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Title:Three essays in sustainable operations management with implications for the triple bottom line
Author(s):Murali, Karthik
Director of Research:Petruzzi, Nicholas C; Lim, Michael K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Petruzzi, Nicholas C.; Lim, Michael K
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Agrawal, Anupam; Chhajed, Dilip
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sustainable Operations Management
Triple Bottom Line
Abstract:We are in a state of overshoot; the human population today consumes natural resources at a rate that exceeds what the planet can sustainably provide in the long term (Meadows et al., 2004). Two key causes of this overshoot are the overconsumption of natural resources, and the reluctance or inability of society to remedy this overconsumption through the appropriate use and deployment of technology and management practices. In this light, the work contained in this dissertation is intended to explore potential solutions that operations management can provide to mitigate the impact of these two causes of overshoot. Therefore, in the spirit of the Triple Bottom Line (3BL) framework for sustainability, we evaluate environmental and social, along with the economic implications of strategic and operational decisions in the contexts of natural resource management and green product development in this dissertation. Freshwater is an invaluable resource to all life on earth. Groundwater reservoirs, an important source of freshwater, are drying up across the United States and the globe, creating a severe mismatch in the supply and demand of freshwater. Two new management paradigms have cropped up in recent years to remedy this mismatch: water trading and privatization. The first essay in this dissertation explores the impact of these paradigms on groundwater management and the ensuing 3BL implications. Voluntary green product development has emerged as a viable alternative to the traditional 'command and control' approach for environmental regulation. The second essay in this chapter addresses a producer's problem of labeling its product to communicate its environmental attributes that are otherwise invisible to consumers. The key objectives of this essay are to identify the efficacy of external ecolabeling agencies and the role of producer credibility in stimulating green product development and its resulting benefits from a 3BL perspective. The final essay in this dissertation explores the phenomenon of pre-competitive collaboration between firms in the context of green product development. In it, we identify the motivation for and the 3BL implications of horizontal R&D collaboration between competing supply chains as well as vertical collaboration within a supply chain through cost-sharing.
Issue Date:2015-07-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Karthik Murali
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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