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- ESSAYS ON COMMUNITY FOCUSED SUPPLY CHAINS
- Cole, Dustin
- Electronic Theses & Dissertations
Businesses are increasingly being called upon to improve their Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) performance. The need to tackle a range of concerns, both environmentally and socially, can be seen in the United Nations’ 17 development goals set forth in 2015. Beyond governments and regulators, businesses themselves are increasingly aware of the importance of addressing such issues. Two hundred of the top CEOs of the country have emphasized the importance of the role that businesses...
Show moreBusinesses are increasingly being called upon to improve their Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) performance. The need to tackle a range of concerns, both environmentally and socially, can be seen in the United Nations’ 17 development goals set forth in 2015. Beyond governments and regulators, businesses themselves are increasingly aware of the importance of addressing such issues. Two hundred of the top CEOs of the country have emphasized the importance of the role that businesses play in confronting community-related issues and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) (Murray 2019). In a series of three essays, this dissertation focuses on the social and environmental sustainability aspects of ESG, thus contributing substantially to the overall domain of sustainability. The first essay examines the impact of leader-worker disability status similarity on front-line manufacturing worker productivity using micro-data gathered from a real-world organization in Michigan. It contributes to the nascent field of inclusive operations and explores how organizations can both be profitable and inclusive of traditionally marginalized workers. The essay focuses on the moderating influence of direct supervisors with a disability on workgroup productivity as the number of workers with disabilities increases. Results suggest that a direct supervisor with a disability does indeed benefit the productivity of workers with disabilities. This benefit, however, is the mitigation of potential productivity declines as the number of workers with a disability increases in the workgroup. A follow-up qualitative study is performed to understand the mechanisms of the productivity benefit by interviewing 50 workers and supervisors with and without disabilities across three organizations. The second and third essays focus on the issue of water, a resource that is increasingly important as an environmental concern. As a resource shared between communities and firms, water is an essential component of building sustainable cities and communities.The second essay examines trade-offs and synergies experienced by organizations when reducing water use and carbon emissions using secondary panel data of large firms. Previous research has found differing results of organizations trading off carbon emissions and water. Some have found reducing one comes at the expense of the other, while other research has found organizations can reduce these two concerns jointly. This past research, though, has generally been qualitative and at the facility level, without quantitative analysis at the firm level. This research fills this gap by providing a firm-level examination of such potential trade-offs using a combination of Data Envelopment Analysis and econometric methods.The third essay uses a vignette experiment with real-world procurement professionals to examine how buyers weigh the competing environmental concerns of carbon emissions and water use reductions in the supply chain against supplier location (local vs. offshore suppliers). The results show an overwhelming preference for local suppliers with lower carbon emissions, to the extent that a supplier with a superior overall environmental performance may be passed over in pursuit of local suppliers with marginally lower carbon emissions.