Robert D. Klassen

Robert D. Klassen
The University of Western Ontario | UWO · Ivey Business School

About

126
Publications
86,958
Reads
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17,758
Citations
Citations since 2017
29 Research Items
8745 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
Additional affiliations
July 1995 - present
The University of Western Ontario
Position
  • Professor
July 1995 - present
The University of Western Ontario
Position
  • Associate Dean, Faculty Development and Research

Publications

Publications (126)
Article
Purpose Pressured by various stakeholder groups to improve the sustainability performance of their emerging economy suppliers, multinational firms continue to expand their supplier monitoring. Leveraging the strategy literature on alliances and the buyer-supplier relationship management literature, the authors propose that a buyer firm's efforts to...
Article
Public sector spending represents a significant portion of gross domestic product in most countries, and holds much promise to advance calls to improve the sustainability of goods and services provided by supply chain partners – but only if multiple objectives can be reconciled. Public procurement also tends to heavily emphasize outcome-based speci...
Article
Full-text available
A growing interest in the circular economy concept has pushed the discourse in various management-related disciplines beyond established boundaries, with calls to better address how such a model may be developed in a world of global value chains. Still, the conventional linear economy model continues to dominate business, society, and research. Whi...
Article
Full-text available
Call for papers for a special issue in Production and Operations Management, Submission deadline October 2021, "Modern Slavery in Supply Chains: A Socio-Technical Perspective"
Chapter
Management efforts to design, develop and operate more sustainable supply chains encompass an increasingly complex variety of social and environmental issues. More sustainable supply chains must now consider how product, operations, natural resources, technologies and multiple tiers of organizations collectively create value for a diverse set of st...
Article
Introduction: Safe production is a sustainable approach to managing an organization's operations that considers the interests of both management and workers as salient stakeholders in a productive and safe workplace. A supportive culture enacts values versus only espousing them. These values-in-action are beliefs shared by both management and work...
Article
Purpose Sustainable operations management is characterized by environmental, social and operational goals. The implementation of routines to protect and direct the effective use of human capital is proposed to potentially improve all three dimensions. However, functional managers with overlapping responsibilities at the plant-level might implement...
Article
Full-text available
Governments and global corporations increasingly both confront and rely on International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) to identify, design and deliver interventions that prompt transformational change in societies, industries and supply chains. For INGOs, transformational change is defined as a fundamental, long-lasting reframing of a soci...
Article
Purpose In operations and supply chain management, time is largely one-dimensional – less is better – with much effort devoted to compressing, efficiently using, and competitively exploiting clock-time. However, by drawing on other literatures, the purpose of this paper is to understand implications for the field of operations management if we als...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Firms are increasingly being pressured by the public, regulators and customers to ensure that their suppliers behave in a socially and ecologically sound manner. Yet, the complexity and risks embedded in many supply chains makes this challenging, with monitoring practices offering one means to attenuate supply sustainability risk. Drawing o...
Article
Full-text available
For sustainability, research in operations and supply chain management historically emphasized the development of environmental rather than social capabilities. However, factory disasters in Bangladesh, an emerging market and the second largest clothing exporter in the world, revealed enormous challenges in the implementation of social sustainabili...
Article
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether management system practices directed at both occupational health and safety (OHS) and operations (joint management system [JMS] practices) result in better outcomes in both areas than in alternative practices. Methods: Separate regressions were estimated for OHS and operational outcomes u...
Article
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether management system practices directed at both occupational health and safety (OHS) and operations (joint management system [JMS] practices) result in better outcomes in both areas than in alternative practices. Methods: Separate regressions were estimated for OHS and operational outcomes usin...
Article
Full-text available
Managers are being challenged by multiple (and diverse) stakeholders, which have variety of expectations and informational needs about their firm’s supply chains. Collectively, these expectations and needs form a multi-faceted view of stakeholder accountability, namely the extent to which a firm justifies behaviors and actions across its extended s...
Article
Previous studies have paid relatively little attention to how a plant's strategic objectives for sustainability are balanced against traditional manufacturing objectives. Based on a contingency approach to operations management, this research investigates the linkages between manufacturing strategy, with particular attention on the priority given t...
Article
With climate change emerging as one of the most important issues increasing uncertainty in the business circle, firms have shown different reactions. Why do firms differ in adopting and implementing carbon management practices (CMPs) in response to the global warming issue? This paper attempts to explore this question with particular attention to t...
Article
The relationship between managing a production system to be safe and managing it to be operationally effective is often described in conflicting terms, creating confusion for research and practice. Some view improving safety as separate and distinct from increasing operational effectiveness; they are contradictory requirements. Others emphasize tha...
Article
Full-text available
Operations managers clearly play a critical role in targeting plant-level investments toward environment and safety practices. In principle, a “rational” response would be to align this investment with senior management's competitive goals for operational performance. However, operations managers also are influenced by contingent factors, such as t...
Article
Operations managers clearly play a critical role in targeting plant-level investments toward environment and safety practices. In principle, a “rational” response would be to align this investment with senior management’s competitive goals for operational performance. However, operations managers also are influenced by contingent factors, such as t...
Article
A fundamental determinant of an operation’s sustainability is the safety of the workforce. Safety and operations management occur in a shared space with most safety management research and practice focused on operational workers and settings. Yet the fields have mainly evolved separately leaving researchers and managers with a conundrum when it com...
Article
Full-text available
The bullwhip effect has long been recognized as a critical factor that amplifies demand variability as customer orders pass upstream through successive tiers of a supply chain. Like customer demand, environmental requirements also change significantly at times, and are passed along the supply chain to varying degrees, suggestive of what we term, th...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
Given the growth, importance and pervasiveness of OM sustainability concerns, a special issue focusing on these efforts is overdue. This need for currency is a reason for this special issue in the International Journal of Operations & Production Management (IJOPM). In this introduction we first provide an overview how the sustainable OM field is ev...
Article
This research examines how organizations simultaneously manage their operations and occupational health and safety. Although both safety and operations scholars conduct research in the same operational settings, they have reached different, yet untested, conclusions about the relationship between creating a safe workplace and creating a productive...
Article
Organizations are faced with increasing pressure to engage in sustainable development and to integrate environmental and social dimensions into their traditional performance metrics. Prior research suggests that lean management and supply management are potentially important determinants of environmental performance and can be seen as capabilities...
Conference Paper
Supply chain managers face many challenges when developing more sustainable operations, often beginning with translating ambiguous demands from stakeholders into practice. Drawing from accounting and sustainable supply chain literatures, we synthesize a model to explain how supply chain managers might define, defend, and rationalize sustainability...
Article
Despite the importance of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the question of how firms' voluntary carbon disclosure influences capital markets and shareholder value remains unanswered. Using the event study methodology with a sample of firms from the CDP Korea 2008 and 2009, this paper investigates market responses to firms' voluntary carbon info...
Article
Risks arising from operations are increasingly being highlighted by managers, customers, and the popular press, particularly related to large-scale (and usually low-frequency) losses. If poorly managed, the resulting disruptions in customer service and environmental problems incur enormous recovery costs, prompt large legal liabilities, and damage...
Article
Manufacturing's choice of environmental technologies is expected to be partly driven by the organizational context and receptivity to new ideas and innovation. More specifically, we hypothesize that the organizational learning and knowledge system of a manufacturing plant tends to favor the adoption of pollution prevention technologies and environm...
Article
Social issues in the supply chain are defined as product- or process-related aspects of operations that affect human safety, welfare and community development. Drawing from related literatures, basic constructs related to capabilities and risk are defined and used to underpin case research in five multinational firms. This data extended our underst...
Article
Full-text available
Voluntary management standards for social and environmental performance ideally help to define and improve firms’ related capabilities. These standards, however, have largely failed to improve such performance as intended. Over-emphasis on institutional factors leading to adoption of these standards has neglected the role of firms’ existing capabil...
Chapter
Any definition of greener supply chain management must capture design; material selection, extraction, and sourcing; manufacturing; logistics and delivery; and end-of-life management. Two major extensions of the operations system include from operations at a single firm to operations across the supply chain, and from the one-way supply chain to the...
Article
The public increasingly holds firms accountable for social and environmental outcomes, such as product toxicity problems and human rights violations, throughout their global supply chains. How can companies improve the social and environmental performance within their supply chains, particularly as other competitive pressures, such as cost and qual...
Chapter
As technology improves the transfer of information, a broader range of customers and stakeholders gain access to more information about what happens within supply chains. As a result, issues like poor worker conditions in suppliers’ facilities are increasingly pushed into the limelight. What used to be hidden behind long distances and language diff...
Article
Purpose This paper explores the integration of social issues in the management of supply chains from an operations management perspective. Further, this research develops 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...
Article
This paper introduces a special topic forum on “Sustainable Supply Chain Management.” Before introducing the papers included in the forum, the authors provide thoughts on the direction and future of sustainability research, particularly in the context of purchasing and supply chain management. The underlying premise that structures our discussion i...
Article
Management research on green operations has continued to evolve to consider a broad range of management decisions, programs and technologies that contribute to greener operations. We argue that, collectively, these infrastructural expenditures on management practices are most likely to form an important strategic resource. Multi-year data drawn fro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we propose a process of institutional creation and change in the management of corporate social and environmental performance that is motivated by non-participation. Organizations that only symbolically implement social and environmental performance change will be increasingly scrutinized by other organizations that do so substantivel...
Article
Targeting environmental protection expenditures in the manufacturing sector: In 2004, Canadian manufacturers spent approximately $6.8 billion to comply with environmental regulations. Using data from Statistics Canada's Survey of Environmental Protection Expenditures and Annual Survey of Manufacturers and Logging, as well as data derived from Envir...
Article
Full-text available
Customers, regulators, and the public are increasingly demanding that firms minimize the impact of their products and operations on the natural environment within the frame of sustainable development. In response, management research on green operations has continued to evolve to consider a broad range of management decisions, programs and technolo...
Article
The limited capabilities and resources available within many small- and medium-sized enterprises frequently hamper an effective response to environmental pressures, which in turn hurts large buying firms (i.e., customers). Using a case study method with multiple suppliers of two large buying firms, we mapped factors that initiated and improved envi...
Article
As customers, the public and other stakeholders are increasingly demanding that manufacturing firms improve their approach to environmental management, some plants have moved to develop an orientation that is increasingly proactive. Synthesizing earlier research, environmental management orientation is defined here to include system analysis and pl...
Article
Manufacturing organizations can potentially improve environmental management both by increasing the level of investment in environmental technologies and by shifting that investment away from pollution control and toward pollution prevention. However, managers must not only consider their own manufacturing operations in isolation, but also those of...
Book
A growing number of customers, investors and regulators are starting to focus more attention on aspects of a firms supply chain that extend far beyond traditional measures like cost, quality and the financial bottom line. Over the last decade, social and environmental issues have attracted increased scrutiny and debate. Claims of substandard produc...
Article
As corporations attempt to move toward environmental sustainability, management must extend their efforts to improve environmental practices across their supply chain. The literature characterizing environmental management within the supply chain has been slowly building, but remains sparse. Using a survey of North American manufacturers, this pape...
Article
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...
Article
This paper explores managerial efforts in reverse supply chains (RSC), where the focus is on the capture and exploitation of used products and materials. The RSC can potentially reduce negative environmental impacts of extracting virgin raw materials and waste disposal. If so, investment in the reverse supply chain should not be made in isolation,...
Article
Consideration is given to the convergence of supply chains and sustainability. In doing so, the focus on environmental management and operations is moved from local optimization of environmental factors to consideration of the entire supply chain during the production, consumption, customer service and post-disposal disposition of products. This is...
Article
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 purchasi...
Article
Manufacturing firms have given management of the natural environment higher priority as public awareness and scrutiny has increased. To help understand management's role in this process, a basic conceptual model of environmental management within operations is developed. The model proposes that the general orientation of operations managers on envi...
Article
As corporations attempt to move toward environmental sustainability, management must extend their efforts to improve environmental practices across their supply chain. To date, the literature characterising environmental management within the supply chain has been slowly building, but remains sparse. Moreover, investment by plants in environmental...
Article
Forecasting is one business practice that is especially important for business enterprises because good forecasting techniques can lead to better business plans. In this paper, a comparison of differences between large and small Canadian manufacturing and service firms is conducted to examine if differences in forecasting techniques exist between t...
Article
By interacting with their suppliers and their customers, manufacturing organizations can potentially develop and implement more effective solutions to environmental challenges they are facing. This paper explores the outcome, in terms of operational performance, of green project partnership in the supply chain. Green project partnership, defined he...
Article
Advancing theory and understanding of process management issues continues to be a central concern for operations management research and practice. While an insightful body of knowledge – based primarily on studies at the process-level – exists on the management of capacity and inventory, the dynamism characterizing most operating and competitive sy...
Article
The view that adopting an environmental perspective on operations can lead to improved operations is in itself not novel; phrases such as "lean is green" are increasingly commonplace. The implication is that any operational system that has minimized inefficiencies is also more environmentally sustainable. However, in this paper we argue that the un...
Article
Purpose This research aims to extend the “collaborative paradigm” proposed by others in prior research beyond a supply chain's core operations. To date, this paradigm has generated relatively little empirical research on peripheral, non‐core areas such the natural environment. Antecedents (both plant‐level and supply chain characteristics) of green...
Conference Paper
Recently, the topic of sustainable development is receiving much attention from supply chain managers. However, research is only beginning to explore how a firms management systems and relationships with suppliers and customers incorporate social issuesa critical dimension of sustainable development. Social issues are defined to encompass product a...
Article
Electrosteel Castings Limited, based in India, had been the largest domestic manufacturer of iron pipes for over four decades. Although it had achieved solid growth in recent years, the market was under increasing pressure as overall growth slowed and new competitors entered the market. The chief executive officer believed that international expans...
Article
A joint venture between ASIMCO and Caterpillar had recently finished several major projects. The plant was under pressure to increase revenue and had secured the bid on a new customer order, but this addition put a strain on the plant's profitability and management must decide whether it should reduce the casting technology cost or gradually phase...
Article
VBF Tubing, a Dutch firm, is facing increased demand for its products, high inventory levels, and expensive setup costs. In light of these problems, the logistics manager must decide how to respond to a proposal that longer production runs be scheduled. The production, cost and market data supplied permit the students to explore the necessity and i...
Article
As just-in-time delivery has become increasingly commonplace and customer demands continue to tighten, the importance of fast, reliable delivery cannot be overstated. This is particularly true for firms competing internationally, where the complexity of the supply chain must be managed within a global network. To explore the linkage between supply...
Article
Increased attention on supply chain management has highlighted the pivotal role that supply chain management and purchasing teams can play in the overall competitiveness of many firms. This paper presents findings from an exploratory study that analyzes the impact of purchasing’s strategic role, industry context and purchasing organizational struct...
Article
Increased attention on supply chain management has highlighted the pivotal role that supply chain management and purchasing teams can play in the overall competitiveness of many firms. This paper presents findings from an exploratory study that analyzes the impact of purchasing’s strategic role, industry context and purchasing organizational struct...
Article
With the growing acceptance of the Web (Internet) and electronic mail, it is no surprise that researchers are using an increasingly diverse set of survey technologies to gather data from managers. However, the effectiveness of these electronic technologies has not been rigorously assessed, especially for gathering data from establishment-level surv...
Article
With the growing acceptance of the Web (Internet) and electronic mail, it is no surprise that researchers are using an increasingly diverse set of survey technologies to gather data from managers. However, the effectiveness of these electronic technologies has not been rigorously assessed, especially for gathering data from establishment‐level surv...
Article
As customers, the public and other stakeholders are increasingly demanding that manufacturing firms improve their approach to environmental management, some plants have moved to develop an orientation that is increasingly proactive. Synthesizing earlier,research, environmental management orientation is defined here to include system analysis and pl...
Article
A survey of forecasting practices was carried out to provide a better understanding of Canadian business practices, and when possible, compare them with US practices. Companies in the US and Canada have the same use for forecasting information. Forecasts are generated and used mostly by marketing/sales. Judgmental procedures are used more frequentl...
Chapter
This chapter presents a conceptual approach that links supply chain characteristics to environmental performance for product recovery practices. We propose that environmental performance can be improved through effective "reverse" supply chain management, which is influenced by the design of the end-user interface and the design of the forward supp...

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