Measurement and Moderation: Finding the Boundary Conditions in Logistics and Supply Chain Research


Corresponding author:

Thomas J. Goldsby, Department of Marketing and Logistics, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, Fisher Hall, 2100 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA; E-mail:


A moderator is any variable that affects the strength of a relationship between a predictor and an outcome variable. While simple in concept, the application of moderation analysis can yield profound implications to research conducted in logistics and supply chain management. Moderation analysis illuminates boundary conditions to purported relationships, providing a deeper perspective on what may, to date, represent generalizable findings and commonly held beliefs in the field. Such findings prove interesting and enrich our theories. Further, moderation relies on precise measurement of theoretical constructs in order to avoid attenuation of statistical tests and detect interaction effects. This thought leadership piece seeks to: (1) assert the value of moderation analysis and encourage a more prominent place in our survey-based research projects, (2) provide best practice approaches for using this type of analysis in pursuit of greater depth and clarity in our research, and (3) provide seeds for potential research projects that could benefit from the use of this type of analysis. Guidance is also provided for reviewers who assess manuscripts featuring moderation.