Nearly every supply chain in the United States includes motor transportation. Relationships between these carriers and their shippers are sometimes strong, but often tenuous. As environmental sustainability receives increased attention in supply chain management, shippers and carriers are beginning to consider how, if at all, this affects transport practices. To date, little research has been done to explain how shippers and carriers adopt environmental transport practices and the impact this adoption has on the relationship. Using conceptual theory building, this research addresses this gap through a study of a sample of US motor carriers and shippers. Association with a form of public–private partnerships, called voluntary environmental partnerships, plays a large role in the adoption of environmental transportation practices. However, the motivation that drives the association and subsequent adoption of practices influences whether the relationship benefits or suffers. A conceptual framework grounded in institutional theory is developed to address the research questions, and implications from the results are presented for shipper-carrier relationship management.


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pp. 55-88
Launched on MUSE
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