Archive by Author | Andreas Wieland

Sustainable Business Models Require a Revolution of SCM

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 21) has begun near Paris today. Let us hope it does not fail again – like too many other conferences before. Indeed, time is slipping away and the world will face a bleak future if we do not act now. (A prediction of this future can be found in Stager’s (2015) recent comment.) What we will see are totally new business models or as Unruh (2015) puts it in a nutshell: “A rule-of-thumb I give managers is that if your sustainability performance indicators only improve when customers use your product less often, it means you’re in trouble.” But if business will not be as usual, we cannot afford to manage supply chains the same way as before. Rather we need to revolutionize our supply chain toolset. I expect that a large part of our future research projects will be about how supply chains, as the backbones of business, can make CO2-neutral business models happen.

Supply Chain Scholars, it is Time to Matter in Today’s Debates!

Journal rankings, h indices and citation counts have become the currencies of SCM scholars. But is this really what we should focus on? What about taking part in public debates? Indeed, SCM scholars have a lot of knowledge about the context of global business, including knowledge about social practices in low-cost countries, the pros and cons of outsourcing, and CO2 emissions in end-to-end networks. So, we have a lot to say that matters beyond academia! In their evocative comment, Prof, No One is Reading You, Biswas & Kirchherr (2015) argue: “An average academic journal article is read in its entirety by about 10 people. To shape policy, professors should start penning commentaries in popular media.” In a similar vein, Kristof (2014) in his comment Professors, We Need You! argues: “[Some] of the smartest thinkers […] are university professors, but most of them just don’t matter in today’s great debates.” We should wake up and make an impact!

Video Archive of Leading Logistics and SCM Scholars

It is certainly very insightful to read papers or books written by the leading scholars of our field. But wouldn’t it be even more interesting to watch videos with them talking about their careers, the development of our discipline and their personal contributions to this development? In the last couple of years, James Stock – who himself made a huge contribution to our discipline – conducted a series of interviews with leading logistics and SCM scholars. Both videos and transcripts of the interviews are available in his Video Archive of Leading Academic Business Scholars. This archive includes interviews conducted with Ken Ackerman, Daniel Wren, Bernard J. LaLonde, Donald J. Bowersox, James L. Heskett, Tom Speh, John T. Mentzer and John Langley. Sadly, some of these scholars have since passed away, but I am sure that their thoughts, as recorded in these interviews, will serve as a legacy for future generations of logistics and SCM scholars.

Introducing the International Journal of Logistics: Research & Applications (Guest Post by the Editor-in-Chief)

In today’s guest post, Andrew Lyons, one of the two new Editors-in-Chief of the International Journal of Logistics: Research & Applications (IJoL) provides an introduction to his journal.

The International Journal of Logistics: Research & Applications (IJoL) publishes original and challenging work that has a clear applicability to the business world. As a result the journal publishes work that is original and academically rigorous that has also demonstrated to have made a positive impact on supply chains or has clear potential to be of significant practical value. High quality contributions are therefore welcomed from both academics and professionals working in the field of logistics and supply chain management. Papers should further our understanding of logistics and supply chain management and make a significant original contribution to knowledge. In this context the term “logistics” is taken in its broadest context as “the management of processes, flow of materials and associated information along the entire supply chain, from raw materials through to the final user of the product”. The journal covers all aspects of logistics and supply chain management. All published research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and anonymous refereeing by independent expert referees.

Professor Andrew Lyons is a Professor of Operations & Supply Chain Management at the University of Liverpool Management School. He is the Director of Studies MSc Operations & Supply Chain Management.

The UNICEF Supply Chain

Unicef Supply Division, Copenhagen

Last week, I visited UNICEF’s Supply and Logistics headquarters in Copenhagen, together with my International Logistics Management students from Copenhagen Business School. I was very impressed by interesting presentations about UNICEF’s supply chain and the processes of their almost fully automated warehouse. Keep on doing your important work that is essential to fulfill children’s rights to health, education and protection.

Discriminant Validity – An Update

The AVE–SV comparison (Fornell & Larcker, 1981) is certainly the most common technique for detecting discriminant validity violations on the construct level. An alternative technique, proposed by Henseler et al. (2015), is the heterotrait–monotrait (HTMT) ratio of correlations (see the video below). Based on simulation data, these authors show for variance-based structural equation modeling (SEM), e.g. PLS, that AVE–SV does not reliably detect discriminant validity violations, whereas HTMT identifies a lack of discriminant validity effectively. Results of a related study conducted by Voorhees et al. (2015) suggest that both AVE–SV and HTMT are recommended for detecting discriminant validity violations if covariance-based SEM, e.g. AMOS, is used. They show that the HTMT technique with a cutoff value of 0.85 – abbreviated as HTMT.85 – performs best overall. In other words, HTMT should be used in both variance-based and covariance-based SEM, AVE–SV should be used only in covariance-based SEM. One might be tempted to prefer inferential tests over such heuristics. However, the constrained ϕ approach did not perform well in Voorhees et al.’s study.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. (1981). Evaluating Structural Equation Models with Unobservable Variables and Measurement Error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18 (1) DOI: 10.2307/3151312

Henseler, J., Ringle, C., & Sarstedt, M. (2015). A New Criterion for Assessing Discriminant Validity in Variance-based Structural Equation Modeling. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43 (1), 115-135 DOI: 10.1007/s11747-014-0403-8

Voorhees, C., Brady, M., Calantone, R., & Ramirez, E. (2015). Discriminant Validity Testing in Marketing: An Analysis, Causes for Concern, and Proposed Remedies. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science DOI: 10.1007/s11747-015-0455-4

Empowering Responsible Value Chains

The Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013 has opened the eyes of many supply chain managers: Implementing a socially responsible supply chain has, indeed, become an imperative for global corporations and the supply chain management discipline might be in the middle of a paradigm shift. A World Economic Forum report, Beyond Supply Chains: Empowering Responsible Value Chains (pdf; prepared in collaboration with Accenture), examines how companies strive for what the authors call “the triple supply chain advantage” – realizing societal, environmental and business benefits at the same time – and looks at how they intend to achieve it. The authors present a comprehensive set of 31 practices “that provide guidance for companies looking to codify their own specific portfolio of triple advantage improvement measures”. For each of these practices a detailed value assessment and good practices from companies are provided. This report is a good start when implementing a socially responsible supply chain.


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