Jan. 21, 2021Print | PDF
The Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University extends heartfelt congratulations to Mohammad Mehdi Jourabchi for successfully defending his doctoral dissertation, “Environmental Goal Misalignment between Logistics Service Providers and Shippers,” on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020.
The inspiration for his dissertation emerged from an ongoing debate that exposes a gap in the transportation industry about who should pay for greening initiatives – shippers or Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) – the outsource entities shippers employ to manage warehousing, distribution, and transportation of freight.
“My thesis examines this gap, which reflects a misalignment between the parties’ environmental decision-making processes. My research adds a new perspective to the study of a supplier’s environmental performance assessment, emphasizing conflict resolution in the parties’ accountability for environmental issues in the supply chain.”
Jourabchi’s research focuses on critical questions that arise from carbon emissions associated with freight transportation, including:
He undertook three studies to discuss the conditions under which improved LSP-shipper environmental collaboration can be realized within the supply chain. The first study draws on existing organizational theories and develops a conceptual framework assessing whether and when a more balanced relationship of inter-dependency could be established, given the relative dependency of LSPs on shippers, in order to facilitate closer coordination on environmental sustainability.
In the second study, Jourabchi considers the extent to which the emission-reduction goals of LSPs and shippers are aligned or misaligned. He uses game-theoretic modeling in the study, which makes it possible to understand the behaviour of LSPs and shippers as economic agents.
In the third study, he develops game-theoretic models to analyze whether and how LSPs and shippers can reach a mutually beneficial consensus on improved environmental performance.
Jourabchi’s thesis provides scholarly insights and practical solutions for the parties involved in the logistics and freight transport sector. His findings are also of interest and value to policy makers who are seeking to align the economic incentives of the transport sector with environmental objectives.
To support his studies and research, Jourabchi received grant awards and scholarships that demonstrate provincial and national recognition for his research project. He was awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship as an International Student in 2016; a P&G Centre for Business and Sustainability Research Grant Award and a Supply Chain Management Association of Ontario Achievement of Excellence in 2017; a Transport Canada Scholarship in Sustainable Transportation in the 2018 Canadian Transportation Research Forum annual competition; and a Co-operators Centre for Business and Sustainability Research Grant Award in 2019. His research also received a MS2Discovery Student Researcher Award in 2020.
Continuing his research, Jourabchi plans to study the economic and environmental benefits of digital platforms connecting the trucking sector’s shippers and carriers (i.e., eco-efficiency resulting from improved truck utilization). His research will use data from a Canadian digital freight platform based on IBM’s cloud that is used by more than three thousand carriers across North America. This proposed research, which targets economic and environmental benefits of sharing economy logistics, was awarded a Lazaridis Institute of Technology Research Seed Grant in 2019. Through his established relationship with the IBM-based digital freight platform, Jourabchi’s research will help create and sustain an industry-university/school relationship. The resulting exchanges will help bridge the gap between academic and business practices and drive leading-edge research.
Jourabchi was supervised by Michael Haughton, professor and CN Fellow in Supply Chain Management in the Lazaridis School. D. Marc Kilgour, professor of Mathematics from Laurier’s Faculty of Science, served as second advisor to help Jourabchi develop the methodological aspects of his research. Professor Kilgour also served on Jourabchi’s PhD defence committee.
“Dr. Haughton and Dr. Kilgour both believed in my research idea, supported me along my path and helped me achieve my academic objectives,” said Jourabchi. “I’m really thankful for their enthusiasm, support, encouragement, and patience. They provided amazingly timely feedback, thoughtful comments and invaluable recommendations for my PhD dissertation. Their ongoing recognition of my achievements throughout my PhD journey helped me stay motivated during hard times.”
Jourabchi’s PhD defence committee was chaired by associate professor Azim Essaji from the Lazaridis School’s Department of Economics. In addition to professors Essaji and Kilgour, advisors included Lazaridis professors Michael Haughton, Hamid Noori and Michael Pavlin in addition to external examiner David Gillen from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
Jourabchi previously graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology and a Master of Engineering Management from University Putra Malaysia prior to his PhD in Supply Chain, Operations and Technology Management at the Lazaridis School.
Looking forward to the next chapter in his academic career, Jourabchi has accepted a Probationary Instructor (Teaching) Position in Operations and Supply Chain Management at the University of Lethbridge’s Dhillon School of Business where he will also continue his research.