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Archive for June, 2011

Invitation and chance to win: Sustainable Procurement Survey

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

You are invited to participate a dynamic new research project entitled “Dimensions of Purchasing Social Responsibility in Sustainable Supply Chain Organizations.”

I am a doctoral student at Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, AZ., and for my dissertation, I am reaching out to purchasing managers of publically traded firms located in the United States. The purpose of the study is to identify links between purchasing social responsibility (PSR) and public sustainability reporting.

If you are a purchasing, sourcing, or procurement manager, and your firm is publically traded, please take a few minutes to complete the “Sustainable Procurement Survey” at the link below. Answers to survey responses will be anonymous and confidential.

At the close of the survey, you will have an opportunity to enter a drawing for two books about sustainability. I will be happy to answer any questions and provide an Executive Summary upon request.

Thank you in advance for completing the survey and forwarding the link to your procurement colleagues, customers, and friends.

Please click the link below to access the Sustainable Procurement Survey.

Sustainable Procurement
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The invitation above is what I posted on LinkedIn. I have seen a little bit better participation in the last few days, but I do not have a minimum (from G-Power) number of finished surveys. Please pass on the link to the survey to your friends in procurement!

Thanks!

Slow data collection

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Data collection is much slower than I thought it would be. In the past weeks, I sent out letters and postcards addressed to Purchasing Managers at 500 companies. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of those have taken the survey. I will mail out 200 more invitations on Monday. After consulting with my chair, I submitted my survey link to one of my groups on LinkedIn. Here is the link to my post on Procurement Professionals.

I don’t think the problem is the invitation itself. The invitation letters and postcards look very professional. I had several people to review them to make sure that they are worded correctly and attractive. I even signed every letter to personalize them.

I do not know why people do not respond to requests to take a survey for academic purposes. A friend suggested that there may be a general lack of respect for research…some do not understand it or see the need for it. In my daily work-world, I never hear anyone say anything about the “latest research” or journal article. I only hear this kind of talk when I am with my academic colleagues.

Over the years, I have filled out many survey requests for universities, dissertation students, and other research groups. I believe research enlightens us and makes our work more effective when we are on the right path.

I would like to hear from readers as to how you encouraged survey response for your quantitative dissertation. What did you do to make the invitation attractive? How did you increase the response level?

Is college too easy?

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

This op ed article in the Los Angeles Times, “College, too easy for its own good” raises some interesting points. Have colleges become more interested in satisfying the college CUSTOMER over the college STUDENT? Have colleges moved away from EDUCATING and toward SATISFYING? If this is true, then we should all be concerned about higher education.

This article states that half of students reported that they never had to write a paper over 20 pages, most classes did not require reading over 40 pages per week, and about a third indicated they studied alone five or fewer hours each week. Wow – I am amazed at this! I went to college in the late 70s and did not find this to be so – on the contrary, my non-science classes were the only ones that did not require extensive paper writing (but we did do analysis and reports). Most of my classes had two books or more and some instructors required 100-page readings per day. I got up most mornings to study at 4AM until my 8AM class, and then studied in the evening. I was not content with average grades and so I approached college responsibilities as my ticket to get on with my life and out of my situation.

Unfortunately, I agree with the article in regards to college administrators being concerned about retention rates, facilities, and graduation rates. My children went to universities with fantastic facilities, and I often worried how the schools paid for those amenities. Usually, it was an endowment or grant but of course, maintenance costs belonged to the schools.

So is college too easy? In my personal experience, no. At Troy University in the 70s and again in the 90s, studies were difficult and required significant engagement. At Northcentral University, I am being challenged even more than at Troy. I ask myself everyday if I will ever complete this PhD…it seems like it is taking forever! I hope that today’s students ARE being challenged and working hard to earn an education.

I learned this a long time ago – if you do not seek excellence in ALL that you do (home, school, work, etc.)…..you cannot expect to find excellence in ANYTHING you do.

Your thoughts?