Relationship Management in the End to End Retail Supply Chain
My academic career-path to date can be divided into three elements; studying for my undergraduate degree, employment in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership and my PhD research. One link interconnects all three, the University of Ulster.
It was during my primary degree of Business with Computing that my future career was sealed; I knew that I wanted to work in academia. Within my degree I was awarded the Placement Innovation Award (2007) and All Ireland Student Entrepreneur (2008), which not only nurtured my interest in the business environment but also ensured I graduated with a competitive curriculum vitae.
Upon graduation I started employment in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership two year project, working in conjunction with the University of Ulster and The Foyle Food Group. This experience formed the foundations of my PhD; both in terms of deepening my interest in the subject but also it built a platform of established networks within the industry. By working directly with multinational grocery retailers in the meat supply chain, I gained invaluable insight into working practice of the retail supply chain and more specifically, the critical role relationships play.
Upon completion of the KTP project, a PhD was a natural path to develop and challenge my enthusiasm for the grocery retail supply chain management. Given that the supply chain has become a vital strategic resource to today's retailers, my research focuses on end to end supply chain management, prioritising the relational perspective. By analysing the beef retail supply chain through the lens of relationships, my research has two primary objectives; firstly, it aims to push dyadic boundaries currently restraining retail supply chain literature and secondly, I aim to explore the supply chain from a relational perspective rather than product priority.
The research is based on empirical exploration of Northern Irelands 'Big Four' retailers; Asda, Marks and Spencers, Tesco and Sainsbury's and follows the full supply chain in each case. In carrying out this study I wish to benefit both practitioners and academics. It is my belief that only when you truly understand the intricacies of the end to end supply chain can management evolve and improve and create value.