The KLU faculty, post-docs, and PhD candidates regularly publish the results of their research in scientific journals. You will find a complete overview of all KLU publications below (e.g. articles in peer-reviewed journals, professional journals, books, working papers, and conference proceedings). Search for relevant terms and keywords, or filter the list by name, year of publication or type of publication. The references include DOIs and abstracts where available, and you can download them to your own reference database or platform. We regularly update the database with new publications.
Pinçe, Çerağ, Mark Ferguson and L. Beril Toktay (2016): Extracting Maximum Value from Consumer Returns: Allocating between Remarketing and Refurbishing for Warranty Claims, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 18 (4): 475-492.
Abstract: The high cost of lenient return policies force consumer electronics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to look for ways to recover value from lightly used consumer returns, which constitute a substantial fraction of sales and cannot be resold as new products. Refurbishing to remarket or to fulfill warranty claims are the two common disposition options considered to unlock the value in consumer returns, which present the OEM with a challenging problem: How should an OEM dynamically allocate consumer returns between fulfilling warranty claims and remarketing refurbished products over the product’s life cycle? We analyze this dynamic allocation problem and find that when warranty claims and consumer returns are jointly taken into account, the remarketing option is generally dominated by the option of refurbishing and earmarking consumer returns to fulfill warranty claims. Over the product’s life cycle, the OEM should strategically emphasize earmarking of consumer returns at the early stages of the life cycle to build up earmarked inventory for the future warranty demand, whereas it should consider remarketing at the later stages of the life cycle after enough earmarked inventory is accumulated or most of the warranty demand uncertainty is resolved. These findings show that, for product categories with significant warranty coverage and refund costs, remarketing may not be the most profitable disposition option even if the product has strong remarketing potential and the OEM has the pricing leverage to tap into this market. We also show that the optimal dynamic disposition policy is a price-dependent base-stock policy where the earmarked quantity is capacitated by the new and refurbished product sales quantities. We compare with the myopic policy and show that it is a good heuristic for the optimal dynamic disposition policy.
Kunz, Timo P., Sven F. Crone and Joern Meissner (2016): The effect of data preprocessing on a retail price optimization system, Decision Support Systems, 84: 16-27.
Abstract: Revenue management (RM) is making a significant impact on pricing research and practice, from aviation and hospitality industries to retailing. However, empirical data conditions in retail are distinct to other industries, in particular in the large number of products within and across categories. To set profitable static prices with established RM models, the data is often simplified by data pruning (the exclusion of subsets of data that are deemed irrelevant or unsuitable) and data aggregation (the combination of disparate data points). However, the impact of such data preprocessing, despite being ubiquitous in retailing, is insufficiently considered in current RM research. This could induce potential sources of bias for the demand model estimates, as well as subsequent effects on the price optimization system, the optimized price set, and the profit maxima, which have not yet been investigated. This paper empirically studies the impact of two commonly used data preprocessing techniques in retail RM, data pruning and data aggregation, using simulated and empirical retail scanner data. We numerically assess potential biases introduced by data preprocessing using a systems perspective in estimating a two-stage demand model, the resulting price elasticities, optimized price sets, and the ensuing profit that it yields. Results show that both data aggregation and data pruning bias demand model estimates, albeit with different effect, but both produce less profitable price sets than unbiased reference solutions. The results demonstrate the practical importance of data preprocessing as a cause for estimation bias and suboptimal pricing in retail price optimization systems.
Velázquez Martínez, José C., Jan C. Fransoo, Edgar E. Blanco and Karla B. Valenzuela (2016): A new statistical method of assigning vehicles to delivery areas for CO2 emissions reduction, Transportation Research. Part D: Transport and Environment, 43: 133-144.
Abstract: Transportation CO2 emissions are expected to increase in the following decades, and thus, new and better alternatives to reduce emissions are needed. Road transport emissions are explained by different factors, such as the type of vehicle, delivery operation and driving style. Because different cities may have conditions that are characterized by diversity in landforms, congestion, driving styles, etc., the importance of assigning the proper vehicle to serve a particular region within the city provides alternatives to reduce CO2 emissions. In this article, we propose a new methodology that results in assigning trucks to deliver in areas such that the CO2 emissions are minimized. Our methodology clusters the delivery areas based on the performance of the vehicle fleet by using the k-means algorithm and Tukey’s method. The output is then used to define the optimal CO2 truck-area assignment. We illustrate the proposed approach for a parcel company that operates in Mexico City and demonstrate that it is a practical alternative to reduce transportation CO2 emissions by matching vehicle type with delivery areas.
Shehu, Edlira, Jan U. Becker, Ann-Christin Langmaack and Michel Clement (2016): The Brand Personality of Nonprofit Organizations and the Influence of Monetary Incentives, Journal of Business Ethics, 138 (3): 589-600.
Abstract: The brand personality of nonprofit service organizations (NPO) is a focal cue for individuals engaging in pro-social behavior. However, the positive effect of brand personality on donors’ intention to engage pro-socially may be affected in cases in which NPOs provide monetary incentives to those donors. Relying on social exchange theory, the authors examine how monetary incentives and brand personality commonly affect the intention to donate and whether this effect varies based on the perceived trustworthiness of the NPO. The results of two experimental studies show that branding and incentivizing decisions should not be developed independently because monetary incentives do indeed undermine the positive effects of brand personality on the intention to donate. However, the effectiveness of incentives varies with the perceived level of trust in the NPO: highly trusted NPO services are harmed by monetary incentives, whereas less-trusted NPOs may even benefit.
Becker, Jan U., Michel Clement and Marcus Nöth (2016): Start-ups, incumbents, and the effects of takeover competition, Journal of Business Research, 69 (12): 5925-5933.
Abstract: Recent acquisitions involving Tumblr and Instagram have demonstrated that the takeover of an unlisted start-up company can offer enormous financial benefits to its (former) stakeholders. Considering the multimillion-dollar amounts paid for start-ups with no existing and highly uncertain future revenues, we investigate the process and outcome of negotiation dynamics in the context of takeovers. In a series of experiments, we show that even with a low level of uncertainty about a start-up's value and its financial resources, start-ups can influence bidders' behavior and consequently the start-ups' valuation. The results indicate that incumbents' bidding behavior is driven by the perceived threat level with respect to the start-up's business activities as well as by the uncertainty with respect to other incumbents' bidding behavior—drivers that are subject to activities by the start-ups' management. Interestingly, the effect even exists if incumbents clearly know that initiating a bidding process will very likely lead to losses.
Burkart, Christian, Maria Besiou and Tina Wakolbinger (2016): The funding—Humanitarian supply chain interface, Surveys in Operations Research and Management Science, 21 (2): 31-45.
Abstract: Humanitarian organizations (HOs) supply goods and services to people in need, using funds provided by donors supporting their mission. Funding systems, funds, and their characteristics have a very strong impact on the success of HOs in fulfilling their and donor needs. A wide variety of articles exists on humanitarian supply chain management (HSCM) and on managing and raising donations. However, a limited, yet growing, branch of literature explores topics in the new field of the interface between funding and HSC. This article provides an overview of research in this field and tries to capture how it has been developing. We achieve this overview through structuring the core issues discussed in the literature into a funding—humanitarian supply chain (HSC) interface framework. The framework leads to the identification of research gaps and promising areas for future research. The article raises awareness of the importance of carefully evaluating decisions related to funding systems and provides researchers and practitioners interested in this topic with guidance with respect to the core issues to be considered.
Nohe, Christoph and Björn Michaelis (2016): Team OCB, leader charisma, and organizational change: A multilevel study, The Leadership Quarterly, 27 (6): 883-895.
Abstract: This study examines individual-level origins of team organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB). Building on the literature on trust and social exchange theory, we hypothesize that individual-level leader charisma is indirectly related to team OCB through individual-level trust in leader. Additionally, we propose that the positive relationship between leader charisma and trust in leader is stronger under conditions of high organizational change. Based on data from 142 team members and 33 leaders, results reveal an indirect bottom-up relationship between individual-level leader charisma and team OCB through trust in leader. High change impact at the team- but not at the individual-level facilitates the positive relationship of leader charisma with trust in leader. The findings show how individual-level phenomenon can contribute to the emergence of team-level OCB.
Ulusoy, Nazan, Christina Mölders, Sebastian Fischer, Hakan Bayur, Serol Deveci, Yücel. Demiral and Wulf Rössler (2016): A Matter of Psychological Safety: Commitment and Mental Health in Turkish Immigrant Employees in Germany, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47 (4): 626-645.
Abstract: Immigration entails the risk of feeling disconnected in the receiving society, in both everyday life and the workplace. This may affect the way immigrant employees relate to their job and their workplace. In this article, we investigate the affective commitment of Turkish immigrant employees in Germany (TG) and their subsequent work engagement, mental health, and turnover intention. Specifically, we compared TG (n = 201) to both German employees in Germany (GG; n = 1,406) and Turkish employees in Turkey (TT; n = 362). Our results show that the effect of immigration background on mental health, work engagement, and turnover through affective commitment depends on the level of perceived psychological safety at the workplace, specifically in terms of an open and inclusive work climate. The results suggest that psychological safety is particularly helpful in enhancing immigrant employees’ positive attitudes toward the workplace. Our study provides new insights on the well-being of immigrant employees, specifically TG, and the different needs of diverse workforces. Given our findings, future studies should explore more deeply the positive influences that psychological safety has on minority groups and their workplace attitudes.
Koenig, Matthias and Joern Meissner (2016): Risk minimising strategies for revenue management problems with target values, Journal of Operational Research Society, 67: 402-411.
Abstract: Consider a risk-averse decision maker in the setting of a single-leg dynamic revenue management problem with revenue controlled by limiting capacity for a fixed set of prices. Instead of focussing on maximising the expected revenue, the decision maker has the main objective of minimising the risk of failing to achieve a given target revenue. Interpreting the revenue management problem in the framework of finite Markov decision processes, we augment the state space of the risk-neutral problem definition and change the objective function to the probability of failing a certain specified target revenue. This enables us to obtain a dynamic programming solution that generates the policy minimising the risk of not attaining this target revenue. We compare this solution with recently proposed risk-sensitive policies in a numerical study and discuss advantages and limitations.
Weiß, Andreas and Dimka Karastoyanova (2016): Enabling coupled multi-scale, multi-field experiments through choreographies of data-driven scientific simulations, Computing, 98 (4): 439-467.
Abstract: Current systems for enacting scientific experiments, and simulation workflows in particular, do not support multi-scale and multi-field problems if they are not coupled on the level of the mathematical model. To address this deficiency, we present an approach enabling the trial-and-error modeling and execution of multi-scale and/or multi-field simulations in a top-down and bottom-up manner which is based on the notion of choreographies. The approach defines techniques for composing data-intensive, scientific workflows in more complex simulations in a generic, domain-independent way and thus provides means for collaborative and integrated data management using the workflow/process-based paradigm. We contribute a life cycle definition of such simulations and present in detail concepts and techniques that support all life cycle phases. Furthermore, requirements on a respective software system and choreography language supporting multi-scale and/or multi-field simulations are identified, and an architecture and its realization are presented.
van Loon, Patricia, Lieven Deketele, Joost Dewaele, Alan C. McKinnon and Christine Rutherford (2016): A comparative analysis of carbon emissions from online retailing of fast moving consumer goods, Journal of Cleaner Production, 106: 478-486.
Abstract: Online retailing can lower the environmental impact of shopping under specific circumstances. As a result of the numerous variables involved, most of the studies that have compared the carbon footprints of online and conventional retailing only take a partial view. To make a more holistic assessment, this study develops a framework that accounts for all the relevant environmental factors relating to retail/e-commerce activities. Variables related to consumer shopping behaviour such as basket size, transport mode, trip length and trip frequency are included in the analysis. This framework is used to build a Life Cycle Analysis model. The model is applied to different online retail methods for fast-moving consumer goods in the United Kingdom. We find that, within the “last mile” link to the home, the nature of the consumer's behaviour in terms of travel, choice of e-fulfilment method and basket size are critical factors in determining the environmental sustainability of e-commerce. The nature and routing of van deliveries, the amount and type of packaging used, and the energy efficiency of shop and e-fulfilment centre operations are also identified as significant contributors to climate change potential. The results of this study indicate ways in which e-commerce can be made more environmentally sustainable, encouraging consumers to reduce complementary shopping trips and maximise the number of items per delivery. This study identifies the strengths and weaknesses of a range of e-retail channels and provides a basis for future research on the environmental sustainability of online retailing of fast-moving consumer goods.
Becker, Jan U. and Sönke Albers (2016): The limits of analyzing service quality data in public transport, Transportation, 43 (5): 823-842.
Abstract: In recent years, management and academics have increasingly focused on quality management in public transport. In particular, many public transport operators regularly monitor their service quality over time and use these data to assess quality performance (e.g., for performance-based quality contracts) and to determine managerial decisions (e.g., budget allocations for service improvements). However, despite the widespread applications of service quality data in practice, it is unclear whether cross-sectional analyses and cross-temporal comparisons of service quality data provide valid insights for quality management purposes. In this study, we investigate the usability of cross-sectional analyses and cross-temporal comparisons of service quality data by conducting an empirical study that tracked a panel’s perceptions of the service quality of public transport and its choice over the course of three consecutive years. The results demonstrate that cross-sectional analyses provide valid insights for quality management. However, cross-temporal comparisons should be interpreted carefully because the results of these comparisons are surprisingly unreliable. In fact, we find that service quality data do not provide reliable results over time and therefore conclude that cross-temporal comparisons of service quality data must be interpreted with caution for quality management in public transport.
Syntetos, Aris A., Ruud H. Teunter, Mohamed Z. Babai and Sandra Transchel (2016): On the benefits of delayed ordering, European Journal of Operational Research, 248 (3): 963-970.
Abstract: Abstract Practical experience and scientific research show that there is scope for improving the performance of inventory control systems by delaying a replenishment order that is otherwise triggered by generalised and all too often inappropriate assumptions. This paper presents the first analysis of the most commonly used continuous (s, S) policies with delayed ordering for inventory systems with compound demand. We analyse policies with a constant delay for all orders as well as more flexible policies where the delay depends on the order size. For both classes of policies and general demand processes, we derive optimality conditions for the corresponding delays. In a numerical study with Erlang distributed customer inter-arrival times, we compare the cost performance of the optimal policies with no delay, a constant delay and flexible delays. Sensitivity results provide insights into when the benefit of delaying orders is most pronounced, and when applying flexible delays is essential.
Ottemöller, Ole and Hanno Friedrich (2016): Opportunities of sectoral freight transport demand modelling, Case Studies on Transport Policy, 4 (1): 9-12.
Abstract: Abstract This paper discusses the opportunities of sectoral freight transport demand models. The work is based on literature and insights from interdisciplinary research in the field of production, logistics and transport. First, current and future factors influencing freight transport are discussed. Next, a brief summary of the traditional transport modelling approach and recent extensions and adaptations of freight transport models is given. As interdisciplinary research has shown, the impact of the identified factors on the development of freight transport is strongly dependent on the sector under investigation. As a consequence, this paper proposes the application of a sectoral modelling approach. The automotive and food sectors in Germany are used as examples to further examine the opportunities of sectoral freight transport demand models.
Hunter, Mark Lee, Luk N. Van Wassenhove and Maria Besiou (2016): The New Rules For Crisis Management, MIT Sloan Management Review, 57 (4): 71-78.
Abstract: The article focuses on the approach for crisis management rules in mass media industry in the U.S. Topics discussed include downsized of journalists in the U.S. and Great Britain since 2000, deployment of channels such as user forums and social media platforms like Facebook, and action taken by stakeholders to leverage key assets including frontline information, news channels, and ability to determine when and how a crisis ends.
Langen, Peter W. de, Maximiliano Udenio, Jan C. Fransoo and Reima Helminen (2016): Port connectivity indices: an application to European RoRo shipping, Journal of Shipping and Trade, 1 (6).
Abstract: In recent years, there has been significant interest in the development of connectivity indicators for ports. For short sea shipping, especially in Europe, Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo) shipping is almost equally important as container shipping. In contrast with container shipping, RoRo shipments are primarily direct, thus the measurement of its connectivity requires a different methodology. In this paper, we present a methodology for measuring the RoRo connectivity of ports and illustrate its use through an application to European RoRo shipping. We apply the methodology on data collected from 23 different RoRo shipping service providers concerning 620 unique routes connecting 148 ports. We characterize the connectivity of the ports in our sample and analyze the results. We show that in terms of RoRo connectivity, neither the number of links nor the link quality (frequency, number of competing providers, minimum number of indirect stops) strictly dominate the results of our proposed indicator. The highest ranking ports combine link quality and number. Finally, we highlight promising areas for future research based on the insights obtained.
van den Heuvel, Frank P., van Donselaar, Karel H., Langen, Peter W. de and Jan C. Fransoo (2016): Co-location synergies: specialised versus diverse logistics concentration areas, Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie = Journal of Economic and Social Geography, 107 (3): 331-346.
Abstract: Although anecdotal evidence suggests that co-location can bring about several benefits for co-located logistics companies, implying the need to incorporate such considerations in location decisions, these benefits have hardly been analysed empirically. This paper provides detailed insights for decision making by precisely analysing the synergies attained through the co-location of logistics firms in specialised and diverse logistics concentration areas. The paper analyses whether co-location in logistics concentration areas that specialise in fresh produce provides additional benefits over co-location in diverse logistics concentration areas that do not specialise in any particular type of products. A survey of managers of 127 logistics firms located in logistics concentration areas tested for differences in synergies through co-location in specialised versus diverse logistics concentration areas. Logistics firms co-located in fresh produce logistics parks share knowledge, combine transport and storage capacities, and trade products more than logistics firms co-located in diverse logistics concentration areas.
Liu, Xiaohong and Alan C. McKinnon (2016): Theory development in China-based supply chain management research: A literature review, The International Journal of Logistics Management, 27 (3): 972-1001.
Abstract: Purpose Although well established in North America and Europe, the study of supply chain management (SCM) is still at a relatively early stage in its development in China. The transformation and rapid growth of the Chinese economy has, nevertheless, created major supply chain challenges for the country making SCM a very fertile area of business research. In Western countries, research on SCM is now mature and underpinned by a solid body of theory. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which research on SCM in China has also developed a theoretical basis. Design/methodology/approach The research involved a systematic review of 150 papers published in 18 journals in the fields of SCM, logistics, operations management and marketing during the period 2004-2014. A three-step process was adopted to select appropriate journals, identify relevant articles and classify them in terms of their theoretical content. Findings The study has confirmed that, because of its unique economic, political and cultural setting, supply chain development in China has presented new research challenges. Many examples were found of researchers conducting quasi-experiments to test the applicability of established theories to Chinese supply chains while others have tried to develop new ones that are more closely aligned with the Chinese economy and management practices. Researchers have exhibited a heavy reliance on existing theories, with relatively few attempting to customise them to the Chinese context or to construct new ones. Research limitations/implications Given the broad scope of SCM, it is possible that the journal and paper selection processes have accidentally screened out relevant papers. The total sample of papers is, nevertheless, large for an explorative study of this type and should, therefore, give an overall impression of the level of theory development in Chinese SCM research. Practical implications This study provides a general framework within which to assess the application and development of theories in the Chinese SCM context. It is principally concerned with three components: the SCM phenomena studied, the Chinese business environment and the theoretical contribution of the research. The paper is targeted more at an academic audience than practitioners, though provides an overview of the research so far undertaken on SCM in China that should be of wider interest. Originality/value This study is the first of its kind to review China-based SCM research systematically from the perspective of theory development. It should support the evolution of SCM theory not only in China but also more generally.
Pottel, Steffen and Klaus Sibold (2016): Conjugate variables in quantum field theory and a refinement of Pauli’s theorem, Physical Review D, 94 (6: ID 065008).
Abstract: For the case of spin zero, we construct conjugate pairs of operators on Fock space. On states multiplied by polarization vectors, coordinate operators Q conjugate to the momentum operators P exist. In the massive case the notion of interest is derived from a geometrical quantity, the massless case is realized by taking the limit m2→0 on the one hand, on the other, starting with m2=0 directly, from conformal transformations. The norm problem of the states on which the Q’s act is crucial: the states determine eventually how many independent conjugate pairs exist. It is intriguing that (light-) wedge variables and, hence, the wedge-local case seem to be preferred.
Van Quaquebeke, Niels (2016): Paranoia as an Antecedent and Consequence of Getting Ahead in Organizations: Time-Lagged Effects Between Paranoid Cognitions, Self-Monitoring, and Changes in Span of Control, Frontiers in Psychology, 7 (1446).
Abstract: A six-month, time-lagged online survey among 441 employees in diverse industries was conducted to investigate the role paranoia plays as an antecedent and as a consequence of advancement in organizations. The background of the study is the argument that it requires active social sense-making and behavioral adaptability to advance in organizations. The present paper thus explores the extent to which employees’ paranoid cognitions—representative of a heightened albeit suspicious sense-making and behavioral adaptability—link with their advancement in organizations (operationalized as changes in afforded span of control), both as an antecedent and an outcome. Following the strategy to illuminate the process by interaction analysis, both conditions (antecedent and outcome) are examined in interaction with employees’ self-monitoring, which is considered representative of a heightened but healthy sense-making and behavioral adaptability. Results support the expected interference interaction between paranoid cognitions and self-monitoring in that each can to some degree compensate for the other in explaining employees’ organizational advancement. Reversely, changes in span of control also affected paranoid cognitions. In particular, low self-monitors, i.e. those low in adaptive sense-making, reacted with heightened paranoid cognitions when demoted. In effect, the present study is thus the first to empirically support that paranoid cognitions can be a consequence but also a prerequisite for getting ahead in organizations. Practical advice should, however, be suspended until it is better understood whether and under what circumstances paranoia may relate not only to personally getting ahead but also to an increased effectiveness for the benefit of the organization.
Schuh, Sebastian C., Niels Van Quaquebeke, Anja S. Göritz, Katherine Xin, David De Cremer and Rolf van Dick (2016): Mixed feelings, mixed blessing? How ambivalence in organizational identification relates to employees’ regulatory focus and citizenship behaviors., Human Relations, 69 (12): 2224-2249.
Abstract: Recent conceptual work suggests that the sense of identity that employees develop vis-vis their organization goes beyond the traditional notion of organizational identification and can also involve conflicting impulses represented by ambivalent identification. In this study, we seek to advance this perspective on identification by proposing and empirically examining important antecedents and consequences. In line with our hypotheses, an experimental study (N = 199 employees) shows that organizational identification and ambivalent identification interactively influence employees’ willingness to engage in organizational citizenship behavior. The effect of organizational identification on organizational citizenship behavior is significantly reduced when employees experience ambivalent identification. A field study involving employees from a broad spectrum of organizations and industries (N = 564) replicated these findings. Moreover, results show that employees’ promotion and prevention focus form differential relationships with organizational identification and ambivalent identification, providing first evidence for a link between employees’ regulatory focus and the dynamics of identification. Implications for the expanded model of organizational identification and the understanding of ambivalence in organizations are discussed.
Steinker, Sebastian, Mario Pesch and Kai Hoberg (2016): Inventory Management under Financial Distress: An Empirical Analysis, International Journal of Production Research, 54 (17): 5182-5207.
Abstract: This study analyses inventory reductions as a means of short-term financing of firms under financial distress. We use quarterly panel data of U.S. manufacturing firms for the period from 1995 to 2007. We identify a sample of 198 distressed firms for which we analyse changes in relative inventory. Approximately 70% of distressed firms reduce their inventories until the end of their individual distress periods. This decrease corresponds to a mean reduction of 18.7 inventory days or 9.4%. Additional regression analyses show that differences in inventory adjustments depend on pre-distress inventory performance, firm size, and turnaround strategy. We also compile a sample of 142 firms that defaulted to analyse inventory actions of unsuccessful turnarounds. Our findings indicate that defaulting firms also reduce their inventories but that the reductions are lower than those of firms that resolve their financial distress. We conclude that distressed firms use short-term inventory adjustments to free up cash and to achieve long-term efficiency gains from inventory optimisation. Our findings suggest that inventory optimisation is an essential part of a complete and successful turnaround strategy and financially distressed firms should always consider this action as a means to prevent bankruptcy.
Brockhaus, Sebastian, Moritz Petersen and Wolfgang Kersten (2016): A Crossroads for Bioplastics: Exploring Product Developers’ Challenges to Move Beyond Petroleum-Based Plastics, Journal of Cleaner Production, 127: 84-95.
Abstract: Bioplastics play an increasingly important role for consumer products. These new materials might increase product sustainability but they are currently confined to niche markets. While research has gained important insight into the technical challenges, few studies to date explore the behavioral aspects for product developers as they move to employ bioplastics in their development efforts. This manuscript reports the findings of a grounded inductive study based on interview data with 32 product developers in the consumer goods industry. The Theory of Planned Behavior is employed to guide the research and provide a theoretical background to derive implications. The study finds that behavioral challenges impede the increased use of bioplastics. Product developers experience a lack of perceived behavioral control and struggle with doubts about the environmental benefits and incurring trade-offs of bioplastics with respect to the Triple Bottom Line. While product developers are intrinsically motivated to make more use of bioplastics, they often refrain from bringing products to the mass market due to uncertainties of customer receptiveness and fears of greenwashing allegations. Implications for industry and research are detailed.
McKinnon, Alan C. (2016): Freight Transport Deceleration: Its Possible Contribution to the Decarbonisation of Logistics, Transport Reviews, 36 (4): 418-436.
Abstract: Abstract The paper challenges the conventional view that the movement of goods through supply chains must continue to accelerate. The compression of freight transit times has been one of the most enduring logistics trends but may not be compatible with governmental climate change policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60–80% by 2050. Opportunities for cutting CO2 emissions by ‘despeeding’ are explored within a freight decarbonisation framework and split into three categories: direct, indirect and consequential. Discussion of the direct carbon savings focuses on the trucking and deep-sea container sectors, where there is clear evidence that slower operation cuts cost, energy and emissions and can be accommodated within current supply chain requirements. Indirect emission reductions could accrue from more localised sourcing and a relaxation of just-in-time (JIT) replenishment. Acceleration of logistical activities other than transport could offset increases in freight transit times, allowing the overall carbon intensity of supply chains to reduce with minimal loss of performance. Consequential deceleration results from other decarbonisation initiatives such as freight modal split and a shift to lower carbon fuels. Having reviewed evidence drawn from a broad range of sources, the paper concludes that freight deceleration is a promising decarbonisation option, but raises a number of important issues that will require new empirical research.
Maecker, Olaf, Christian Barrot and Jan U. Becker (2016): The effect of social media interactions on customer relationship management, Business Research, 9 (1): 133-155.
Abstract: In recent years, social media have become a popular channel through which customers and companies can interact. However, companies struggle to assess whether their investments in establishing and maintaining brand pages in social media actually meet their high expectations with respect to developing and retaining customers. Based on three empirical studies, the authors explore the role of interactions through corporate social media channels, such as Facebook brand pages, in customer relationship management. The results indicate that social media interactions indeed ease the upselling efforts and reduce the risk of churn. These positive effects offset the observed increases with regard to the number of service requests and the higher overall service cost. Thus, we ultimately find customers who interact with the brand on social media to be more profitable.