Frontpage  About
Paper info: Spatial Concerns in Logistical Networks with Special Reference toProximity


Spatial Concerns in Logistical Networks with Special Reference toProximity


Markku Nikkanen

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 21st IMP-conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2005.



In this mainly conceptual study, some aspects of space in logistical networks are discussed; especiallydistance as a reflection of spatiality is scrutinised. The theoretical contemplation is complemented withpreliminary empirical analysis in transportation industry and networks. Because networks asmetaphorical conceptualisations have very strong geographical aspects, it is necessary to link thequestion of spatiality - e.g. interorganisational proximity - to network analysis. Spatio-temporal aspectsconstitute even some ontological features in network analysis as they give valuable conceptualisedtools for comprehending the diversity and complexity of networks. The significance of embeddednessin network studies means also that the spatiality should be deliberated, as embeddedness can also beinterpreted as involvement in local or close dyadic and network relationships. Distance equals tointerorganisational friction as presumed in literature, though often implicitly expressed (e.g.impedance, inconvience) and it can be an expression for studying the proximity between the actors.Conventionally, the Newtonian-based interpretation of interaction has dominated the logistical analysiswith strong focus on gravitation, aggregate type of modelling and analysis of adequate distancemeasures (time and cost distance). With the help of extensions for assessing and measuringinterorganisational interaction and its frequency, new types of correlations and interpretations can beformulated to describe the proximity and closeness-remoteness- axis between the participants oflogistical networks. It can be suggested that the social distance measure (influencing how time andcost distance measures are perceived and interpreted by the actors) seems to be more importantwhen interorganisational proximity is discussed and analysed.