Editor-in-chief: Prof. Johannes Platje

Vol. 5, No.4, September 2022, 7-32

Received: 09.08.2022, Revised: 12.09.2022, Accepted: 12.09.2022

Blockchain technology in supply chains – improving end-to-end business performance

Authors: Cees J. GELDERMAN, Janjaap SEMEIJN, Niels SMIT
Open University of The Netherlands

Aim: Blockchain technology (BCT) is a relatively new technological development, promising strong gains in the areas of product traceability and visibility, end-to-end coordination (E2E), governance, and efficiency of supply chains. The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of the impact of BCT on these performance measures.

Design / Research methods: Hypotheses were tested with survey data from 119 supply chain professionals from Northern American SMEs.

Conclusions / findings: The results confirm the positive impacts of BCT on all performance measures. E2E coordination is the integration of information, goods, and money within an organisation or supply chain. E2E coordination appeared to benefit from the use of BCT, enabling information sharing in a safe way. The findings suggest that BCT use fosters E2E coordination, which in its turn also positively affects financial performance.

Originality / value of the article: Despite the increasing interest in and use of, BCT, there is little empirical evidence for the effect on supply chain performance. Many studies are anecdotal and lack empirical evidence.

Implications of the research: Companies should acknowledge the impact of BCT use on the various supply chain performance measures. Implementing and using BCT is likely to foster improvement in a wide range of performance indicators.

Limitations of the research: Companies use different types, versions, varieties, and forks of blockchain, all having their own strong and weak points. Future studies could investigate and include the nuances within different forks of BCT. This study focusses on the benefits of BCT use. Future studies could investigate the negative impacts and side-effects of BCT.

Key words: Blockchain technology, product traceability, operational efficiency.

JEL: M1

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.29015/cerem.956

Vol. 6, No.3, September 2022, 33-45

Received: 16.08.2022, Revised: 31.08.2022, Revised: 20.09.2022, Accepted: 23.09.2022

Energy storage

Author: Les DUCKERS
Loughborough University of Technology, UK

Aim: The aim of this paper is to explore Energy Storage requirements and options to suit the needs of systems and transport fed from renewables. The variability of wind and solar sources in particular and the demand for transport energy are seen as key issues.

Design / Research methods: The paper outlines the need for energy storage and compares the energy density and power density of a selection of storage options.

Conclusions / findings: The results illustrate the difficulties of finding storage mechanisms to rival fossil fuels in both energy density and power density. Moreover finding the natural resources to provide sufficient storage will be a serious challenge even though the economic costs of storage systems are falling..

Originality / value of the article: The article demonstrates the importance of energy storage to the successful development of renewable energy systems, and of the economic and physical characteristics that such energy storage schemes should have.

Implications of the research: Energy storage as a topic should be given a high priority for research and development.

Limitations of the research: This article is not comprehensive and a review of best practice internationally would be a valuable extension to this work.

Key words: : Renewable energy, Energy Storage, Climate Change.

JEL: Q42

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.29015/cerem.958

Vol. 6, No.3, September 2022, 47-68

Received: 06.08.2022, Revised: 01.09.2022, Revised: 08.09.2022, Accepted: 08.09.2022

How do variations in dollar exchange rate impact food commodity prices in selected African countries?

Author: David UMORU, Mishau AMEDU
Edo State University, Nigeria

Aim: Commodity exporting nations have significant terms of trade swings, making their actual exchange rate unstable. This study looked at how variations in dollar exchange rate affected food commodity prices in Africa between 1990 and 2021.

Design/Research methods: The study conducted GARCH analysis for ascertaining prevalence of volatilities of exchange rates and interest rates respectively in selected African countries. Also, we estimated both static and dynamic analysis driven by panel least squares and generalized method of moments (GMM) estimators on panel data from some commodity-exporting African, namely, Ghana, Gabon, Tunisia, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Findings: The dynamic GMM results reveal exchange rate and interest rate variations taken together had positive effects on commodity prices. GARCH estimates demonstrate significant volatility growth using both normal and t multivariate distributions. However, based on empirical findings, t-distribution had largest maximized log-likelihood of -8920.1 and also had a satisfactory df of 26.82 (<30). The results demonstrate that the Nigerian Naira had highest coefficient of volatility of approximately 71.2%. This was followed by the Ghanaian Cedi with a negative volatility rate of 71% and the South African rand with a coefficient of 65%. However, while all countries had negative volatility with respect to interest rate, all countries except Ghana had positive volatility in exchange rate of their currency. Ghana, Gabon, Tunisia, and Nigeria showed negative exchange rate volatility. A possible explanation for this high volatilities in the aforementioned countries is persistent domestic inflation.

Originality: The originality is rooted on establishment of food prices having some positive relation with pervasive exchange rate shocks. This is an indication of adverse effects of downward adjustment of exchange rate of local African currencies vis-à-vis the US dollar on food prices in the African countries covered in the study.

Contributions: The contribution of the study lies on its explanation of the increase of food commodity prices due to variability calculated in terms of depreciation in dollar exchange rate. Empirically, it is a confirmation of a significant structural problem, exchange rate variation as a cause of domestic inflation in selected African countries.

Limitations: Results have to be interpreted with care due to the small sample size. The results are rather a working hypothesis for future research.

Key words: Interest rate variation, exchange rate variation, commodity export, food commodity prices, Africa

JEL: A20, F46, G20

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.29015/cerem.955

Vol. 6, No.3, September 2022, 69-86

Received: 11.08.2022, Revised: 23.09.2022, Accepted: 23.09.2022

The impact of teaching interventions in education for sustainable development – an experimental case study

Authors: Johannes (Joost) PLATJE, Aniela STYŚ
WSB University in Wrocław, Poland
Markus WILL
University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz, Germany
Wim LAMBRECHTS
Open University of the Netherlands

Abstract:

Aim: Questionnaire research can be used as a teaching instrument and to measure the impacts of education for sustainable development. This paper presents a case study of a teaching intervention regarding students’ perception of operations and (supply) management fragilities, such as dependency on few customers or suppliers; difficult to find employees; and low probability, high impact events for business sustainability. The teaching intervention focused on side effects of innovations, leading to vulnerabilities that can threaten the existence of an enterprise. This research was carried out in the context of the capacity for creating an Early Warning System for small probability, high impact events. The following issues are addressed in the paper: 1). The impact of the teaching intervention on students’ perceptions; 2). Differences in perception between non-attending (N = 128) and attending students (pre-test N = 139; post-test N = 119).

Design / Research methods: This paper discusses whether teaching interventions can influence the awareness of fragility issues as well as low probability, high impact events. The case-study is based on an experiment in a marketing course for management students of a large private business school in Wrocław (Poland) in April–May 2019. Before start of classes students filled out a questionnaire (Attending Students). A teaching intervention slide was used in every lecture. At the end of the course, all students (also the students absent during the first classes) filled out the repeat questionnaire. Statistical analysis was carried out whether there were differences between Attending Students filling out both questionnaires, and students only filling out the repeat questionnaire (Non Attending Students).

Conclusions / findings: The findings show that students struggle to grasp the complexities and uncertainties surrounding sustainability and fragility issues in relation to the business context. The teaching interventions had limited impact on the ability of students to engage in these issues, albeit significant differences between attending and non-attending students were observed. A limitation of the results is that this study only concerned a case study of a specific group of students. An implication requiring deeper research is that while teachers can do in-depth exercises and provide lectures, a part of the students, being less motivated to obtain knowledge, is unlikely to grasp sustainability issues, when not included in assignments, examination preparation, or compulsory rather than elective courses.

Keywords: education for sustainable development, fragilities, Black Swans, innovation for sustainable developmentJEL: I21, O31, Q01

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.29015/cerem.957