Archive | August 2012

Academic English on the “Sentence Level”

In spite of high scientific quality, academic manuscripts sometimes do not survive the peer review process just because they are written in broken English. Therefore, researchers should conceal from their reviewers that they are non-native speakers. For sure, a traditional dictionary is an essential tool on the “word level”. But, a combination of correctly spelled words is not sufficient on the “sentence level”. Therefore, I would like to recommend Linguee to you, which was launched by a Cologne-based start-up company in 2009. “Linguee is a unique translation tool combining an editorial dictionary and a search engine with which you can search through hundreds of millions of bilingual texts for words and expressions.” Currently, Linguee contains English translations of texts in French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish, which are usually, yet not always, reliable. Linguee helps both on the word and sentence level. I am sure you do not want to miss it any more.

Natural Resource Scarcity

In their recently published JBL paper, A natural resource scarcity typology: Theoretical foundations and strategic implications for supply chain management, Bell et al. (2012) rightly note: “Scarcity of critical natural resources such as oil, water, food, and precious metals has the potential to greatly impact commercial activity as the twenty-first century progresses”. In deed, avoiding waste of resources has become a top priority for many supply chain practitioners. However, in view of the importance of the topic, it is baffling that supply chain management research has almost completely neglected resource scarcity. Our theories are concerned with resources (e.g., resource-based theory, resource-dependence theory), but resource scarcity does not really play a big role. Therefore, the article by Bell et al. is certainly a step in the right direction. The authors position natural resource scarcity as a supply chain risk factor, and prescribe strategies for its mitigation. Particularly, they offer a natural resource scarcity typology.

John E. Bell, Chad W. Autry, Diane A. Mollenkopf, & LaDonna M. Thornton (2012). A natural resource scarcity typology: Theoretical foundations and strategic implications for supply chain management Journal of Business Logistics, 33 (2), 158-166 DOI: 10.1111/j.0000-0000.2012.01048.x

Africa Logistics Initiative

International Certificate in Humanitarian Logistics

The Kühne Foundation invited me to support its Africa Logistics Initiative. Consequently, I have spent the last weeks teaching in logistics and supply chain management at the National Institute of Transport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It has been a great experience.