The Production and Consumption of Information in a Supply Chain: A Sociomaterial Perspective

Past event — 30 April 2014

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg

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Prof. Lazaros Goutas

Senior Research Fellow

Chair of Management Information Systems at ETH Zurich


In this paper we examine how information, a central concept in IS research, is produced and consumed in the context of a food supply chain. We argue that individual relationships between supply chain partners drive the production of information, which in turn shapes the consumption of information. Information consumption accordingly determines the emergent relationships between supply chain stakeholders. We explore these propositions in the context of an online platform, termed the SSE, where supply chain stakeholders engage in order to exchange information with respect to the implementation of environmental sustainability (ES) initiatives. Our propositions are guided by the adoption of a sociomaterial lens, namely one where social and material properties are intrinsic to everyday activities and relations, and are consequently in a constitutive and recurring entanglement. Our results provide support to the notion that the existence of the SSE (the material form that comprises the production and consumption of information) drives internal/organizational ES legitimacy, which improves internal ES engagement. At the same time, SSE engagement reinforces the image of ES engagement, which in turn shapes supplier relationships. Our results hold several implications for the literature on information sharing and processing, as well as for sociomateriality theory in general.

About the presenter

Dr. Lazaros Goutas is a Senior Research Fellow in the Chair of Management Information Systems at ETH Zurich.  Prior to that, he worked as a Research Fellow at INSEAD eLab, a research center focusing on digital analytics and innovation. He received his PhD in Sociology in 2011 from the University of Cambridge. His research lies in the broader area of the production and consumption of information and the outcomes produced by these behaviors at the individual and collective level.
More info about Dr. Lazaros Goutas

About the Seminar

The KLU research seminar series is a regular meeting of PhD students, Post-Docs and professors who conduct research in the field of logistics and supply chain management. The research seminar is open to the public and we happily welcome guests.