• Haozhe Chen Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. East Carolina University
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Haozhe Chen (Ph.D. The University of Oklahoma) is an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at East Carolina University. He has published in Business Horizons, Industrial Marketing Management, The International Journal of Logistics Management, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Journal of Business Logistics, and Transportation Research: Part E. His industry background includes eight years managerial experience in international trade business.

  • Yu Tian Ph.D.,

    1. Sun Yat-Sen University, China
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Yu Tian (Ph.D. Fudan University, China) is Professor of Logistics and the Director of the Modern Logistics Management Research Center in School of Business at Sun Yat-Sen University, China. Professor Tian has extensive logistics consulting experience and has provided advising to state and local government agencies on various topics. He has published extensively on logistics in China, and his research has been funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China and China Ministry of Education. He has also published two books on third-party logistics in China.

  • Alexander E. Ellinger Ph.D.,

    1. University of Alabama
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Alexander E. Ellinger (Ph.D. The University of Georgia) is Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management in the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration at The University of Alabama. He has published widely in logistics and supply chain journals and his research interests include human resource development issues in logistics organizations, marketing/logistics interdepartmental integration, customer service performance improvement strategies, and the application of resource-based view to supply chain management.

  • Patricia J. Daugherty Ph.D.

    1. University of Oklahoma
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Patricia J. Daugherty (Ph.D. Michigan State University) is Division Director and Siegfried Chair in Marketing and Supply Chain Management at The University of Oklahoma. She is a past-Editor of the Journal of Business Logistics and has published widely in logistics and supply chain journals.



While many companies outsource their logistics functions, creating a collaborative relationship with third-party logistics service providers remains a challenge. The current study explores the effects of often overlooked human factors in this context. Data on buyer perspectives were collected in China. The analysis results suggest that buying firm's top management championship, supplier firm's designated employees, and the buyer-seller personal relationships (i.e. Guanxi) at different levels, all have significant impacts on inter-firm collaboration, which in turn enhances the buying firm's logistics performance.