WHU General

Research Award for Assistant Professor Jiachun Lu

The award goes to Professor Kaufmann’s research team for the fourth time since 2016

Assistant Professor Dr. Jiachun Lu received the IPSERA Best Doctoral Dissertation Award 2021 for her work on “An Exploration of the Role of Advice Exchanges in Supply Management”. IPSERA, the International Purchasing and Supply Education and Research Association, is the leading worldwide multi-disciplinary network of academics and practitioners dedicated to the development of knowledge concerning Purchasing and Supply Management. The Best Doctoral Dissertation Award 2021 was given to Jiachun Lu during the 30th of the annual IPSERA conference.

Her dissertation on “An Exploration of the Role of Advice Exchanges in Supply Management” is honored with this year’s doctoral dissertation award because of its theoretical contributions and practical relevance. In particular, it contributes to three distinct research streams (i.e., buyer–supplier negotiations, cross-functional sourcing team and multi-tier sustainable SCM) and draws managers’ attention to the impact of informal advice, which is broadly present in everyday organizational interactions, in an array of of critical SCM areas. Taking informal advice as a behavioral lens, this dissertation also adds to the broader behavioral research stream in SCM and at the same time sheds light on its under-tapped potential.

The awards committee, which consisted of professors from the United States, Finland, Italy, France, and Spain judged all dissertations written at universities worldwide along the criteria of originality, rigor, research contributions, and practical impact.

As a doctoral candidate in the SCM Group, Jiachun’s work was supervised by Professor Dr. Lutz Kaufmann. This is the fourth time that this prestigious worldwide award goes to a member of his research team with Jiachun Lu following Barbara Yilmaz (2016), Claudia Wagner (2017), and Jens Esslinger (2019).

The main findings of Jiachun Lu's dissertation:

Informal advice is the common thread that connects the three core articles of the dissertation, with each revolving around one distinct topic.

  • The first article empirically investigates whether and how informal collegial advice impacts an advice-receiving supply manager’s interaction with external business partners from an ethical perspective.
  • The second article puts supply managers’ internal interactions in the limelight, examining how informal collegial advice affects their ensuing formal collaborations in a cross-functional sourcing team.
  • The third article shifts the focus from intraorganizational to interorganizational setup, with the guiding question on how advice between members of organizations (buyers and suppliers) can influence the spread of sustainability practices in supply chains.

Two articles have already been published in leading journals of the supply chain management discipline (Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management and Journal of Supply Chain Management).