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Marketing strategy and the use of information technology: New evidence from the trucking industry

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  • Chakraborty, Atreya
  • Kazarosian, Mark

Abstract

Since the mid-1980s, many authors have investigated the influence of information technology (IT) on productivity. Until recently there has been no clear evidence that productivity increases as a result of IT spending. This productivity paradox is partly due to the difficulty in correctly identifying outputs, particularly in a service sector such as the trucking industry. Products are often differentiated by quality attributes of the service provided, rather than merely the physical content of the good delivered by motor carriers. A carrier's primary marketing objective, e.g. on-time performance vs. lowest-rate carrier, is precisely what differentiates a trucking firm's service. This paper uses cross-sectional data to show that the use of increasingly sophisticated IT by trucking firms varies depending upon marketing objectives. Our empirical results imply that, in order to measure the impact of IT on productivity, it is crucial to account for how the firm differentiates its product. We conclude that the productivity paradox can be alleviated if measures of output incorporate firms' marketing objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Chakraborty, Atreya & Kazarosian, Mark, 2001. "Marketing strategy and the use of information technology: New evidence from the trucking industry," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 71-96, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:retrec:v:6:y:2001:i:1:p:71-96
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Catherine J. Morrison, 2000. "Assessing The Productivity Of Information Technology Equipment In U.S. Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(3), pages 471-481, August.
    2. Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Survival of the Fittest or the Fattest? Exit and Financing in the Trucking Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 905-938, June.
    3. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin Hitt, 1996. "Paradox Lost? Firm-Level Evidence on the Returns to Information Systems Spending," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(4), pages 541-558, April.
    4. Sanjeev Dewan & Chung-ki Min, 1997. "The Substitution of Information Technology for Other Factors of Production: A Firm Level Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(12), pages 1660-1675, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. McMullen, Starr B., . "The Impact of Information Technology on Motor Carrier Productivity," Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Transportation Research Forum.
    2. Lee, Jinwoo (Brian) & Jaeckel, Kristin & Choi, Keechoo & Chow, Garland, 2013. "Commercial vehicle pre-clearance programs: Current issues and recommendations for potential implementation," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 92-101.

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