governing the legal systems are summarized on both a paradigmatic and an action level. Illustrations from practice are presented. These have been obtained by a cross-functional team which has interviewed both logisticians and lawyers. Findings are based on cross-functional comparative analysis of principles and illustrations.

Frictions between operational principles were found to exist in each domain, with some principles harder to reconcile than others. There are also challenges between the two paradigms of logistics and law that influence the operational principles.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable)
One implication is that the knowledge gap, challenges and frictions between the professions and domains, both in practice and academia, would benefit from more research.

Practical implications (if applicable)
Although it may seem trivial, logisticians and lawyers need to cooperate better. Our research shows on a fundamental level, with practical examples, the challenges and frictions that occur.

What is original/value of paper
The cross-functional approach with law, and the discussion and comparison of principles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-767
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Law
  • Transport Systems and Logistics


  • supply chain principles
  • logistics principles
  • business law
  • taxation
  • fiscal principles
  • VAT
  • belief system
  • functional silos.


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