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It also came time to decide what type of study I wanted to conduct, since there exists a vast number of possibilities as to how one can design a study, and this is the theme of the subsequent section. 3 Deciding on type of study A study can be conducted in numerous ways and according to Yin (1994) there exists three conditions that a researcher should consider when choosing how to conduct his or her research (also see Table 7): 1) The type of research question that is posed 2) The extent of control a researcher has over actual behavioural events 3) The degree of focus on contemporary events as opposed to historical events Table 7: Relevant situations for different research strategies (Yin, 1994, p 6) Form of research question how, why who, what, where, survey how many, how much who, what, where, archival analysis how many, how much history how, why case study how, why Strategy experiment Requires control over Focuses on behavioural events?
In turn tactical and operative decisions are linked to those choices one has to make further down in the logistics decision hierarchy. Also, the funnellike shape of the model helps illustrate that decisions at higher levels of the hierarchy are those that in effect on the one hand create opportunities, but on the other hand also set the boundaries for decisions taken at subsequent levels. As such, the model is reminiscent to both that of McKinnon and Woodburn (1996), and Abrahamsson and Aronsson (1999), who also claim that there exists a decision hierarchy and that it is those decisions taken further up the hierarchy that have the largest impact on the overall logistics performance.
Installation, repairs, returns, and training. These types of activities are important from a marketing perspective since companies today more and more sell their products by means of such value-adding activities rather than just the physical product. For logisticians returns handling has had a great impact over the last decade or so with the design of reverse logistics systems to support the returning flow of products. Since this study aims at investigating the environmental effects of centralisation of a distribution system it is quite evident that issues relating to outbound logistics are those that will mainly be focused throughout the study.