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Hartmann J.,EBS University for business and law | Moeller S.,Roehampton University
Journal of Operations Management | Year: 2014

When it becomes publicly known that products are associated with suppliers that engage in unsustainable behaviors, consumers protest, as Nestlé, Zara, and Kimberly Clark, among others, have learned. The phenomenon by which consumers hold firms responsible for the unsustainable behavior of their upstream partners suggests the notion of "chain liability." This study aims to generate insights into the antecedents and consequences of such consumer responsibility attributions. Using data from four vignette-based survey experiments, the authors find that the chain liability effect increases if an environmental degradation incident (1) results from supplier behavior rather than force majeure, (2) results from a company decision rather than the decision of an individual employee, and (3) is more severe. Responsibility attributions do not differ with varying organizational distance from the supplier, firm size, strategic importance of the supplied product, or the existence of environmental management systems. The chain liability effect also creates strong risks for the focal firm; higher responsibility attributions increase consumers' anger and propensity to boycott. Therefore, firms should work to ensure sustainable behavior throughout the supply chain, to protect them from chain liability. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Urbach N.,EBS University for business and law | Wurz T.,Horvath and Partner GmbH
Business and Information Systems Engineering | Year: 2012

IT executives entering into information technology (IT) outsourcing arrangements seek various strategic, economic, and technological benefits. However, although several cases of IT outsourcing are considered successful, cases of failure can also be observed. Problems and challenges associated with IT outsourcing often not only relate to the strategic decision whether or not to outsource, but to the operational level as well. Especially organizations with little experience of implementing larger IT outsourcing programs face problems with the steering of external outsourcing providers. In this paper, we propose a reference framework that structures the required processes for an effective steering of IT outsourcing relationships. The research is based on the design science paradigm in information systems research. In a first step,we derive a framework from related literature and knowledge in this particular area. We then undertake extensive fieldwork, including expert interviews and field studies to evaluate our framework and to develop it further. The suggested framework proves to be a viable instrument to support the systematic analysis of current processes and the definition of suitable target processes for the steering of IT outsourcing programs. This paper's primary contribution therefore lies in providing an applicable instrument for practitioners as well as in extending the existing body of knowledge on IT outsourcing governance. © 2012 Gabler Verlag.

Protopappa-sieke M.,EBS University for business and law | Seifert R.W.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
International Journal of Services and Operations Management | Year: 2011

Financial supply chain management and working capital management are increasingly under the spotlight as effective approaches to optimising working capital levels and directing cash flows. Especially in a multiproduct environment, efficient working capital allocation can boost company performance, achieve significant cost savings and demonstrate risk-pooling benefits. In this paper, we focus on the interrelation of working capital and stocking decisions for functional, innovative and heterogeneous product portfolios. We analyse the effect of demand correlation, lead time, payment delays, portfolio sizes, and service level constraints for multiproduct portfolios. Due to the dynamic nature of working capital, we resort to simulation in order to derive managerial insights. Our results attest the importance of payment delays on the profitability of a company. In addition, we demonstrate risk-pooling benefits from a financial perspective. © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Tyssen A.K.,EBS University for business and law | Wald A.,France Business School | Spieth P.,EBS University for business and law
International Journal of Project Management | Year: 2014

Projects as a form of temporary organizing are different from standard organizational processes. Due to their temporary and unique nature, projects are characterized by discontinuous personal constellations and work contents. Although leadership research has called for a consideration of context factors and their effects on leadership, leadership in a temporary setting has hardly been investigated. We therefore extend transactional and transformational leadership theory by looking at it from the perspective of the temporary organization. We develop a research model with testable propositions on the effects of the temporary organizations' characteristics on leadership and on followers' commitment in projects. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.

Friebe C.A.,EBS University for business and law | Friebe C.A.,Sustainable Business Institute SBI | Von Flotow P.,Sustainable Business Institute SBI | Taube F.A.,EBS University for business and law
Energy Policy | Year: 2014

This study challenges the implicit assumption of homogeneity in national institutional contexts made in past studies of (renewable) energy policy. We propose that institutional differences matter by focusing on several technology-specific and generic policy factors that can foster technology diffusion through private sector activity. More specifically, we explore perceptions of early adopters in emerging economy contexts using wind park project developers as an example. By applying a parsimonious method for our questionnaire as well as qualitative data we make several contributions: Methodologically, we introduce Maximum Difference Scaling to the energy policy domain. Empirically, we identify several public influences on private investment, and assess their relative importance. This leads to new insights challenging findings from industrialized economies; we identified additional institutional barriers to diffusion, hence, the requirement of a combination of technology-specific and generic policy measures. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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