A human behaviour perspective on horizontal collaboration

The transport sector needs to drastically reduce its carbon footprint to comply with the Paris Agreement. In today’s sharing economy, horizontal collaboration is an emerging strategy to contribute to this goal. However, most studies on horizontal collaboration or resource pooling are approached from a theoretical Operations Research perspective, and case studies are usually stylized. At the same time, the uptake of horizontal collaboration in practice is limited.

An important explanation for this is that compared to traditional vertical collaboration, coalition formation is much more complex under horizontal collaboration, as some players will be included in the collaborative coalition while others will be excluded. They conjecture that this renders human behavior much more important than in more traditional vertical supply chain relations.

In a new paper, researchers propose a research agenda for an interdisciplinary approach that integrates human behavioral aspects in studies on horizontal supply chain collaboration. They review some vital concepts from social psychology and discuss the importance of the success or failure of horizontal collaboration initiatives to reduce the environmental footprint of the logistics sector.

The paper concludes that social psychological insights on mixed-motive interactions are pivotal to understanding wicked problems such as Sustainable Development Goal 13 on Climate Action and that interdisciplinary approaches should therefore, receive more attention in academic literature.

Source: Cruijssen F, van Beest I, Kant G. A Human Behaviour Perspective on Horizontal Collaboration to Reduce the Climate Impact of Logistics. Sustainability. 2023; 15(23):16221. https://doi.org/10.3390/su152316221

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