The West Midlands road transport industry

  • George J. Murphy

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The object of this project was to identify those elements of management practice which characterised firms in the West Midlands Road Transport Industry. The object being to establish the contents of what might be termed a management policy portfolio for growth.
The First Phase was the review of those factors which were generally accepted as having an influence on the success rate of transport firms in order to ascertain if they explained observed patterns. Secondly, if this were not the case, to instigate a field work study to isolate those policies which were associated with growth organizations. Investigation of the vehicle movements for the entire West Midlands Fleet over a complete licence cycle suggested that conventional explanations could not fully account for the observed patterns. To carry out the second phase of the study a sample of growth firms were visited in order to measure their attitudes on a range of factors hypothesised to affect growth.
Field data were analysed to establish management activities over a wide range of areas and the results further investigated through a Principal Components and Cluster Analysis programme.
The outcome of the study indicates that some past attitudes on the skills and attitudes of transport managers may have to be re-examined. As a result, the project produced a new classification of road transport firms based not on the conventional categories of long and short haul, or the types of traffics carried, but on the marketing policies and management skills employed within the organization.
Date of AwardSept 1988
Original languageEnglish


  • road transport
  • successful growth policies
  • hauliers re-classified

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