Intermediation is an old concept whose origins date back to the very first business relations between agents. Actually, at any time, these relations develop intermediation activities all over the world. The intermediary partners have always had important roles due to their strategic place in the management of physical and/or informational flows.
Over centuries, the multiplication and the intensification of exchanges but also industrial restructurations caused by a vast mouvement of globalisation have contributed to make intermediaries indispensable and more and more specialised. By interfering in the traditional transactional processes, they have affected interentreprises organizational forms. They have aquired a central role in organizational strcutures which are more and more reticular.
Intermediaries are at the core of economic and social dynamics, whatever their denomination and their status: traveling salesmen, wholesalers, 3PL/4PL (Third/Fourth Party Logistics Provider), brokers, freight forwarders, customs agents, pivot/hub, GDS (Global Distribution System), GIS (Global Information System), transactional centers, Informational platforms, info-mediators, e-intermediaries, offshore middlemen, offshore intermediaries, market-making, boundary spanning… These intermediaries are considered in the literature as offering more and more specialized solutions which generate value for their clients. As service providers, they represent key actors for the strategies and the decision-making processes of enterprises and states. We call them "New Logistics Services Providers" (NLSP) because they contribute to the advances in Logistics, Operations, and Management Science.
Intermediaries have common characteristics and close strategic objectives so that intermediation has progressively evolved from a function to an autonomous sector. Intermediaries aim at creating value for themselves and for their clients while maintaining their economic power. For example, they search for minimizing transaction costs supported by their clients but also spend most of their time developing specifc services for them. Research on new party logistics is traditionaly focused on the study of the firm-pivot function, consulting in physical and informational flows management, the development of dedicated software, the interorganizational system structuring, their concentration… However, further lines of research should be explored to deeply understand new logistics service providers and their role of global intermediation: how transactions are organized with them? How is the intermediation sector structured? What are the essence and the nature of intermediaries power within their network? What are the consequences of a strong economic and multilateral dependance on interenterprise relationships? What are the key elements of the new logistics service providers’ competitive advantage? Etc.
The objective of this book is to provide an advanced analysis of a critical dimension of industrial organization – the intermediation and the service provision based on a transdisciplinary approach (economics of the firm, finance, management strategy, marketing, logistics, sociology…). This book offers a broad overview of the major works on the field and advances innovative research directions, building on different methods of research (theoretical models, case studies, empirical evidence and testimonials, historical analysis…).
Intermediation is a very old but very interesting phenomenom on which organisational success depends to a large extent. However, intermediation is a complex and multifaced subject which is under documented in the literature as it is difficult to grasp. The objective of this book is to bring together research fellows from academia and professional practitioners from industry to enlighten the latest topics of interest based on long lasting collaborations. In this perspective, the book would serve as a reference for academic researchers and students in economics and management and also as a valuable resource for managers, consultants and practitioners seeking up-to-date research on intermediation and new service providers.
The target audience for this book is very large. It includes academic researchers, teachers, advanced students and PhD students in various disciplines like economics, business and management, engineering and computer science… It could be an essential support for fellowship programs in operational research, organizational research and/or historical theses. This book is also intended for managers, consultants, practitioners who are experts in economics, management or in other social and applied sciences to build decision support systems.
Recommended topics include but are not limited to:
• Surveys on global intermediation and service providers as key intermediaries within industrial organization (historical, economic, public policy, logistics… perspectives);
• Domains, concepts and experiences in intermediation and new logistics services providers
• Typology of intermediaries and classification of service provision;
• Sectorial analysis of global intermediation;
• Intermediary remuneration in differentiated markets;
• Corporate social responsibility of intermediaries;
• The roles of intermediaries in sectoral innovation systems in Europe;
• The impact of intermediaries on innovation performance in the public and the private sectors;
• The impact of intermediaries on performance of small- and medium-sized enterprises and of large firms;
• Technology intermediaries and regional innovation performance;
• Relationships between intermediaries and other stakeholders;
• Logistics service providers and Supply Chain Management ;
• Global intermediation applied to networks analysis…
Both theoretical and applied approaches but also mono and multi-disciplinary analyses related to these topics are welcomed. Although, the preferred structure of the chapters implies that there will be more empirical research, case studies and evidence from business practice. Only original scientific results will be accepted.
Authors are invited to submit a 2-3 pages chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of their proposed chapter by November 10, 2015.
Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by January 15, 2015 about the status of their proposals and will receive chapter guidelines.
Full chapters are expected to be submitted by March 15, 2016. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind basis. Contributors may also be requested to be engaged as reviewers for this project.
• November 10, 2015: Proposal Submission Deadline
• January 15, 2016: Notification of Acceptance
• March 15, 2016: Full Chapter Submission
• May 15, 2016: Review Results Returned
• June 15, 2016: Revised Chapter Submission
• July 1, 2016: Final Acceptance Notification
• July 5, 2016: Submission of Final Chapters