Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility

 

Recent Submissions

  • Herlin, Heidi (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-06-15)
    The overall aim of this dissertation is to examine how cross-sector partnerships (CSPs) affect non-profit organizational legitimacy (NPO legitimacy) and how involved parties create legitimacy for CSPs. The emergent form of CSPs as a joint attempt to solve global meta-problems such as poverty, climate change, species extinction, and deterioration of key natural resources can result in benefits for both parties involved. However, CSPs can also be risky if they are not managed properly, particularly in relation to organizational legitimacy for the NPOs. The dissertation also focuses on how involved parties create legitimacy for the CSPs through the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The theoretical foundations of the thesis are legitimacy theory, organizational identity theory, and boundary organizations, as well as bridging institutional entrepreneurship. Based on several case studies, combined with a research approach inspired by critical discourse analysis, the thesis comes up with a number of conclusions. The main theoretical contribution is providing a link between Austin’s collaboration continuum for CSPs and the concept of legitimacy of the NPOs. The more integrative a CSP becomes, the bigger the risk for damage to NPO legitimacy, due to complex management and difficulty of selecting appropriate corporate partners. This concerns particularly CSPs with large companies, such as MNCs or TNCs. Short-term project-based, philanthropic, or transactional partnerships, which are managed and controlled by the NPO, are safer. NPOs should also choose corporate partners with similar values. However, co-branding campaigns should be avoided. The research also shows that third-party organizations, such as corporate foundations, may act as boundary organizations between their founding companies and NPOs, and may help move existing partnerships along the collaboration continuum. Boundary organizations may also help in the sustenance of CSPs by allowing multiple logics to be combined. The findings reveal that CSR is used in the legitimation of the CSPs in order to create a distance between the two organizations and replace moral with technical responsibility. In addition, the NPOs are forced to outsource the selection of appropriate corporate partners to intermediaries, thereby becoming morally mute. NPOs must not, as a result of being involved in partnerships with companies, lose their critical vigilance of industry and should openly discuss tensions arising from their private sector involvement.
  • Sundgren, Caroline (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-06-11)
    Reducing anthropogenic carbon emissions and food waste are complex global sustainability challenges that are impacted of and by supply chain activities. This thesis examines structural aspects of the supply chain in relation to sustainable development by drawing on empirical material from food waste reduction. The overall purpose is to enhance our understanding of how supply chain structures can promote surplus food recovery and implications for developing sustainable supply chains. Specific focus is on the distinction between supply chain efficiency, to ensure the wise use of energy and material resources within the supply chain, and supply chain effectiveness, to enhance sustainability goals, such as, material recovery by the supply chain. The thesis comprises one conceptual (Essay 1) and two empirical studies (Essay 2 and 3). Essay 1 argues that energy efficiency can be a generative mechanism of sustainable supply chains because the physical movement of products and material (and, in turn, how much energy and what type is used in the supply chain) is an outcome of the supply chain’s structure and strategic priorities. Essay 2 analyzes different supply chain structures that have emerged to make surplus food available to consumers. The study involves three novel surplus food actors: a surplus food platform, an online retailer, and a surplus food terminal. It builds on semi-structured interviews, participatory observations, and documentary evidence. Essay 3 explores the formation of relationships for food redistribution that improve circularity and social sustainability at the end of the food supply chain with empirical material from 18 semi-structured interviews in Finland. This thesis primarily adds to discussions about sustainable and circular supply chains. First, it contributes with novel insights to the emerging stream of research on non-traditional actors in the supply chain by specifying the roles and motivations (contextual factors) among both business and not-for-profit actors that support and hinder surplus food redistribution in a dyadic constellation. Second, this thesis contributes to a more nuanced understanding of structure in supply chains by showing how structures can emerge and evolve in response to sustainable development challenges. Last, this thesis adds by providing new empirical findings of surplus food recovery options in a developed country context.
  • Annala Tesfaye, Linda (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-04-30)
    This thesis examines the links between water technologies, innovations and recent reforms in water governance in India and Ethiopia. The overall aim is to understand the processes of drinking water governance and the ways in which the use and practices related to drinking water technologies and innovations are socially constructed in the studied contexts. Specific focus is on the extended participation of communities and individuals in drinking water provision through the governance discourses of co-production and co-creation; these contested discourses influence governmental, private sector actors and end users in constructing meaning systems to drinking water technologies and innovations. The thesis comprises two empirical cases from the city of Ahmedabad in India (Article 1), the Amhara region in Ethiopia (Article 2) and a conceptual article on the hegemonic project of co-creating frugal innovations (Article 3). The study builds on interviews, focus group discussions and policy documents in the studied contexts. In Ahmedabad, interviews and focus group discussions took place with end users, governmental actors and water filter entrepreneurs. In Ethiopia, end users, members of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene committees, governmental actors, NGO representatives, spare part suppliers and artisans were interviewed. The conceptual article draws on Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theoretical approach in studying frugal innovations. By using multiple methodologies, the thesis contributes to the interdisciplinary literature on water governance and to the emerging scholarship on frugal innovations. This thesis adds to the discussions on co-producing drinking water by integrating a governmentality framework to analyse the workings of power among a wide array of co-producing actors. With regard to frugal innovations, the thesis shows how drinking water provision through co-created, frugal household water filters shapes and is shaped by societal relations and people’s roles in water governance. The conceptual analysis shows how the hegemonic understanding of co-creating frugal innovations raises concerns of the heightened potential extraction, exploitation and scaling up of ‘creative sustainability value’ from individuals or communities. Frugal innovation as a concept has been co-opted in a hegemonic project of governing and exploiting the poor in ways conducive to ‘economic development’ as per elite-driven definitions.
  • Tesfaye, Yewondwossen (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-01-05)
    The primary objective of this thesis is to study the specific everyday aspects of the process of neoliberalization as observed through the object of water. Water as an object of representation means understanding its materiality within the totality of the political relations of knowledge systems that reproduce its materiality as rational. Approaching the process of neoliberalization through the object of water requires an in-depth look into the specific everyday practicalities and social relations of individuals/people (micropolitical) reproduced through water practices, together with the relation that this micropolitical has with the wider forms of neoliberal knowledge system or forms of politics (macropolitical aspects) reproduced and rearticulated through neoliberalism. By looking into three rural water practice cases, the thesis takes a closer look into specific forms of subjectivities and social relations that are constitutive of particular water practices, and the relation that this has with wider neoliberal forms of rationalities. In doing so, this thesis intends to enhance knowledge on how neoliberal political truths are naturalized and how their applications affect individuals and their social relationships. In order to produce a multidimensional analysis on the relation between the macropolitical and micro-practical, this thesis works within the analytics of governmentality and uses discourse analysis as a methodology. Knowledge building in neoliberal governmentality scholarship through a focus on the messy micro practicalities and social relations is the primary contribution of this thesis. With the focus on the micropracticalities, the thesis contributes to one of governmentality’s less researched areas (inattention to difference) as well as addresses some critical research gaps in authoritarian governmentality and authoritarian neoliberalism literatures.
  • Meriläinen, Eija (Hanken School of Economics, 2020-04-28)
    While a hazard, such as an earthquake, may result from natural processes, the unequal ways in which it impacts people’s lives are not an outcome dictated by forces of nature. Indeed, the disaster unfolding from a hazard has much to do with how human societies are governed. In a disaster, marginalised people are more likely than others to lose their homes, livelihoods, lives, and people they care about. Meanwhile, powerful actors are likely able to protect themselves from many negative consequences of hazards and disasters, while sometimes even being able to capture potential benefits. These inequalities become exposed in the case of urban disasters, where people living in neighbouring residential areas may experience very different outcomes from a disaster. Addressing these inequalities calls for scrutiny on disaster governance, and the ways in which diverse actors address and experience disaster impacts. This thesis explores how disasters in the unequal city are governed, particularly within the frame of resilience discourse. Furthermore, the work strives to imagine more just urban disaster governance focused on the rights of people. The analysis is focused on elaborating and explicating the conceptualisations of resilience and rights within academic and expert literatures. The focus is on the critical analysis of bodies of knowledge on disaster governance. The thesis draws from and contributes to the interdisciplinary fields of disaster studies and human geography. The key contributions of the thesis lie in its four essays, which adopt diverse perspectives to disaster governance research and policy. A key emerging theme is the framing of subjectivities of disaster-affected people within disaster studies. Three subjectivity categories are identified: the beneficiary-stakeholder that is steered by actors ‘from above’; the active citizen that has agency only in relation to a pre-existing and persisting governance institutions; and the territorial community that is a political and organised group of people that can assert claims. In addition to these subjectivity categories, a broader narrative emerges in the thesis: one where a diffused network of private and non-state actors increasingly has the resources and power to shape how the exception of disasters is framed and governed. Against this backdrop, conceptualisations (e.g. resilient community), discourses (e.g. urban resilience) and streams of literature that may be benign in and of themselves may shape disaster politics in problematic ways. They might decentre and obscure underlying patterns of marginalisation and facilitation that result in unequal disaster risk – at worst delegitimising the politics that target structural causes of disasters.
  • Sohn, Minchul (Hanken School of Economics, 2019-06-17)
    Natural hazards are events that take place as a result of naturally occurring processes. They have the potential to become disasters when they destroy the lives and/or livelihoods of a vulnerable population that cannot anticipate, cope with, resist, or recover from the impact of natural hazards using their own resources. For example, combined with the critical conditions of exposure and vulnerability, recurring small-scale seasonal climate risks (e.g., floods or droughts) become a disaster if a community’s functioning is undermined. In addition, there is substantial evidence that patterns of climate variability are changing, especially in terms of increased heavy rainfall events, prolonged dry spells, and shifts in seasonal rainfall patterns. Such seasonal climate risks are undoubtedly affecting many developing regions of the world and have significant implications for the vulnerable people living in these areas. To mitigate the negative impacts of recurring seasonal climate risks, there is a need to effectively manage humanitarian logistics and supply chains as well as develop strategies to cope with these risks and their associated uncertainty in terms of variability, even if their consequences do not always have catastrophic impacts. Thus, it is important to build and implement a preparedness approach that can fully exploit the risk mitigation strategies available to manage climate-related hazards as a means of improving the ability of humanitarian supply chains to deal with the potential impacts of seasonal climate risks and unpredictable variability. The overarching objective of the thesis is to investigate how humanitarian logistics preparedness can contribute to efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of a particular set of recurring natural hazards. It aims to examine conceptually how mitigating disaster risk could be incorporated into the management of humanitarian logistics and supply chains. This aim is addressed by developing the argumentation in support of the concept of developmental relief. Empirically, this thesis aims to explore the utilisation of seasonal climate information as part of humanitarian logistics preparedness activities to mitigate the negative impacts of seasonal climate risks. Seasonal climate information is rarely used in humanitarian logistics preparedness, even though there is a wealth of available information on seasonal climates and the whole area is well-recognised as foundational for effective disaster risk management. In this thesis, seasonal climate information and its utilisation by responding organisations constitute an important medium to explore the primary aim set out above, which addresses the inter-relationships between humanitarian logistics preparedness, mitigation of disaster risks, and seasonal climate risks. In addition, and as a result of the author’s experiences when conducting the fieldwork research underpinning this study, this thesis also examines the benefits and challenges associated with the process of performing fieldwork-based research that can drive solid insights into the phenomenon of interest.
  • Sabari Ragavendran Prasanna Venkatesan (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2018-12-07)
    In recent times, there is an increase in the need for longterm aid. Since no actor can handle long-term aid alone, there is an increased need for collaboration between the actors. The actors in the long-term aid possess a variety of organisational cultures. Commercial supply chain literature informs that differences in organisational cultures between the partners in a supply chain lead to a strain in the collaborative relationship. In some instances, the differences result in ceasure of collaboration between partners. This thesis investigates the relationship between organisational culture and humanitarian supply chain collaboration in long-term aid. The aim of the thesis is to examine the influence of organisational culture on buyer-supplier collaboration in long-term aid. The thesis is both timely and relevant for a number of reasons. First, the increasing occurrence of natural and manmade disasters has led to a corresponding increase in long-term aid programmes. Second, longterm aid requires collaboration among multiple actors from differing organisational cultures. Finally, unlike commercial supply chain collaboration, this process has not yet been perfected in HSC contexts. The thesis investigates how differences of organisational culture influence collaboration in long-term HSC aid provision. This thesis takes a qualitative research approach. The findings included a framework that explains how organisational cultural attributes influence supply chain collaboration. The organisational leadership, or antecedent, influences organisational learning and organisational flexibility (organisational cultural elements). These elements influence information sharing (collaborative behaviour) through organisational routines. It can be further argued that there are four mechanisms through which organisational culture develops: organisational routines, organisational practices, organisational flexibility, and organisational learning. These mechanisms influence the mechanisms of supply chain collaboration: information sharing, trust, mutuality, and commitment. The thesis also finds the existence of humanitarian institutional logic as an overarching mechanism that mitigates the influence of organisational cultural differences on collaboration between actors.
  • Tabaklar, Tunca (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2017-12-16)
    As disasters are affecting millions of people around the world, humanitarian supply chains are changing to identify needs and to respond to those affected. To achieve successful humanitarian operations, humanitarian supply chains need certain capabilities to anticipate the effects of a disaster, quickly mobilise the necessary resources and provide better services through these capabilities to the people in crisis. In other words, they must be resilient while scaling up quickly to meet unpredictable demands. Thus, the primary aim of this thesis is to explore the concept of scalability and understand how scalability contributes to various outcomes, such as resilience in HSCM, through three essays. The first essay is based on a systematic literature review to deepen the understanding of theoretical approaches and concepts borrowed from other research fields in humanitarian supply chain management. It is entitled ‘Borrowing Theories in Humanitarian Supply Chain Management’. The second essay is ‘Investigating Scalability for Building Supply Chain Resilience’, and the third essay is ‘Supply Chain Scalability: The Role of Supply Chain Integration’. Both the second and the third essays are based on a single case study in a humanitarian setting. A framework of scalability is developed through the dynamic capabilities view, as humanitarian organisations are operating in one of the most turbulent environments. Furthermore, this thesis contributes not only to humanitarian organisations but also organisations that face regular turbulence because the business environment is becoming increasingly turbulent.
  • Ehrnström-Fuentes, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2016-09-26)
    This thesis critically analyses corporate-community relations in the forestry industry, with a particular focus on cases in the Latin American context. The key conceptual focus is on the legitimacy of corporate activity from the perspective of local communities in the contested field of sustainability. The concept of legitimacy is critically discussed in the light of a pluriversal approach to reality: Instead of assuming that legitimacy can be derived from a universally socially constructed system of shared norms and believes, legitimacy in the pluriverse signals that the world is not made up of one single history or worldview but many different ways of knowing, sensing, and being; what is perceived as legitimate depends on the place-based social imaginaries of the communities where it emerges. This approach to legitimacy creation, provides a nuanced understanding of the contested nature of forestry-community relations in Latin America. Adapting a pluriversal perspective on legitimacy has consequences for governance and how the corporate world engages with local communities. Instead of promoting consensus-seeking stakeholder dialogues among those do not wish to become stakeholders of the corporate world, there is a need to open up for encounters between worlds through conversations across differences and celebrate conflicts as manifestations of the different worlds within the pluriverse. Rooted governance is introduced as a concept that contrasts with the top-down approach of global governance. Instead, the bottom-up rooted approach recognises local differences, knowledges, and livelihoods as important elements of reproducing and sustaining life in communities. This pluriversal way of conceptualizing and acknowledging different life worlds and social imaginaries opens up opportunities to explore new alternatives for co-existence of communities– one of the most urgent challenges for our and future generations.
  • Vaillancourt, Alain (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2015-07-02)
    Major disasters, conflicts and poverty afflict many millions of people around the world. To address the needs of these people, humanitarian organizations deploy a vast array of resources supported by material, financial and information flows. Some of these resources need efficient logistics support to achieve their goals and through vertical or horizontal coordination, humanitarian organisations can improve the way to respond to a situation. A specific approach to coordination is consolidation which this thesis explores in depth. The thesis and its articles aim to understand the competence and underlying resources for consolidation of materials in supply chains. This thesis covers material consolidation concepts and humanitarian logistics activities such as warehousing consolidation, procurement consolidation and transportation consolidation. The research presented in the thesis is composed of three individually authored articles, the first one is a conceptual paper based on a literature review entitled “A Theoretical Framework for Consolidation in Humanitarian Logistics”. The second article is entitled “Procurement Consolidation in Global Humanitarian Supply Chains” and the third article is entitled “Kit Management in Humanitarian Supply Chains”; both these two articles are based on empirical case studies. This thesis further contributes to dynamic capabilities as it identifies a result that can be expected from the lower supply chain competition and interest in coordination and cooperation by humanitarian organizations: facilitating access to competencies in between organizations through specific consolidation activities. Humanitarian organizations do not seek profit neither do they compete through their supply chains and instead sometimes cooperate and coordinate to improve aid delivery.