Document Type

Theses, Ph.D

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy to the Dublin Institute of Technology, June, 2009.

Abstract

The Irish road haulage industry exhibits a structure dominated by singlevehicle owner-managed operators. This has implications for the Irish economy through reduced efficiency. It is crucial that Ireland’s transport policies sustain its trade-dependent economy and this study can help inform those policies. The European Union has made a commitment to promoting sustainable mobility through advanced transport logistics. One of the principal areas not previously addressed is that of barriers to ollaboration. This thesis initially examines economies of scale within the road freight industry and argues that collaborative networks can aid sustainable transport and increase efficiencies in logistics. It addresses the attitudes of operators towards collaborative alliances. An initial assessment of operators’ economic-rational decision-making was employed. A theoretical framework of behavioural economics is presented and a conceptual model based on it was employed for extracting attitudes. Non-economic factors were explored as key influencers of decision-making. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) was used as the foundation of the research methodology. A mixed-method survey approach was used, that is, qualitative and quantitative methods. Content analysis of the qualitative interviews was carried out in order to develop a list of modal accessible beliefs. A structured postal questionnaire was utilised as the primary research instrument. ii Structural Equation Modelling was applied in order to model the key influencers on owner-managers’ intentions to perform collaborative activities. The TPB was found to be an effective method for eliciting the influencers on industry operators. It allowed the key indicators of their intention to perform collaborative activities to be determined. Three latent factors: economic appraisal, normative pressure and control over time were key influencers. The operator’s perception of other people’s opinions had a significant influence on their intention formation. It is concluded that an educational programme would act as a catalyst to collaboration

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