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Abstract

This study investigates the impact of choosing a particular strategic focus or foci on operational productivity by means of the Malmquist Productivity Index. The Malmquist framework allows the researcher to examine the change in operational productivity over a period of time, which is particularly desirable given that the impact of strategic choices is an inter-temporal phenomenon as opposed to one occurring at a discrete point in time. Furthermore, the Malmquist methodology allows for the decomposition of the change in operational productivity into the two components of operational efficiency change and technological change. Competitive strategy choices are related to changes in operational productivity (as measured by the Malmquist Productivity Index and its components of operating efficiency and technological) by means of a tobit analysis. A consistent sample (for the period 1999-2003) of 83 general freight motor carriers is utilized. The results of the above analysis are then related to operational profitability by means of an analysis of variance.

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