Amrou Awaysheh

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Integrating Sustainability Into Your Life

Professor Amrou Awaysheh has managed and participated in over 65 global corporate social responsibility initiatives with various Fortune 500 companies. These projects help companies achieve their net zero targets as they work towards being regenerative companies. These projects specifically addressed how companies integrate environmental sustainability within their operations and supply chains, by eliminating waste to landfills, decreasing energy consumption and carbon emissions, reducing water extraction, and improving stakeholder livelihoods. The cumulative impact of these projects resulted in savings of over $2.1 billion and revenue increases of over $1.3 billion. In addition to these financial impacts, these projects had a positive impact on the environment. To date, the combined impact that these projects have is that they prevented over 29.7 million tons of CO2 emissions, diverted over 5.6 million tons of waste and plastics from landfills, prevented the extraction of 110 billion gallons of water, and reduced over 135 trillion BTU’s (British Thermal Units) of energy.

Professor Awaysheh's translation of research into environmental business sustainability solutions is another excellent example of how IUPUI's faculty members are TRANSLATING their RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE.

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 14
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    Performance Feedback and Productivity: Evidence from a Field Experiment
    (Wiley, 2022) Awaysheh, Amrou; Bonet, Rocio; Ortega, Jaime; Kelley School of Business - Indianapolis
    We theorize that employees use the performance feedback they receive to reassess their beliefs about the marginal benefit of their effort, which may lead them to increase or reduce their effort. To test our model, we conduct a field experiment at the distribution center of a Fortune 500 firm where employees receive individual performance pay, and we study two types of feedback, individual and relative. The results show that employees react to feedback content in a way that is consistent with the model: they increase their effort if the information provided implies that the marginal benefit of increasing effort is high and decrease it if they learn that it is low. Moreover, performance feedback has a greater impact on the lower quantiles of the distribution of productivity.
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    Does Renewable Energy Renew the Endeavor in Energy Efficiency?
    (2022-03-29) Awaysheh, Amrou; Chen, Christopher; Wu, Owen Q.
    Improvement in energy efficiency (EE) has slowed globally since 2015 and is now falling short of the 2.6% per year target recommended by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, despite an abundance of EE opportunities. Barriers to EE have existed long before the rise in renewable energy (RE) investment. However, increased RE adoption may have unintended consequences for improving EE as adoption may raise or lower the barriers to EE. In this paper, we examine whether and how RE adoption can increase or decrease EE improvement. On the one hand, RE represent a competitor to EE for managerial attention and budget. On the other, the adoption of RE may increase the overall awareness of energy usage and drive EE improvement. Using site-level data from an industrial conglomerate, we estimate the impact of changes in RE usage and in the acquisition approach on the EE of 183 manufacturing sites across the globe from 2015 to 2020. On average, we find that using RE to meet 10% more of a site’s energy demand led to an additional 2.0% improvement in EE. However, there is significant heterogeneity in the effects depending on the acquisition approach. We find that while purchasing RE credits or entering into power purchase agreements led to gains in EE, installing on-site RE generators had no effect. To understand these gains, we surveyed site managers regarding their attitudes and intentions. The results suggest that there was a greater focus on EE by both managers and workers after increasing their RE usage. We also find quantitative evidence of managers submitting more budget requests for EE improvements in the twelve months following increases in RE. For corporations looking to use more RE, we offer evidence of additional returns in the form of energy savings, but realizing them requires careful consideration of the acquisition approach of RE.
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    Making Theoretically Informed Choices in Specifying Panel-Data Models
    (Wiley, 2021) Ketokivi, Mikko; Bromiley, Philip; Awaysheh, Amrou
    We argue that in analyzing panel-data econometric models, researchers rely excessively on statistical criteria to determine model specification, treating it primarily as a matter of statistical inference. This inferential emphasis is most obvious in the common practice of using statistical tests (e.g., the Hausman test) to choose between fixed- and random-effects specifications, often ignoring the assumptions underpinning these tests. For instance, the Hausman test depends on the true within-panel (longitudinal) and between-panel (cross-sectional) parameters being equal. This assumption is often not justified, because longitudinal and cross-sectional variances and covariances may manifest different underpinning mechanisms. In addition to different mechanisms often resulting in different variables determining within and between effects, within and between variables may also have different meanings. To help researchers make theoretically informed choices, we formulate five questions that can guide researchers to think of model specification in a theoretically rigorous way. We examine these issues with examples from both general management and operations management research. Importantly, we argue that addressing the questions regarding model specification must involve primarily theoretical and contextual judgment, not statistical tests.
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    On the relation between corporate social responsibility and financial performance
    (Wiley, 2020) Awaysheh, Amrou; Heron, Randall A.; Perry, Tod; Wilson, Jared I.; Kelley School of Business
    Research Summary This study reexamines the relation between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and financial performance by benchmarking firms against industry peers in a given year to identify best-in-class and worst-in-class firms. We also address distributional issues when using CSR ratings (clustering of CSR scores around the median and material differences across industries and time) and financial performance ratios (the possible influence of extreme values). We find that the best-in-class firms outperform their industry peers in terms of operating performance and have higher relative market valuations (Tobin's Q). When we control for endogeneity, we find that the significant relation between operating performance and CSR categories disappears, calling into question whether this relation is causal. However, we continue to find that best-in-class firms receive higher relative market valuations than industry peers. Managerial Summary The conflicting evidence on the relation between CSR and firm performance may influence a manager's decision to invest in CSR activities and an investor's decision to invest in a firm. Our research provides managers and investors with important implications regarding the value of relative benchmarking. Managers should understand that expectations of CSR performance evolve over time and that investors place higher valuations on the best-in-class CSR firms within an industry.
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    Emerging economy sourcing: Implications of supplier social practices for firm performance
    (Elsevier, 2019-12) Shafiq, Asad; Johnson, Fraser; Awaysheh, Amrou; Kelley School of Business - Indianapolis
    As firms search the world for suppliers that provide the best combination of cost, quality and latest technology, they have been confronted with the challenges of managing the sustainability performance of their global supply chains. Specifically, companies have come under increased scrutiny from various stakeholder groups for the labour and human rights practices of suppliers located in emerging economies. Drawing on the sustainability, supplier relationship management, and stakeholder literature, this research examines the relationship between emerging economy sourcing, the use of purchasing teams, and the impact on enforcement of supplier social practices, and firm financial performance. Using data from a survey and archival sources from a sample of large U.S. firms, findings confirm the mediated role of the use of purchasing teams resulting in better enforcement of supplier social practices and improved firm performance. Findings also provide important implications for supply chain and purchasing executives. While the results of this research demonstrate the performance benefits of sourcing from emerging economies, findings also suggest that organizations should make investments to support capabilities related to enforcement of supplier social practices. Opportunities for future research are also identified.
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    Utilizing e-business technologies in supply chains: The impact of firm characteristics and teams
    (Elsevier, 2007-11) Johnson, P. Fraser; Klassen, Robert D.; Leenders, Michiel R.; Awaysheh, Amrou
    This paper presents findings from an exploratory study that analyzes the drivers and outcomes of e-business technology use in the supply chain. Using a combination of case studies and survey data from a diverse sample of industries, the research examines how industry context, firm characteristics and firm-level strategic resources, such as purchasing teams, influence the exploitation of e-business technologies and the relationship between e-business technology use and firm performance. Based on a synthesis of related literatures from transaction cost economics and the relational view of the supply chain, a two-dimensional framework for e-business technology is proposed with transactional and relational dimensions. However, empirical analysis indicated that transactional technologies can be further subdivided into two factors: dyadic cooperation and price determination. Significant differences were found between the two dimensions in terms of their overall levels of adoption, with dyadic coordination being the most widely adopted. In addition, the development of strategic resources expanded, in particular internal and customer teams, the use of e-business technologies expanded. Purchasing organizational structure and firm size also were positively related to the adoption of transactional e-business technologies. Finally, of particular importance to practitioners, e-business technologies targeted at reducing dyadic coordination costs lead to improved financial performance.
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    Supply organizations in North America: A 24 year perspective on roles and responsibilities 1987–2011
    (Elsevier, 2014-06) Johnson, P. Fraser; Shafiq, Asad; Awaysheh, Amrou; Leenders, Michiel
    The recent completion of a major survey of 249 large North American supply organizations in 2011 permits a longitudinal perspective on supply roles and responsibilities over a 24 year period. The latest survey complements three earlier CAPS studies in 1987, 1995 and 2003, thereby providing a valuable opportunity to examine trends and changes over time. Data was collected from 112 firms that responded in 2003 and 2011, which included 53 firms that responded in 1995, 2003 and 2011 and 24 firms that responded to all four surveys. Major areas of investigation included supply organizational structure, purchase category and supply chain responsibilities, supply involvement in major corporate activities, teams, and CPO reporting line, title and background. Findings indicate that the pace of organizational change remains high, which can represent significant challenges for supply executives. Cluster analysis was used to assess the relationship between supply organizational changes and firm performance. Firms in the “underperforming” category more frequently changed their supply organizational structure, and these changes were more likely directed towards greater centralization, compared to the “growing” and “profitable” clusters. Findings provide important implications for supply executives and opportunities for future research are also identified.
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    The impact of supply chain structure on the use of supplier socially responsible practices
    (Emerald, 2010-12) Awaysheh, Amrou; Klassen, Robert D.
    Purpose – This paper seeks to explore the integration of social issues in the management of supply chains from an operations management perspective. Further, this research aims to develop a set of scales to measure multiple dimensions of supplier socially responsible practices. Finally, the paper examines the importance of three dimensions of supply chain structure, namely transparency, dependency and distance, for the adoption of these socially responsible practices. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on literature from several theoretical streams, current best‐practice in leading firms and emerging international standards, four dimensions of supplier socially responsible practices were identified. Also, a multi‐dimensional conceptualization of supply chain structure, including transparency, dependency and distance, was synthesized from earlier research. Using this conceptual development, a large‐scale survey of plant managers in three industries in Canada provided an empirical basis for validating these constructs, and then assessing the relationships between structure and practices. Findings – Multi‐item scales for each of the four dimensions of supplier socially responsible practices were validated empirically: supplier human rights; supplier labour practices; supplier codes of conduct; and supplier social audits. Increased transparency, as reflected in greater product visibility by the end‐consumer was related to increased use of supplier human rights, which in turn can help to protect a firm's brands. Organizational distance, as measured by the total length of the supply chain (number of tiers in the supply chain), was related to increased use of multiple supplier socially responsible practices. Finally, as the plant was positioned further upstream in the supply chain, managers reported increased use of supplier codes of conduct. Practical implications – As senior managers extend, redesign or restructure their supply chains, the extent to which social issues must be monitored and managed changes. The four categories of supplier socially responsible practices identified help managers characterize their firm's approach to managing social issues. Furthermore, managers must more actively manage the development of supplier socially responsible practices in their firms when the supply chain has more firms; and when brands have stronger recognition in the marketplace. Originality/value – The paper makes three contributions to the extant literature. First, the construct of social issues is defined and framed within the broader debate on sustainable development and stakeholder management. Second, social practices are delineated for supply chain management, and a set of scales is empirically validated for assessing the degree of development of supplier socially responsible practices. Finally, the link between supply chain structure and the adoption of supplier socially responsible practices is examined. This last contribution provides a basis for understanding, so that managers can extend and reshape current views about how social issues must be managed.
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    Selection of planned supply initiatives: the role of senior management expertise
    (Emerald, 2007-12) Johnson, P. Fraser; Klassen, Robert D.; Leenders, Michiel R.; Awaysheh, Amrou
    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess the selection of planned supply initiatives and the role of senior management expertise. The drivers that influence the selection of particular supply initiatives by firms are of major interest to both practitioners and academics, as choices indicate priorities for resources, potential performance gaps and needs for future research. Moreover, theory indicates that senior management expertise and firm‐level resources might influence the likelihood of selecting particular initiatives. Design/methodology/approach – A synthesis of the literature supported the development of a five‐dimensional framework of major supply initiatives. Logistic regression was conducted with data from a survey of chief purchasing officers at large North American firms. The impact of firm‐level resources and senior management expertise, including background and experience, was assessed for the selection of supply initiatives. Findings – After controlling for general industry‐level factors, both firm resources and senior management expertise were found to systematically affect the likelihood of a firm planning to pursue particular initiatives. First, hiring senior management from outside the firm decreased the likelihood that network‐based initiatives were planned, while senior management who last worked in supply were found to be negatively related to planned supply strategy initiatives. Second, firms with greater use of e‐business technologies favored additional investment in supply networks. Research limitations/implications – This research focused on large firms in developed countries, and additional research is needed to explore the generalizability to small and medium‐sized enterprises and less‐developed countries. Moreover, additional work is needed to explore trade‐offs between planned and emergent initiatives, as only the former were empirically assessed. Originality/value – Senior management expertise has received relatively little attention in prior research, yet was found to be a significant factor influencing strategic, process and network‐related supply initiatives. Moreover, the framework of supply initiatives provides a basis for assessing and benchmarking firm‐level supply chain strategy and investment patterns. Finally, empirical evidence emerged that both firm and individual‐level factors influenced the probability of selecting particular initiatives.
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    Socially Responsible Practices: An Exploratory Study on Scale Development using Stakeholder Theory
    (Wiley, 2014-08) Shafiq, Asad; Klassen, Robert D.; Johnson, P. Fraser; Awaysheh, Amrou
    Socially responsible practices of firms have evolved into an important area of research in operations management; however, it remains challenging to identify specific scales that capture multiple dimensions of such social practices. In this exploratory study, we use stakeholder theory to develop new multi‐item measurement scales linked to multiple groups (i.e., internal, supplier, customer, and community stakeholders). Furthermore, we empirically test a higher order multidimensional construct that collectively assesses the socially responsible practices of a firm. Using these stakeholder‐derived constructs as taxons in a cluster analysis, we identify important patterns in the way that multiple groups of stakeholders are engaged. Finally, we demonstrate that the set of social practices are complementary and concentrating on one group can yield spillover effects to other specific stakeholder groups.