Prof. Dr. Erik van Raaij awards IPSERA Best Doctoral Dissertation Award
Dr. Barbara Wichmann received the IPSERA Best Doctoral Dissertation Award 2016 for her work titled “Implementing environmental supply chain management initiatives: A social network perspective.” IPSERA, the International Purchasing and Supply Education and Research Association, is a worldwide multi-disciplinary network of academics and practitioners dedicated to the development of knowledge concerning purchasing and supply management. The Best Doctoral Dissertation Award 2016 was given to Barbara Wichmann during the 25th annual IPSERA conference.
In his laudatory speech, professor Erik van Raaij, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Chairman of the Award Committee, explained that all the dissertations submitted for the award were judged along the criteria of originality, rigor, and scientific and practical impact. The award committee consisted of professors from the United States, Finland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. For this year’s award, the committee evaluated and chose from among dissertations that were written at universities in North America, Asia, and Europe. According to Professor van Raaij, two of the dissertations that were ranked among the top three by all members of the award committee were from WHU. These dissertations were written by Barbara Wichmann and Gavin Meschnig, both of whom, as PhD candidates in the SCM Group, were supervised by Professor Dr. Lutz Kaufmann.
SCM research increasingly is turning away from the “what“ and the “why“ in terms of sustainability and focusing on the “how“: How can barriers in implementing environmental initiatives be overcome? How can the positive effects of such projects be realized quickly and fully? Barbara Wichmann’s empirical work yielded significant theoretical contributions and recommendations for managers. Because environmental initiatives typically are cross-functional in nature, Barbara employed the methodology of social network analysis (SNA) to allow for a holistic perspective. The highly complex nature of the methodology can present challenges: The methodology requires full and precise mapping of real social networks. Barbara’s capacity to produce meaningful findings and to be awarded for her efforts is a tribute to her great skill in dealing with such complexity.