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Mind the perception gap: Reconceptualising supply chain performance management

In the service industry, success often favours those who deliver higher performance and value in the eyes of their partners and/or end-customers. The performance of the delivered service, however, may not always meet the expectations of the buyer, or the service quality may be evaluated differently by the supply chain partners, leading to a performance shortfall in both cases.

Perception gap

A perception gap refers to the differences in perception among the stakeholders regarding any aspect of the supply chain relationship. But how are such gaps associated with the performance of service supply chains and any resultant performance gaps? How can service supply chain partners identify, quantify, and eliminate the perception gaps?

Above research questions have recently been studied in an international and multi-institutional collaboration project conducted by LBS researcher Dr. Sean Asian, Dr. Dawei Lu (University of Warwick), Dr. Gurdal Ertek (Abu Dhabi University), and Mete Sevinç (Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, Netherlands). Their results have been published as a research paper, entitled “Mind the perception gap: An integrative performance management framework for service supply chains”, in the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management (Impact factor 2017: 4.215).

Improving supply chain performance

In this multi-disciplinary project, the project team collaborated with a leading UK-based insurance company to improve their supply chain performance in three phases: First, they investigated the existence of perception and performance gaps along the supplier-buyer interface: Second, examined the association between the perception gaps and the performance: And, third, constructed an integrative framework that factors-in the perception gap into service supply chains and measures them through meta-KPIs.

The presented research confirmed that perception gaps do exist and can have significant association with the performance gaps along the service supply chain. The development of the presented analytical framework for quantifying the gaps extends the theoretical boundary of supply chain performance management and offers a new window to both researchers and practitioners.

Implications

Although the data tested and analysed in this research were sourced from the insurance service industry, the nature of the findings are general and can contribute to a more extensive body of knowledge from which new theories specific to supply chain management may be induced. For example, the presented methodology can be used as the computational engine behind the supply chain initiatives that aim at the identification and elimination of perception gaps. This ultimately can enable them to reduce the perceived gaps to an insignificant level through collaborative efforts, such as sharing key relevant information and synchronizing their perceptions.

Another possible implication is the analysis of data from diverse real-world cases and the observation of patterns across them. While big data is ubiquitously available and data science tools are becoming mainstream, the potential for similar research is practically unlimited. For example, unexplored primary data readily available in companies’ ERP systems (Enterprise Resource Planning), as well as additional secondary data, can be analysed through exploratory, descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive data science techniques to observe phenomena, propose hypotheses, and develop a plethora of general theory that is highly relevant, actionable, and applicable. This research can serve as an example, especially in the supply chain performance management literature, of how such a combined study can be conducted.

 

Dr. Sean (Sobhan) Asian is a management scientist and operations researcher, with special interests in exploring and solving complex Supply Chain Management, Logistics, and Transportation problems. To further discuss this research and explore any possible collaboration please directly contact Dr. Sean Asian (S.Asian@latrobe.edu.au).
 
  • The full paper can be accessed as: Dawei Lu, Sobhan Asian, Gurdal Ertek, Mete Sevinc, (2018) “Mind the perception gap: An integrative performance management framework for service supply chains”, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-09-2017-0302
  • Research collaboration between LBS and Thuongmai University

    Happy New Year! Our first article of 2019 is about Professor Simon Pervan‘s visit to the Thuongmai University, in Hanoi. He was there to discuss research collaboration and to deliver a presentation on future research focus in business, and the publication of academic research. The visit was hosted by Professor Hoang Viet Nguyen, who is the Head of Department of Research Administration. Professor Viet is overseeing a strong program in research development and he and Professor Pervan discussed opportunities for staff at both La Trobe Business School and Thuongmai to collaborate on future research projects.

     Stay tuned for more information about these opportunities.

    Professor Simon Pervan giving a presentation at Thuongmai University

    Social Robot Matilda is a big hit in classrooms

    LBS researcher Dr  Seyed Mohammed SadeghKhaksar was recently interviewed by Channel 9 News Melbourne on his research with social robot Matilda.

    Matilda

    Matilda was originally co-created by LBS’ Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovations (RECCSI) in partnership with Japan’s NEC Corporation and Kyoto University. Matilda is a communication robot with emotional intelligence. Matilda can recognise human voices and faces, detect emotions, read and recite text, dance and play music. It can read a person’s feelings by the tone in their voice and interact accordingly. Matilda was previously used successfully in aged care research. Early this year, RECCSI teamed up with Waratah Special Developmental School to trial Matilda as a classroom companion.

    Matilda in the classroom

    The current research aims to investigate how social robots like Matilda can emotionally and socially engage students with special needs (e.g. children with autism), enable them with personalised services and empower them to live more independently in classrooms. Matilda’s personalised services could be used to create a more effective teaching environment and provide tailored support to teachers and students. Dr Khaksar is the Research Project Manager and said that “this study is about assisting both teachers and students, especially those who have special needs, who face particular challenges in their learning environments.”

    According to Dr Khaksar, the results are positive. “As soon as the kids see Matilda in the classroom, their faces light up and they become more interested and engaged”. Matilda is patient, non-judgemental and interactive which allows students to form a bond with it. “The robot can speak to students, read and act out characters in books, as well as set tasks. But it can also tirelessly repeat things hundreds of times if necessary”. Matilda is not only enabling students to develop better communication, but also social and cognitive skills.

    Social Innovation

    RECCSI Research Manager and Associate Professor Debbie Chu said this type of technology is in high demand. “La Trobe is at the forefront in creating solutions for social innovation. Our hope is that La Trobe’s robotic technology, which delivers emotional assistance and companionship over physical services, will be employed widely across Australia”.

    Watch the interview: here

    Some information in this blog was originally published by LTU News

    LBS’ success at the LTU Awards 2018

    Several LBS staff have been recognised for their excellent teaching and research during the La Trobe University Staff Awards 2018.

    Teaching and Learning Awards

    Two staff members received a citation for outstanding contributions to student learning. Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh received the citation for transforming a university-wide subject, Leadership: What Matters (MGT3LWM), to inspire leadership capacities in undergraduate third year students.

    Dr Jasvir Nachatar Singh

    Dr Petrus Usmanij received a citation for providing innovative learning and teaching of real business context in capstone subjects through experiential learning and real-life problem solving.

    Dr Petrus Usmanij

    Research Excellence Awards

    Dr Daswin De Silva received the Excellence in Research Award (Mid-Career Researcher). The award is in recognition of Daswin’s outstanding contribution to La Trobe University through his work in the La Trobe Business School contributing to digital disruption, significant research income, high impact, collaborative publications and research supervision and leadership.

    Dr Daswin De Silva

    LBS congratulates Jasvir, Petrus and Daswin on their impressive achievements!

    LBS Innovation Series: World Class Masterclass(es)

    This week the LBS/NORTHLink Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum (#18IFAF) takes place. There are presentations and key notes by internationally recognised academics and several industry heavyweights such as Allan McCallum, Chair of Cann Group, James Fazzino, former CEO Incitec Pivot, and Andrea Koch from Principle Agtech. In addition, there are three world class masterclasses that you can attend:

    • Kok-Leong (KL) Ong, currently an Associate Professor in Business Analytics at LBS is giving a masterclass in Data Analytics for Food and Agribusiness. The session provides an introduction into how digital technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the digital supply chain can create opportunities to utilise data to help drive the food and agribusiness industry. KL will talk about the various digital technologies that could be used in the industry, how these technologies can enable data analytics to generate important and timely decision support and provide existing application examples.
    • Alex Maritz is LBS’ Professor of Entrepreneurship and gives a masterclass on Disruptive Lean Business Model Design. The masterclass is on the latest international trends of Innovation in AgTech, and the role of disruptive lean business model design in Agtech Start-ups. Alex will discuss areas of collaboration for impact and how innovations in FinTech are unlocking opportunities in AgTech, coupled with the importance of continual iteration in lean start-up methods.
    • Aniruddha (Ani) Desai, a Research Professor and Director of La Trobe University’s Centre for Technology Infusion, provides a masterclass on Industry 4.0 for Agribusiness. The session will provide an overview of Industry 4.0 and the global trends in advanced manufacturing and automation in context of Agribusiness that are set to transform the industry. Supported by case studies from both large and small scale operations, Ani will focus on technologies that will empower future connected farms and next generation production equipment from automated tractors and machines to farm to fork traceability and logistics technology of the future.

    The only downside is that the masterclasses run concurrently – meaning you can only choose one to attend!

    World class learning combined with exceptional value for money opportunities like this don’t come along very often. Register now to avoid disappointment: http://bit.ly/LBS_18IFAF.

     

    This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L in 2017.

    More blogs about #18IFAF:

    More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

    LBS held a successful Early Career Researcher Workshop

    Last week, Dr Shalinka Jayatilleke and Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh organised a highly successful Early Career Researcher (ECR) Workshop. It was a full day of information sessions, panel discussions and hands-on workshops with a focus on grants and funding both internally and externally. Twenty-two ECRs from LBS in Bundoora and the regions attended. LBS has the highest number of ECRs in the university meaning events such as this one are incredibly important for building a research community.

    Some of the staff involved in the ECR Workshop

    The day started with a session on building and advancing a research career through grants: The importance of grants, how to apply for grants, the opportunities and limitations of grants, but also the reality of grant success. Grant applications are highly competitive and although a researcher´s grant might meet all the criteria, it may not be competitive enough against other applications. There was a panel session around what grant assessors want and the key components of a grant application.

    A panel discussion with A/Prof Kate Webster, Prof Axel Schulz, Prof Sue Martin and Prof Lawrie Zion on grant applications

    Very insightful was the Building Collaborations and Industry Engagement session on how to build collaborations with both industry and non-industry partners and what support there is available at LTU and LBS in terms of initiating industry engagement.

    Prof Matt Nicholson discussing the importance of grants

    The session on How to Keep a Track Record was about keeping an up to date CV that can be a direct feed to a grant application. The day ended with a very positively-minded and hands-on workshop allowing ECRs to review their current research progress and success, but also discuss their plans for the future and how to actually plan for the next step.

    LBS Innovation Series: Join experts in a discussion about the future of food production and agribusiness

    How often do you get to hear from world leading robotics and autonomous systems, cereal biology, food quality and crop productivity, and nutrition, digestion and nutrient bioavailability experts talking about the implications of their research for the future of food production and agribusiness? Not very often is the short answer.

    This is the opportunity being offered at the 2018 LBS/NORTHLink Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum at La Trobe University on the 15th and 16th of November.

    Internationally recognised experts

    There are presentations from Professor Peter Corke from Queensland University of Technology, Professor Harsharn Gill from RMIT University, and Professor Tony Bacic from La Trobe University, each internationally recognised experts in their field.

    • Professor Peter Corke is a distinguished professor of robotic vision at QUT, and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision. His research is concerned with enabling robots to see, and the application of robots to mining, agriculture and environmental monitoring. Peter is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, a fellow of the IEEE, founding and associate editor of the Journal of Field Robotics, founding multi-media editor and editorial board member of the International Journal of Robotics Research, member of the editorial advisory board of the Springer Tracts on Advanced Robotics series.
    • Professor Harsharn Gill is Head of the Food Research & Innovation Centre at RMIT University. He has over 25 years experience in leading and managing food, nutrition and health R&D in private and public sectors. Prior to joining RMIT, he held senior R&D leadership roles in Australia and New Zealand, including Research Director at the Department of Primary Industries Victoria; Chair of Functional Foods & Human Health at Massey University, and Director of Milk & Health Research Centre at Fonterra, New Zealand.
    • Professor Tony Bacic is Director of the La Trobe Institute for Agriculture & Food (LIAF). He is an internationally recognized leader in plant biotechnology, with research focused on the structure, function and biosynthesis of plant cell walls and their biotechnological application as well as the application of functional genomics tools in biological systems. Prior to joining La Trobe (1996 to 2017) Tony was Personal Chair in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne and leader of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls team (2011-2017). His other leadership roles include Director Bio21 Molecular Sciences & Biotechnology Institute, Chair ARC Biological Sciences and Biotechnology & LIEF (infrastructure) Panels and Chair Biological Sciences and Biotechnology Panel of the ERA (Excellence in Research Australia).

    Besides these three, the forum presents many industry heavyweights as well such as Allan McCallum, Chair of Cann Group, James Fazzino, former CEO Incitec Pivot, and Andrea Koch from Principle Agtech.

    Agricultural technology and science revolution

    The agriculture industry is on the edge of a technology and science revolution and each of these outstanding individuals will share their research and discuss its application as a driver for the changing dynamics of the global food production and agribusiness.

    However, more than a range of presentations, the 2018 LBS/NORTHLink Innovation in Food and Agribusiness Forum promotes two-way knowledge transfer and dialogue, interactive panels, case studies, opportunities for networking, masterclasses, and direct access to cutting edge science and technology experts.

     

    Why not be part of this rare opportunity? You can learn more about the Forum and register by following this link:

    www.latrobe.edu.au/events/all/innovation-in-food-and-agribusiness

     

    This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

    More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

    Meet our new adjunct professor Stuart Kells

    Prize winning author

    Most people know Stuart is a successful author. He wrote the critically acclaimed biography of Kay Craddock, Rare, and Penguin and the Lane Brothers (Black Inc.), which won the Ashurst Australian Business Literature Prize. Stuart’s 2017 book The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders (Text) was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s General History Prize and is being published around the world. He also recently wrote a book with Professor Ian Gow on the history of the ‘Big Four’ accounting and audit firms, published by La Trobe University Press. Stuart’s shorter writings have appeared in a wide range of journals, magazines and newspapers, including The Australian Accounting Review, Economic Record, The Guardian, The Paris Review, The Times of London, The Australian Financial Review, The Australian and National Geographic Traveller Magazine.

    Research and industry career

    Not everybody might know that before becoming a successful author, Stuart used to be a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne and a member of the Centre for Regulatory Studies at Monash University. He also had senior roles in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office, PPB Advisory and KPMG. He has a PhD from Monash University (for which he received the Monash Law Dean’s Award) and a B.Comm and an M.Comm, both with first class honours, from the University of Melbourne.

    Besides becoming LBS’ adjunct professor, Stuart is a member of the Abbotsford Convent Foundation Board and the Audit and Risk Committee of Banyule Council.

    Business Newsroom asked Stuart what brings him to LBS:

     

    “My research and my books have three things in common. First, they are factual but use techniques from literary fiction, such as storytelling, and experiments with language and structure. I also write across disciplines, such as economics, finance, history, bibliography and cultural studies. Second, they are about nostalgia – for lost or threatened values, professions, institutions and objects. And third, they are irreverent and intent on busting myths.

    These emphases align well with the work and mission of the La Trobe Business School and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce. I’ve collaborated with a wide range of scholars and I’m eager to collaborate with the faculty and students of the School and the College.”

    LBS welcomes Stuart on board!

    Bringing together top researchers and leading financial industry practitioners

    From the 24th until the 26th of September, the 8th Conference on Behavioural Finance and Capital Markets (BFCM) is taking place at LTU’s City Campus. The conference presents state-of-the-art research in the fields of Behavioural Finance, Experimental Finance & Capital Markets/Market Microstructure.

    Its beginnings

    The conference started in 2011 with the idea of merging together two fields in finance: capital markets and people’s behaviour. On the one hand, capital markets (or market microstructure) is all about how financial markets are functioning, how liquid, how risky as well as how fair and efficient these markets are. On the other hand, financial markets are driven by people’s emotions and behaviour. Behavioural biases are well documented in the literature. Even financially literate people are prompt to cognitive biases. In other words, investors, traders, bankers and lenders all show such biases while making investment decisions under risk. From the outset, the BFCM Conference bought together top academics such as: Pete Kyle, Avanidhar (Subra) Subrahmanyam, Richard Roll, Peter Bossaerts, Ron Masulis, Terrence Hendershott, Stephen Brown and Tarun Chordia (among others) with industry leaders to discuss relevant topics.

    Its aim

    The conference merges academic research with the applied work of the finance industry. The conference continuously looks to identify new emerging fields of research and supports better cooperation and collaboration among researchers and between academia and industry.

    According to Founder of the BFCM Conference & LBS Professor Petko Kalev it comes down to this:

    “The research we do should not only have academic value but also practical application that impacts the finance industry and hence our society. This conference makes that happen.”

    BFCM Conference in the news

    The conference topics are always relevant. This relevance is highlighted by an article that was published this week in the Australian Financial Review. Chanticleer Tony Boyd wrote an article titled “The highs and lows of retail investing” based on an academic paper that is being presented at the BFCM Conference next week.

    The article starts with a story on Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, buying a big stake in Apple in 2016, when the stock was 10 per cent above its 12-month low. Looking back, the timing was perfect. Apple is now trading about 5 per cent below its record high. The article then discusses the idea that institutional investors often profit at the expense of retail investors who sell at the wrong time. An idea supported by the yet to be released paper by Joshua Della Vedova, Andrew Grant and Joakim Westerholm from the University of Sydney. They found that retail investors often sell at the 52-week high because it is a domain for gains and provides an anchor for the highest past price.

    Read the full article by Tony Boyd here.

     

    Visit the BFCM Conference website for more information.

    LBS’ collaboration with the Research Centre for China Industry-University-Research Institute

    As part of the La Trobe University China Studies Research Centre program, Professor Alex Maritz from LBS recently visited Wuhan University’s Research Centre for China Industry-University-Research Institute. The collaboration’s aim is to improve the volume and quality of joint research with China-based researchers, and help La Trobe staff better understand China through improved access to China-based scholarship.

    Universities’ initiatives

    After meeting with Professor Li Yanping, Director of the China Research Centre (CRC) and her staff, a heads of agreement was developed. This included the launch of the Journal of Industry University Collaboration (Emerald Publishing), research studies on Entrepreneurship ecosystems, and ongoing engagement and collaboration between LBS and the CRC.  Professor Yanping is the Editor-In-Chief of the journal, and Professor Maritz the inaugural Honorary Editor. The aim of the journal is to publish research for an international audience covering theory, empirical research and practice in the field of cooperation and innovation between industry and universities. The collaboration will also enhance research initiatives between the institutions, such as PhD student exchange, seminars and online initiatives.

    The largest Industry-University-Research Centre

    Similar to La Trobe University, Wuhan University is ranked in the Top 300 Universities according to ARWU, QS and THE. Wuhan University’s Research Center for China Industry-University-Research Institute is the largest and most prolific Industry-University-Research Centre in China, and Wuhan University is ranked in the top 8 Universities in the Republic of China (ROC), similar to the Australian Group of Eight (Go8).

     

    LBS’ Professor of entrepreneurship, Alex Maritz, and Professor Li Yanping, Director of CRC, celebrating the new collaboration and engagement initiatives between the two institutions.

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