Organizational effectiveness at seaports: a systems approach

Cetin Ç., Cerit A. G.

MARITIME POLICY & MANAGEMENT, vol.37, no.3, pp.195-219, 2010 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/03088831003700611
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.195-219
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Organizational Effectiveness (OE) is a rather new concept in the port business literature and not widely studied before. From the systems perspective, this concept focuses on the goals of the organization, the resources needed to achieve these goals, and the relationship between the organization and its environment. The reason behind choosing a systems approach is the significant role of seaports as open systems affected by changes and developments in world trade, supply chain and logistics trends, maritime transport, and technological developments. While seaports are multi-faceted organizations that constitute different interdependent and integrated units in their structure, they can also be regarded as the subsystems of the supply chain system. As being the social and technical systems, port organizations have unique characteristics that should be examined in detail to assess their effectiveness. To assess the effectiveness of port organizations, principally a set of effectiveness measures applicable to seaports should be determined. The main aim of this study is to assess the relative importance of the main effectiveness criteria in seaports and to determine the significance of main inputs and port subsystems which can be referred as the means to achieve effectiveness. By using the systems approach, the inputs, the processes, and the outputs of the port organizations are clearly defined with a conceptual model. Thirty-three statements have been developed under the main categories in the systems model and a two-round delphi survey is conducted, and qualitative analysis of the experts' opinions is carried out. The results of the delphi survey show that the main port inputs are port infrastructure, equipments, technology, and port labor; the major port processes are ship and cargo operations together with the logistics services, safety and security, information technologies, and marketing; and the most important effectiveness measures for the seaports are productivity, efficiency, service quality, adaptability, information and communication management, profitability, human resource quality, and customer satisfaction.