Intermediary and Intermediation: Which Logistics Services?

Intermediary and Intermediation: Which Logistics Services?

Laurence Saglietto (Côte d'Azur University, France)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2133-4.ch001
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Abstract

The concept of intermediation has existed for a long time and taken numerous different forms. In this introductory chapter, we will therefore start by examining the state of the art of intermediaries through a range of different disciplines (history, management, economics, health, sociology), highlighting their historical evolution and current forms. We will then present the different models and theories of intermediation and their development, to produce an appreciation of their similarities and differences and a comprehensive view of the subject. This will allow us, in the last section, to propose the framework for a general theory of intermediation, in terms of organisational architecture and the services provided.
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Background: What Is Intermediation?

Knowledge of the origins and emergence of the concept of intermediation is essential to understanding its evolution and transformations. Defined as a third-party entity in interaction with its environment, the intermediary has acquired a central position in many business and cultural networks. Representing a link, a transition, a transmission and a passage, it facilitates communication between several entities that contribute to the functioning of complex systems. The prefix inter- takes on different aspects: a spatial or temporal link between two persons; a mutual or reciprocal relation. Intermediation is an interaction giving rise to exchanges, in the form of an intervention intended to achieve an objective or to reach a peaceful agreement in the event of differences of opinion, conflict, misunderstanding, ignorance or information asymmetry, in other words within the framework of technical and/or information mediation.

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