Sustainable Supply Chains: A Country Comparison

The global not-for-profit organization CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) has published a report: Supply Chain Sustainability Revealed: A Country Comparison. The report was written by Accenture Strategy. “While climate and water risks are apparent, the implications for businesses and economies reliant on complex supply chain models are less understood”, says Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP. “The good news is that as companies transform their supply chains into digital supply networks they will gain greater end-to-end visibility, traceability and access to information to report on their compliance progress and mitigate climate risks”, adds Gary Hanifan, managing director, Accenture Strategy. The report reveals that suppliers in France, the UK, Spain and Germany are identified as the most sustainable ones, whereas suppliers in China, Italy and the U.S. turn out to be particularly vulnerable. The report also shows that Brazil, Canada and India must do more to encourage supplier to report emission reduction initiatives.

The Ethical Shopper: A Myth?

It has often been assumed that one of the characteristics of SCM philosophy is “a customer focus to create unique and individualized sources of customer value, leading to customer satisfaction” (Mentzer et al., 2001). This assumption has led to business models like Primark, which aim to satisfy customer needs for fashion by making incredibly cheap garments available – so cheap that many teenagers nowadays are used to throw them away after just two weeks. Part of the truth is that such customer needs are not only satisfied by these businesses, but also created by the marketing experts that are part of the system. But to what extend can we expect that customers critically reflect the way they consume? A very interesting article by Michael Hobbes argues: “We’re still trying to eliminate sweatshops and child labor by buying right. But that’s not how the world works in 2015.” Hobbes’ article is titled The Myth of the Ethical Shopper. See also: Supply Chain Management and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Redefining Some Methodological Criteria for Empirical Research

In their new editorial, the editors of the Journal of Operations Management highlight five important issues, “many of which continue to be reasons for rejections in the manuscript review process”. First, “it is time to take causality seriously”. Particularly, authors have to take steps toward correcting for endogeneity or demonstrating exogeneity. Second, “know which rules are worth following”. For example, the yes–no rule that a measure is reliable if Cronbach’s α exceeds 0.7 is no longer recommended. Third, “always understand the tools you use”. Here, authors of PLS-based manuscripts routinely fail to discuss the weaknesses of the estimator. Fourth, “be cautious with claims about common method bias”. Particularly, ex-post techniques (e.g., Harman, 1967) do not have much practical value (see, however, my post about the CFA marker technique). Finally, “stay current on methodological developments”. For example, Baron & Kenny (1986) are widely used, although updated approaches have been published. It seems that the JOM editors no longer send manuscripts to the review process that ignore these issues.

Guide, V., & Ketokivi, M. (2015). Notes from the Editors: Redefining Some Methodological Criteria for the Journal. Journal of Operations Management, 37 DOI: 10.1016/S0272-6963(15)00056-X

Introducing the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Guest Post by the Co-Editors)

In today’s guest post, Nezih Altay and Ira Haavisto, the new Co-Editors of the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (JHLSCM) provide an introduction to their journal.

We are very excited and motivated about the task given to us and humbled by the trust of our friends and colleagues. JHLSCM promotes the exchange of knowledge, experience and new ideas between researchers and practitioners and encourages a multi-disciplinary and cross-functional approach to the resolution of problems and exploitations of opportunities within humanitarian supply chains. Our vision for the journal is for it to be the premier publication choice for humanitarian logistics researchers and a leading knowledge resource for practitioners. We hope to accomplish this by increasing the number of issues and expanding the scope of the journal to include research on not just post-disaster relief but all kinds of humanitarian operations, hereby continuing to emphasize evidence-based research without limiting our researchers in their methodological choices. We plan to not only expand the editorial advisory board but also engage them in the process of taking JHLSCM to the next level. Our EAB members will not just review papers but counsel authors to help them build their papers and by continuing to push for better quality. In addition to academic rigor, “quality” for us also includes dimensions like readability, timeliness, and validity. Papers published in JHLSCM should be readable and understandable by non-academics as well. They should focus on contemporary topics and solve real problems.

Dr. Ira Haavisto is the Director of the HUMLOG Institute at the Hanken School of Economics in Finland. Dr. Nezih Altay is an Associate Professor at the Driehaus College of Business of DePaul University in the United States.

Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2015

Some time ago, the winners of the annual Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2015 have been presented. Here comes a selection of this year’s outstanding papers related to supply chain management: First of all, it is noteworthy that several award-winning papers deal with sustainability; this includes papers written by Eng-Larsson & Norrman, Fabbe-Costes et al., Griffin et al., Schaltegger & Burritt and Varsei et al.. But also other topics have been awarded several times, namely risk/resilience (Vilko et al. and Scholten et al.), logistics integration (Alam et al. and Mellat-Parast & Spillan) and supply chain strategy (Sharma & Bhat and Nag et al.). It is also interesting to see several multidisciplinary articles in this list, hereby linking supply chain management with areas such as human resources (Hohenstein et al.), marketing (Flint et al.) and strategic sourcing (Eltantawy et al.). Congratulations to all winners! (See also: Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2014.)

How to Write an Abstract

An abstract is maybe the most underestimated document of a journal submission. First, the editor will read it and use it as a criterion to decide whether she will give the submission a chance, hereby asking: “So what? Is this manuscript timely and relevant?” Second, the abstract is usually included in the invitation e-mail received by potential reviewers and typically the only part of the manuscript they can see before deciding for or against accepting the invitation. An abstract should, thus, not create a cognitive dissonance. Finally, an article can only be found by potential readers if the abstract contains proper search terms. Readers also use it to decide whether they will read the rest of the paper. More about abstracts can be found in Emerald’s How To Guide. The structure of Emerald’s abstracts is helpful even if a journal does not require a structured abstract: Simply remove the headlines (e.g., “Purpose”)!

The Smile of Value Creation

The Smile of Value Creation

Mudambi (2008) notes that “value-added is becoming increasingly concentrated at the upstream and downstream ends of the value chain” and that “activities at both ends of the value chain are intensive in their application of knowledge and creativity”. Value-added along the value chain is, thus, represented by a “smiling curve”.

Mudambi, R. (2008). Location, Control and Innovation in Knowledge-intensive Industries. Journal of Economic Geography, 8 (5), 699-725 DOI: 10.1093/jeg/lbn024

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