Supply Chain Management and Corporate Geography


Recent Submissions

  • Davtyan, Robert; Piotrowicz, Wojciech (2021-09-08)
    This paper explores opportunities for utilising cleantech in framing research on sustainability-oriented innovations in public procurement. Research objectives include a critical examination of whether cleantech is a distinct sector through a systematic literature review and synthesis of findings with public procurement research. The final analysis involved 31 peer reviewed academic papers along with additional publications obtained with the snowball-approach. The results suggest that cleantech could be used to analyse sustainability related research in the public procurement context. Cleantech is also helpful in enhancing research on public procurement of innovations and addressing societal benefits through local development. Findings unveil new opportunities in investigating better access of smes to public contracts through intermediaries, networks, and public-private partnerships. This paper is the first academic paper to analyse academic cleantech literature and link cleantech and public procurement fields. Such an approach is helpful in framing sustainability in public procurement research and stresses new ways of involving smes in public contracts.
  • Paciarotti, Claudia; Piotrowicz, Wojciech; Fenton, George (2021-07-19)
    Purpose: The paper is focused on standards in humanitarian logistics and supply chain. Standards, implemented between organisations, allow improving the interoperability of humanitarian operations. The paper aims (1) to review a state-of-the-art approach to the topic by the academic community, (2) to evaluate the current use of standards among humanitarian organisations and (3) to investigate the perceived need for further and specific standards. Design/methodology/approach:To achieve the aims, the literature was reviewed; then a survey on 227 professionals from the humanitarian logistics sector was conducted. Findings: Based on 227 responses, it is possible to conclude that most surveyed professionals recognise the need for and the importance of standardisation in humanitarian logistics, especially in areas such as procurement, distribution, medical logistics and logistics planning, which were perceived as critical areas that require standardisation. Research limitations/implications: Practitioners and scholars were targeted via social media, through mailing lists and via communication from the practitioner organisation – the Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA). While it provided good access to different groups of respondents, the response rate is not possible to calculate. Practical implications: The findings confirm the high importance of standardisation, indicating areas and functions that should be standardised first. Standardisation may improve cooperation between different humanitarian actors, allowing better service provision for beneficiaries. Thus there are also potential negative impacts, i.e. impact on localisation, which should be overcome. Social implications: Results do not have a direct social impact; however, they stimulate research and work among practitioners on standardisation, which in turn could improve cooperation between humanitarian actors, thereby enabling a better humanitarian response in emergencies. Originality/value: The majority of papers on standardisation use a qualitative approach. This paper applies a survey among a large network of humanitarian practitioners, capturing their view on the topic and perception of the need for standardisation. The work is descriptive; however, it could be used as a base for further studies related to humanitarian standards.
  • Maghsoudi, Amin; Harpring, Russell; Piotrowicz, Wojciech; Heaslip, Graham (2021-10-25)
    This study reviews research on cash and voucher assistance (CVA) by applying a humanitarian supply chain management perspective. A systematic literature review was conducted to identify, analyse, and synthesize past academic research. The Content-Context-Process framework was used to structure the content analysis. The findings reveal that the outcomes of CVA programmes are dependent upon critical context-specific factors which influence feasibility and operability. Humanitarian actors must consider factors that are external to the supply chain (i.e., the nature of disaster, politics, economy, and infrastructure) as well as internal to the supply network (i.e., local market availability and accessibility, supplier/donor interest, supplier/vendor selection and contracting, and beneficiary preference). The delivery process is influenced by these factors, which has an impact on programme responsiveness and cost-efficiency. The results provide insights for humanitarian practitioners to reconsider their supply chain strategies when deciding on the selection and implementation of CVA programmes. Potential gaps in the literature are identified, and ecommendations for further research are listed.
  • Heyns, Andries; Banick, Robert; Regmi, Suraj (The World Bank, 2021)
    Existing methods of prioritizing rural roads for construction in hilly and mountainous settings require expensive data collection or major simplifications of ground conditions. Traditional social surplus based-methods favor economic and political decision criteria over social criteria, despite evidence of the latter’s importance, and struggle to scale beyond major roads to feeder roads, forcing local governments with limited capacity to adopt ad-hoc alternative criteria. Using roads proposed for construction in Nepal’s remote Karnali province, this paper develops a scalable method to prioritize these roads for inclusion in construction plans with the aim of optimizing potential accessibility improvements to specified services in dry and monsoon seasons—within Karnali’s infrastructure budget constraints. Road-specific improvements in accessibility to services are measured by estimating accessibility changes resulting from each proposed road within a multimodal accessibility model. In this paper, walking across Karnali’s mountainous, high-elevation terrain is incorporated as a primary modality—a rarity in related accessibility literature. These improvements are implemented within heuristic and integer-linear programming optimization models. Optimization-determined solutions were calculated within a day, and substantially outperformed the actual roads selected by Karnali’s provincial government in terms of accessibility, efficiency, and political economy.
  • Kovacs, Gyöngyi (2021)
    Coronavacciner har uppfunnits otroligt snabbt, och det ger hopp för epidemihantering. Men produktionen och distributionen ligger efter. Syftet med denna artikel är att ge en inblick i vaccinleveranskedjor och redovisa olika verktyg som kan användas för att försnabba vaccineringsprogrammen.
  • Tuomala, Virva; Grant, David B. (2021-10-20)
    Purpose Access to food through retail supply chain distribution can vary significantly among the urban poor and leads to household food insecurity. The paper explores this sustainable supply chain phenomenon through a field study among South Africa's urban poor. Design/methodology/approach Urban metabolic flows is the theoretical basis in the context of supply chain management (SCM). The field study comprised 59 semi-structured interviews in one South African township. Data were recorded, transcribed and translated, and coded using NVivo 12 to provide an inventory of eight themes categorized and patterned from the analysis. Findings Findings indicate societal factors play a significant role affecting food distribution, access and security from a spatial perspective of retail outlet locations and a nutritional standpoint regarding quality and quantity of food. Research limitations/implications The study is exploratory in one township, and while rigorously conducted, the generalizability of findings is limited to this context. Practical implications The study practically contributes by providing guidance for food retailers and policymakers to include nutritional guidelines in their distribution planning, as well as the dynamics of diverse neighbourhoods that exist in modern urban contexts. Social implications New forms of retail food distribution can provide better security and access to food for the urban poor, contributing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 Zero Hunger and 11 Liveable Cities. Originality/value The study is interdisciplinary and contributes by linking UN SDGs and SCM through urban metabolic flows from development studies as an overarching framework to enable analysis of relationships between physical, social and economic factors in the urban environment.
  • Allen, Samuel D.; Zhu, Qingyun; Sarkis, Joseph (2021-10-12)
    Sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) has been developed for decades as a solution for multi-level social and environmental improvement. Circular economy (CE) also has many perspectives and generally has been introduced for investigating sustainability at multiple levels. Organizations are informed and encouraged by management theories to build their supply chain strategies at the SSCM-CE nexus, including stakeholder theory, institutional theory, nature resource-based view, amongst others. As the scholarly and practical interests in SSCM and CE increase, there is a need to expand the current conceptual understanding and theoretical boundaries. Theory development for broader issues at the SSCM-CE nexus is limited, leaving managers, policy makers, civil society activists, and other stakeholders with insufficient grounding for important decisions and direction. In this paper, we explore some promising emerging theories which may provide additional conceptual lenses for SSCM and CE, inlcuding organizational learning, social innovation, and social learning. We develop a dynamic sustainable supply chain-circular economy management framework as a conceptual map over which theoretical boundaries from the existing and emergent theories are overlaid. Future research directions are also provided and discussed to conclude this paper.
  • Köhler, Susanne; Pizzol, Massimo; Sarkis, Joseph (2021-11-16)
    Blockchain technology has been promised as a solution to social and environmental issues in supply chains. The potential includes reduction of vulnerable party exploitation and avoiding environmentally harmful practices. Yet, it remains unclear how these potential improvements are created and whether blockchain can truly contribute. Therefore, this field study explores and identifies the mechanisms for blockchain technology to facilitate positive social and environmental impacts in supply chains. We applied an explorative qualitative research approach and interviewed blockchain technology implementers and practitioners that allowed a detailed analysis of this problem despite the scarcity of practice data. The results include the development of a middle-range theory that shows barriers and drivers of blockchain-based technologies in supply chains, introduces the concept of blockchain-enabled system, and outlines expected outcomes and impacts. We further identify four impact pathways that describe how blockchain-enabled system create positive impact: (voluntary) market mechanisms, plausibility checks, smart contracts and tokenisation, and peer-to-peer trust. The study contributes by providing insights into “how” blockchain-based technologies in supply chains can lead to social and environmental impacts. The study also furthers the discussion on blockchain technology's role in supply chain implementation and addresses the yet unresolved problem of measuring the impact of such blockchain-enabled systems.
  • Beltrami, Mirjam; Orzes, Guido; Sarkis, Joseph; Sartor, Marco (2021-08)
    Both Industry 4.0 and sustainability have gained momentum in the academic, managerial and policy debate. Despite the relevance of the topics, the relation between Industry 4.0 and sustainability – revealed by many authors – is still unclear; literature is fragmented. This paper seeks to overcome this limit by developing a systematic literature review of 117 peer-reviewed journal articles. After descriptive and content analyses, the work presents a conceptualization and theoretical framework. The paper contributes to both theory and practice by advancing current understanding of Industry 4.0 and sustainability, especially the impact of Industry 4.0 technologies on sustainability practices and performance.
  • Grant, David B.; Banomyong, Ruth; Gibson, Brian J. (2021-10-04)
    This perspective paper considers the current state of retail and retail logistics and supply chain management to discuss what the future may hold for it through four important issues: changing consumer expectations, the impact of e-commerce, and the relationship with the natural environment all of which are influenced by the economic environment. These issues apply to retailing globally and have been exacerbated by events such as the global COVID-19 pandemic, and examples are provided from various retail markets to illustrate them. Retailers will need to think strategically how to adapt their business models to address these issues by recognising the needs of new consumer segments, focussing on niche service and products to avoid direct clashes with larger physical store and Internet retailers, embracing more fully opportunities in e-commerce, and ensuring their activities are sustainable economically, socially and ecologically.
  • Julagasigorn, Puthipong; Banomyong, Ruth; Grant, David B.; Varadejsatitwong, Paitoon (2021-11-17)
    Carpooling brings benefits to carpool participants and the environment and society. Literature has called for a better understanding of psychological factors encouraging people to carpool however current research does not provide an in-depth psychological understanding of carpooling behaviour. This paper provides a review of psychological factors motivating drivers and passengers to carpool and identifies psychological theories appropriate for carpooling research. The Theory of Planned Behaviour and Norm-Activation Model were used as a priori theoretical frameworks to undertake a systematic literature review to identify important factors and relevant theories. Eighteen psychological factors were identified and classified as either common for drivers and passengers or specific to each group. In addition to the a priori frameworks, Consumer Perceived Value, Social Capital, and Technology Acceptance Model are considered the most appropriate for carpooling research. A conceptual framework and six research propositions were developed. Further, eight additional directions for future research were suggested including employing a variety of data collection methods to ensure rigour; collecting more data from non-Western countries for contextual veracity; exploring and testing psychological factors more deeply; and investigating the impact of COVID-19 on carpooling decisions. This paper contributes to theory through the development of the conceptual framework and identifying research propositions and providing additional research directions. Practically, the identified factors can be considered by researchers, matching agencies, and policy-makers to better promote carpooling.
  • Fougère, Martin; Solitander, Nikodemus (2019-12-23)
    Multi-stakeholder initiatives involve actors from several spheres of society (market, civil society and state) in collaborative arrangements to reach objectives typically related to sustainable development. In political CSR literature, these arrangements have been framed as improvements to transnational governance and as being somehow democratic. We draw on Mouffe’s works on agonistic pluralism to problematize the notion that consensus-led multi-stakeholder initiatives bring more democratic control on corporate power. We examine two initiatives which address two very different issue areas: the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (The Accord). We map the different kinds of adversarial relations involved in connection with the issues meant to be governed by the two initiatives, and find those adversarial relations to take six main shapes, affecting the initiatives in different ways: (1) competing regulatory initiatives; (2) pressure-response relations within multi-stakeholder initiatives; (3) pressure-response relations between NGOs and states through multi-stakeholder initiatives; (4) collaboration and competition between multi-stakeholder initiatives and states; (5) pressure-response relations between civil society actors and multi-stakeholder initiatives; and (6) counter-hegemonic movements against multi-stakeholder initiatives as hegemonic projects. We conclude that multi-stakeholder initiatives cannot be democratic by themselves, and we argue that business and society researchers should not look at democracy or politics only internally to these initiatives, but rather study how issue areas are regulated through interactions between a variety of actors—both within and without the multi-stakeholder initiatives—who get to have a legitimate voice in this regulation.
  • Fougère, Martin; Solitander, Nikodemus; Maheshwari, Sanchi (2019-11-28)
    Through its focus on deep and experiential learning, service-learning (SL) has become increasingly popular within the business school curriculum. While a reciprocal dimension has been foundational to SL, the reciprocality that is emphasized in business ethics literature is often on the relationship between the service experience and the academic content, rather than reciprocal learning of the service providers (students) and the recipients (organizations and their managers), let alone other stakeholders. Drawing on the notion of enriched reciprocal learning and on Aristotle’s typology of modes of knowing, we (1) revisit reciprocal learning by illustrating what kinds of learning occur for server and served in four SL projects from a project course in CSR, and (2) emphasize the role of boundary spanners from the project organizations in making this reciprocal learning happen and translating the various types of student learning in ways that are useful for their organizations. We find that when boundary spanners are particularly engaged at making the projects impactful, they contribute to making the learning experiences of students, managers (including themselves) and sometimes other stakeholders useful, multidimensional, and ultimately rewarding.
  • Kedziora, Damian; Leivonen, Arja; Piotrowicz, Wojciech; Öörni, Anssi (2021-06)
    Along the continuous transformations of enterprises, centralized service delivery models have been transitioning from an offshore employee sourcing to digital sourcing. Deploying software robots with robotics process automation (RPA) became one of the most important and fastest growing technologies in the recent years. In this research, the blended qualitative approach was applied, as a survey was followed by interpretative interviews and narrative analysis. This exploratory, empirical study discusses the key drivers behind RPA implementations (financials, employee impact, risks) identified among experts involved in the deployment of intelligent automation solutions at selected Nordic enterprises. The findings highlight the focus on the operational benefits like releasing employees from the most monotonous, non-value adding assignments, strengthening enterprise efficiency, compliance, and quality. Notably, the strategic and external (customer) impacts were not at the core of the RPA decision-making process among the studied case companies. The findings suggest that RPA is mainly perceived as an operational tool to automate and improve internal processes with little consideration of its strategic and external impact, including impact on customers and service quality. This is in line with the approach to the way of how benefits are calculated, looking mainly at savings on labor costs.
  • Zhuravleva, Anna; Aminoff, Anna (2021-09-01)
    Purpose The European Union (EU) member states are obligated to implement the separate collection of textile waste by the year 2025. Nowadays, non-profit organizations (NPOs) are the largest collectors of post-use textiles. In support of upcoming changes, this study develops an understanding of barriers and drivers for establishing partnerships between NPOs and companies in reverse textile supply chains. Design/methodology/approach This study adopts the embedded single-case design. The main data source is semi-structured interviews with NPOs, companies and research institutes in Finland, identified through intensity case sampling. The drivers and barriers are categorized into seven categories: environmental, economic, social, institutional, technological and informational, supply chain and organizational categories. Findings This study elaborates on the barriers and drivers in a new context of textile valorization and prioritizes them. The study identifies the alignment of interests and goals, increased transparency and clarity of terminology and other main factors in establishing the partnership. Research limitations/implications Expanding the geographical boundaries of current research will capture the experiences of NPOs and companies in other contextual settings. Practical implications This study contributes to the existing knowledge with a broad picture of different barriers and drivers. The findings intend to support the integration of NPOs in reverse textile supply chains. Social implications The partnership can potentially minimize the export of post-use textiles to developing countries, thus reducing the negative environmental footprint and social impact of the textile industry. Originality/value The study looks at an emerging form of partnership between NPOs and companies in reverse supply chains for enabling valorization of post-use textiles.
  • Aminoff, Anna; Sundqvist-Andberg, Henna (2021-12-09)
    This study aims to systematically go through the various factors that prevent the implementation and diffusion of new closed-loop solutions and, thus, the transformation towards a circular economy. These factors are studied in the context of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) management. WEEE management offers an interesting context to study this, as technologies and political pressures, as well as a business potential for more efficient material recovery, exist. The study follows an embedded single case design based on interviews with actors in the WEEE management system. While the individual constraints may hinder the uptake of advanced recycling solutions, the interactions between these constraints seem to have an enforcing effect and lead to the formation of system-level lock-ins. This study identified three system-level lock-ins, the national extended producer responsibility scheme, techno-economic issues, and tensions in the supply chain, which impede the adoptation of innovations and the consequent transformation of the WEEE management system. Understanding how these constraints interact is essential for any effort to unlock the system and support the circular economy transformation.
  • Vu, Thao Phuong; Grant, David B.; Menachof, David (2019-12-26)
    Paper explores different stakeholder perceptions of logistics service quality in Hai Phong, Vietnam, one of the country’s most important port complexes and largest logistics hubs. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with customers, logistics service providers and port operators. Fourteen important variables were found with delivery time and shipment condition perceived by all groups as most important. Variables related to human factors were considered important by customers but not by logistics service providers. The paper contributes to our knowledge of what logistics service quality entails in a developing country that is lower on a logistics maturity scale, such as Vietnam, and provides managers with insights on what logistics service quality factors to address to enhance customers’ perceptions regarding their expectations.
  • Ruiz Kaneberg, Elvira; Jensen, Leif-Magnus; Hertz, Susanne (2021-04-01)
    Supply chains can play a major role in reducing countries’ safety and security threats; the role of network responsiveness offers insights into management exchanges responding to the preparedness of developed countries like Sweden. Illustrating the managing of overall supply chain capabilities among network responsiveness stems from the supply chain responsiveness concept. Several challenges to responsiveness prevent actors’ networks from fully benefitting from coordination. A management approach is employed to explore the impact of network responsiveness on the supply chain as an overarching strategy for safety and security. The study suggests three different approaches which differ in their impact on the network’s responsiveness: (i) an overall strategic planning approach, (ii) one integrated system approach for the overall response, and (iii) a coordination approach for managing the overall supply chain responsiveness strategy
  • Bae, Hee-Sung; Grant, David B.; Banomyong, Ruth; Varadejsatitwong, Paitoon (2021-05-25)
    The purpose of this paper is to investigate strength of supply chain integration based on social exchange theory and its resultant impact on supply chain cost and responsiveness. The study surveyed Korean export firms and obtained 182 usable responses. Data were analysed using cluster analysis and analysis of variance. Findings confirm that the strength of supply chain integration provides a mechanism for measuring the width of integration for both suppliers and customers. Further, identifiable gaps in cost performance and responsiveness were found based on strength of supply chain integration. This paper contributes through the development and testing of a conceptual model based on social exchange theory and also offers managerial suggestions in the understanding of customer needs and the importance of sharing information with suppliers in achieving improved cost performance and responsiveness in the supply chain.
  • Nguyen, Hang Thanh; Grant, David B.; Bovis, Christopher; Nguyen, Thuy Thi Le; Mac, Yen Thi Hai (2021-02-28)
    The paper identifies the enablers (drivers) and inhibitors (barriers) influencing e-customs implementation in Vietnam (known as a developing country with a lower technological environment) along with determining the impact of e-customs on firm performance. The survey was conducted with the representatives (managers) of firms in five cities and provinces dominating Vietnam’s international trade. The data was analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). The findings show two significant drivers (enablers) - relative advantages and national culture, while compatibility and ease of use are the barriers. Previous studies showed that cultural dimensions related to ‘uncertainty acceptance’ and ‘individualism’ encourage innovation; however, this paper demonstrates that ‘uncertainty avoidance’ and ‘collectivism’ promote e-customs deployment in Vietnam. Previously, Vietnamese culture was known for scoring high on cultural dimensions related to ‘power distance’ and ‘short-term orientation’. However, today, as an emerging country, Vietnamese has switched to ‘low distance’ and ‘long-term orientation’, especially in terms of e-customs innovation. Additionally, the paper also emphasized that e-customs implementation had a positive influence on firm performance in Vietnam. Based on the results of the paper, policy-makers can devise essential solutions to enhance e-customs implementation as well as managers of firms can set-up strategies to adapt to the modernized environment.

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