Professor Maria Besiou, PhD

Professor of Humanitarian Logistics

Publications

Journal Articles (Peer-Reviewed)

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1111/jiec.12297

Abstract: Photovoltaic (PV) waste is expected to significantly increase. However, legislation on producer responsibility for the collection and recovery of PV panels is limited to the European Union (EU) Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive Recast, which lays down design, collection, and recovery measures. Academic knowledge of closed-loop supply chains (CLSCs) for PV panels is scarce. We analyze the supply chain using multiple cases involving the main stakeholders in the design, production, collection, and recovery of PV panels. Our article answers two research questions: How does the PV supply chain operate, and what are critical factors affecting the reverse supply chain management of used panels? Our research seeks to fill the gap in the CLSC literature on PV panels, as well as to identify barriers and enablers for PV panel design, collection, and recycling.

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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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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: 10.1007/s11573-012-0643-3

Abstract: The world becomes increasingly complex and problems tend to be broader and multidisciplinary. At the same time, OR/MS research seems to be narrowing down, building even more on analytical models. The flip side is the risk that OR/MS is increasingly diverging from reality and that its dominant paradigm becomes insufficient to guide us in understanding and solving complicated real-world problems. A methodology that allows a broader insight into exploring a complex system’s behaviour is urgently needed to guide OR/MS analytical models. We propose system dynamics as a methodology to link reality with the dominant OR/MS paradigm of narrowly focused and highly analytical models.

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Abstract: Large-scaled construction projects with their complex logistical processes of transport, handling and storage material to site, on site and from site bear significant environmental impacts. Such impacts include use of land, production of waste and emissions. In this paper, we investigate—by using a case study approach—how a well-planed implemented material management can affect efficiency in construction logistics focusing on logistics of disposal. The motivation behind this research is to examine the ecological and economic impact of construction logistics on waste management on site, when construction logistics is planned and determined in the early planning phase of a refurbishment project. We find that the implementation of a waste management plan can reduce environmental impacts, specifically increasing the efficiency of logistics of disposal by approximately 9 %, but it is associated with higher costs. The findings gained from this single case study research lead to case-study-specific recommendations for practitioners and regulators in the construction logistics area.

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Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00573.x

Abstract: Regulatory measures that hold producers accountable for their products at end of life are increasingly common. Some of these measures aim at generating incentives for producers to design products that will be easier and cheaper to recover at the postconsumer stage. However, the allocation of recovery costs to individual producers, which can facilitate realization of the goals of these policies, is hindered by the practical barrier of identification and/or sorting of the products in the waste stream. Technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) can be used for brand or model recognition in order to overcome this obstacle. This article assesses the read rate of RFID technology (i.e., the number of successful retrievals of RFID tag data [“reads”] in a given sample of tagged products) and the potential role of RFID tags in the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) at current levels of technical development.We present the results of RFID trials conducted at a civic amenity site in the city of Limerick, Ireland. The experiment was performed for fixed distances up to 2 meters on different material substrates. In the case of white goods (i.e., large household appliances), a 100% read rate was achieved using an RFID handheld reader. High read rates were also achieved for mixed WEEE. For a handheld scan of a steel cage containing mixed WEEE, read rates varied from 50% to 73% depending on the ultrahigh frequency (UHF) metal mount tag employed and the relative positioning of the tags within the cage.These results confirm that from a technical standpoint, RFID can achieve much greater brand or model identification than has been considered feasible up to now, and thus has a role to play in creating a system that allocates recovery costs to individual producers.

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Copy reference link   DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.1832522

Abstract: This article considers how “stakeholder media” – media produced and controlled by stakeholders with the purpose of affecting public opinion or opinions of other actors toward issues or organisations – can exert powerful influences on firms by setting the public agenda and framing a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in ways desirable for those stakeholders. We observe that research on agenda-setting, which is very largely based on studies of the traditional news media, generally ignores the increasingly powerful reach and impact of media controlled by stakeholders. Hence, based on a case study of BP’s CSR campaign “Beyond Petroleum”, we propose a new model that addresses agenda setting by stakeholder media. The model captures distinct agenda setting as well as framing techniques used by stakeholder media to put pressure on BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” rebranding campaign. We thus aim to advance extant agenda setting concepts, by demonstrating how stakeholder media ultimately exert different and in some ways stronger influence on firms than traditional news media.

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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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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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Journal Articles (Professional)

Book Chapters

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-29791-0_22

Abstract: Sustainability issues are becoming more complex. Private companies respond to the new challenges with the pursuit of corporate social responsibility. One way to contribute to society and to deal with the increased pressure is by engaging in cross-sector partnerships with nonprofit organizations. But under which conditions are these partnerships successful? Using a multiple case research design we study the challenges in the process of creating sustainable value for supply chains through cross-sector partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit organizations operating in developing countries. The chapter answers two research questions: (1) What are the challenges affecting the success of cross-sector partnerships to create sustainable value? (2) How can these challenges be addressed by Operations Management (OM)/Supply Chain Management (SCM) research?

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