Prof. Maria Besiou, PhD

Professor of Humanitarian Logistics

Maria Besiou is Professor of Humanitarian Logistics at Kühne Logistics University. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Operations Management from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) in Greece. She holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from AUTH. Before joining KLU she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Social Innovation Centre at INSEAD, France.

Besiou’s specialization is on the field of sustainable supply chain management. Her main research interests are in humanitarian logistics, closed-loop supply chains and stakeholder media. She studies dynamic complex systems, characterized by multiple actors and feedbacks, in a strategic level rendering system dynamics methodology an appropriate tool. Her research focuses on the decision-making of commercial companies and humanitarian organizations, while managing their supply chains. It has been motivated by real problems that these supply chains face such as regulations, limitation of resources, stochasticity, decentralization and monitoring by online communities. Hence, the insights that arise from her research can be transferred to policy-makers and decision-makers dealing with supply chain issues.

As a researcher, she is currently involved in the Research Institute on Leadership and Operations in Humanitarian Aid (RILOHA), which seeks to enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian aid via psychological insights, and the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre, which is an inclusive platform for cross-disciplinary research, education, projects and engagement in the area of Business in Society.

Her research appears in several case studies and peer-review international journals like Production and Operations Management (POM), Journal of Business Ethics (JBE), California Management Review (CMR), European Journal of Operational Research (EJOR) and the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (JHLSCM). She has also presented her work at major international academic and practitioner conferences and workshops.

Besiou currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (JHLSCM), as a Senior Editor of the Disaster Management Department (DMD) of Production and Operations Management (POM), and on the editorial review boards of Journal of Operations Management (JOM) and Production and Operations Management (POM).

Contact

Tel: +49 40 328707-266
Fax: +49 40 328707-109
maria.besiou@the-klu.org

Networks

Selected Publications

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1111/poms.12215

Abstract: The work of international humanitarian organizations (IHOs) frequently involves operating in remote locations, decentralized decision-making, and the simultaneous implementation of development and disaster response programs. A large proportion of this work is funded by “earmarked” donations, since donors often exhibit a preference for the programs they are willing to fund. From extensive research involving qualitative descriptions and quantitative data, and applying system dynamics methodology, we model vehicle supply chains (VSCs) in support of humanitarian field operations. Our efforts encompass the often-overlooked decentralized environment by incorporating the three different VSC structures that IHOs operate, as well as examining the entire mix of development and disaster response programs, and the specific (and virtually unexplored) effects of earmarked funding. Our results suggest that earmarked funding causes a real—and negative—operational impact on humanitarian disaster response programs in a decentralized setting.

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Copy reference link   DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2011.11.030

Abstract: Nowadays, especially in developed countries, the traditional collection of end-of-use products by scavengers has been displaced by formal waste recovery systems. However, scavenging still exists, especially in places with collection capacity shortages and/or low living standards. Besides its obvious social implications, the financial and environmental aspects of scavenging are certainly not trivial. Informal recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) by scavengers not only constrains profits of the formal system. In their effort to recover the value of end-of-use products, scavengers also pollute the environment if toxic substances leak when WEEE is not properly disposed of. We investigate the impact of scavenging on the operations of the formal recovery system of WEEE, under three regulatory measures, using system dynamics methodology. By using data from a real world closed-loop supply chain that operates in Greece extended numerical experimentation revealed that a legislation incorporating scavengers into the formal waste recovery system (instead of either ignoring or prohibiting their participation) is beneficial for economical, environmental and social sustainability.

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Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1956-z

Abstract: This article seeks to model the agenda-setting strategies of stakeholders equipped with online and other media in three cases involving protests against multinational corporations (MNCs). Our theoretical objective is to widen agenda-setting theory to a dynamic and nonlinear networked stakeholder context, in which stakeholder-controlled media assume part of the role previously ascribed to mainstream media (MSM). We suggest system dynamics (SD) methodology as a tool to analyse complex stakeholder interactions and the effects of their agendas on other stakeholders. We find that largely similar dynamics of interactions occur among stakeholders in these cases, and that the costs for managements of maintaining their agendas steadily rises. We conclude that the “web of watchdogs” comprises a powerful reason for managers to engage in responsibility negotiations with their stakeholders.

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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.

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Academic Positions

since November 2013

Associate Professor of Humanitarian Logistics, Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg
Visiting Scholar at INSEAD Social Innovation Centre

2012 - October 2013

Assistant Professor of Logistics, Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg
Visiting Scholar at INSEAD Social Innovation Centre

2009 - 2011

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Social Innovation Centre at INSEAD, France 

2005 - 2009

Ph.D. Candidate in Operations Management, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece

2004 - 2009

Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Mechanical Engineering, AUTH, Greece

Education

2009

Ph.D., Operations Management, Department of Mechanical Engineering, AUTH, Greece. 
Specialization: Supply Chain Management. 
Dissertation: The Impact of Environmental and Economical Sustainability on the Operations of Manufacturing Systems using the Methodology Tool of System Dynamics.
Advisors: Patroklos Georgiadis (Chair), George Tagaras, Eleftherios Iakovou

2004

Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (M.Sc. Equivalent), Department of Mechanical Engineering AUTH, Greece

Best paper award of the POMS 26th Annual Conference for the Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management track (2015)

Maria Besiou received the best paper award of the POMS 26th Annual Conference for the Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management track for her article (together with Laura Turrini and Joern Meissner) "Understanding Fundraising in Humanitarian Supply Chains".

Best paper award of the POMS 23rd Annual Conference for the Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management track (2012)

Maria Besiou received the best paper award of the POMS 23rd Annual Conference for the Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management track for her article (together with Afonso Pedraza-Martinez and Luk Van Wassenhove) “Decentralization and Earmarked Funding in Humanitarian Logistics for Relief and Development”.

Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence (2012)

An article by Maria Besiou (with Orla Stapleton and Luk Van Wassenhove) entitled “System dynamics for humanitarian operations” published in the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 78-103, 2011) has been chosen as one of that journal’s Highly Commended Award Winners at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2012.

since 2016

President of the College of Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management (HOCM) at the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS)

since 2015

Founding Member, Member of the Board and Coordinator of the Association of European Operational Research Societies (EURO) Working Group on Humanitarian Operations (HOpe)

since Sept. 2013

VP of the Hellenic Chapter of System Dynamics Society

2013 - 2015

Vice President of Outreach of the College of Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management (HOCM) at the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS)"

2008 - Aug. 2013

Treasurer of the Hellenic Chapter of System Dynamics Society

 

The humanitarian logistics database has been compiled for the convenience and efficiency of researchers and students in the field of Humanitarian Operations. Papers have been categorised according to methodologies used in research, topic of study (i.e. 'Fleet management' or 'Inventory management') and type of program from the disaster cycle (i.e.'development'). Books and book chapters can be found by searching for the author’s last name. The categories can be found in the links on the side of the page.