Security capability and logistics service provider selection: an adaptive choice study

Zachary Williams, Michael S. Garver, Robert Glenn Richey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: The influence of security practices is increasingly common in the supply chain management and logistics literature. However, an under-researched area exists within the logistics service provider (LSP) selection process. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a security capability into the LSP selection process. Specifically, this research seeks to understand partner willingness to compensate and collaborate with service providers that possess a security capability. Design/methodology/approach: Adaptive choice modeling is adopted to assess the influence of a security capability in the LSP selection process. This study represents the first use of this method in supply chain management and logistics research. Cluster analysis is also performed to uncover specific buyer segments along with traditional regression-based significance testing and counting analysis. Findings: The findings indicate that security can have an important influence on the LSP selection process. In particular, the findings note a willingness to pay for a security capability in LSP selection. Applying segmentation techniques to the findings, three LSP buying segments are determined, each placing different importance and value on LSP capabilities. Practical implications: This research notes an ongoing provider deficiency in security offerings. Partner firms sometimes maintain a cost focus, but others show a willingness to pay higher prices for access to partners with a security capability. Key practitioner findings include the need to include security with other traditional selection variables. The study walks the researcher and manager through the development of segments based on LSP capabilities. Originality/value: This manuscript investigates logistic service provider selection. The authors detail an advanced form of conjoint analysis, adaptive conjoint modeling, for first time consideration. Additionally, this is the first study to integrate security into the LSP selection process. This is also the first study to identify a willingness to pay for a security capability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-355
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 7 2019


  • Segmentation
  • Supply chain security


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