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Industry Structure, Organizational Forms, and Labor Dynamics in the Intermodal Logistics Supply Chain

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Document pages: 35 pages

Abstract: The logistics intermodal supply chain represents a unique case of interorganizational relations, sequential interdependence, spatial dispersion, and multiple technologies. This sector of the economy has not received the attention it deserves in the organizational and labor studies literature given its centrality to global commodity chains and production networks. However, this variegated chain of organizations and labor processes reveal some interesting dynamics relevant to organization theory, logistics, supply chain management, labor organization, and social class relations. This paper integrates these various literatures in examining the intermodal supply chain that runs inland from the ocean container vessel to final points of distribution and the interplay between industry structure, organizational forms, and labor conditions. An additional consideration is how existing and changing industrial and organizational forms might either facilitate or impede the organization of labor and the strategies used by employers to reduce costs and increase flexibility. The paper includes a brief case study of the interface and interaction between workers in the port drayage and port terminal sectors of the supply chain.

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