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Vacancy: postdoctoral position in Big Data and Sustainable Supply Chain Management

The House of Innovation currently invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral position with a focus on conducting world-class research in close collaboration with industry on how the use of big data may support developing sustainable supply chains. The deadline for applications is April 30 2021, with an ideal starting date of September 1, 2021.

On the research

The research domain of the position is at the intersection of Big Data and Sustainable Supply Chain Management. Central to the position is a close collaboration with industry, based on a relationship with a technology start-up providing Supplier Relationship Management SaaS software. Currently, the software collects data at the supplier level, supporting work with suppliers’ sustainability. This includes gathering data on supplier characteristics, e.g. information on possible sanctions, compliance levels and environmental management practices. This information can be complemented with factory visits and audits. In addition, data on outcomes such as product performance, on time delivery, energy consumption or work-place accidents can be gathered, creating an all-round view of how suppliers’ sustainability rating. The essence is to collect data at the supplier level.

The next generation of the software will enable collecting product-level data or product metadata. Product metadata is data about the conditions surrounding how a particular product is made, for instance information on resource consumption, CO2 footprint and labor conditions. The important difference is that the data is at the product level, resulting in massive amounts of data being generated. Using this data, the buying company may use data analytics techniques to generate meaning from the data, meaning which may be translated into actions to improve sustainability performance. Product metadata is thus an example of an application of big data in supply chains. The focus of the position is on how the use of product metadata may support developing sustainable supply chains.

As the ability of the software to collect product metadata is currently being developed, the position will provide the opportunity to, in real time, study the adoption and use of product metadata to support work with developing sustainable supply chains. Together with the start-up, companies that use product metadata to support developing sustainable supply chains will be identified. The intention is to study these companies and their suppliers, across different tiers, as they work with adopting product metadata as part of impacting sustainability performance and driving innovation in their supplier relationships.

Given the overall research design, both qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and analysis will be used. To gain in-depth data on, e.g. the challenges companies face in adopting big data as part of their sustainability work, interviews, focus groups and observations will be utilized. The data collected within the software will also be utilized to provide opportunities for conducting broader, quantitative, analyses of e.g. the impact on sustainability outcomes.


We are looking for candidates who have a Ph.D. (or are close to completion) in operations and supply chain management or related disciplines. Candidates should have a clear research interest and track record in sustainability, preferably sustainable supply chain management, ideally combined with an interest in or experience of research into big data analytics. Candidates are expected to possess strong conceptual and analytical skills, preferably with experience of using both qualitative and quantitative methods and have a commitment to research excellence. The successful applicant will also be expected to be able to manage time, resources, data, and details of multiple tasks.

The successful postdoctoral researcher will join a team led by Professor Pär Åhlström. The project is a collaboration with the Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (Misum), an interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder research environment at the Stockholm School of Economics, with a mission to develop internationally recognized and cutting-edge research for diverse stakeholder groups on transitioning markets towards sustainable development.

How to apply

Formal submission will be via the SSE Varbi online platform (http://jobs.hhs.se/job-vacancies/). To apply, please submit:

  1. A cover letter articulating the candidate’s qualifications and fit with the position, including research interests and a brief statement of research plans.
  2. A curriculum vitae (including previous and present employment and academic background).
  3. A separate document listing both published articles (if any), articles submitted to journals and working papers (with status indication). Papers enclosed with the application should be marked with an asterisk (*).
  4. Copies of representative research (in PDF format).
  5. Degrees and diplomas, certificates, or other documents.
  6. Names and contact information for three persons willing to provide references.

Your application must be received by April 30th, 2021

About the House of Innovation

The House of Innovation is an interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach environment at Stockholm School of Economics. It produces scientifically-based knowledge of innovation, entrepreneurship, digitalization and operations relevant to academics, corporations, government agencies, civil society actors, and individuals. In doing so, it interacts with an international network of scholars and academic institutions, as well as with corporate and institutional funders. The House encompasses the Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology, the Jacob and Marcus Wallenberg Center for Innovative and Sustainable Business Development, the Scania Center for Innovation and Operational Excellence, The Garden – Center for design and Leadership, the Center for Data Analytics, and the Stockholm node of the Swedish Center for Digital Innovation.

Faculty members regularly publish in top academic journals, including MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Management Science, Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Research Policy and Harvard Business Review. They serve on editorial boards, in editorial positions, and in academic leadership positions. They frequently receive substantial grants from leading Swedish and European funding institutions to conduct state-of-the-art research, and serve on national and international policy committees, thus contributing to the shaping of society and of innovation ecosystems.

Benefits of working at HOI include:

  • Tapping into cross-disciplinary expertise in operations management, innovation, entrepreneurship and information systems.
  • Working in a young, dynamic, international, diverse environment. Recent faculty hires to SSE come from environments such as Columbia University, London Business School, Bocconi, New York University, HKUST, RSM, among others.
  • Being part of, and contributing to, the Stockholm entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in a wide and comprehensive way.
  • Leveraging the extensive and active network of corporate partners of SSE to conduct relevant empirical research and joint projects.

About the Stockholm School of Economics

The Stockholm School of Economics is ranked as the leading business school in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Enjoying a strong international reputation, the School is known for its ability to attract outstanding students and scholars from across the globe. World-class research forms the foundation of our educational offering, which includes Bachelor, Master, PhD, MBA, and Executive Education programs. Through creativity and collaboration, the Stockholm School of Economics provides an environment where ambitious students and accomplished researchers meet to address contemporary challenges within business and economics, particularly those concerning sustainability, diversity, and innovation. Programs are developed in close cooperation with the business and research communities, providing graduates with a solid basis for attaining leading positions in a broad range of organizations, as well as for business venturing.

SSE is committed to a balanced gender distribution and values a variety of backgrounds and experiences among our employees. We therefore welcome all applicants regardless of their gender, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, disability, sexual orientation, age, or religion or other beliefs.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment September 1, 2021, unless otherwise agreed
Salary Salaries are competitive, commensurate with qualifications and experience and are set on an individual basis.
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100% (non-regulated working hours)
City Stockholm
County Stockholm's län
Country Sweden
Reference number 2021/18
  • Professor Pär Åhlström, +46 708 4567 48, par.ahlstrom@hhs.se
  • For HR related questions: Linda Tarmet, linda.tarmet@hhs.se
Published 22.Feb.2021
Last application date 30.Apr.2021 11:59 PM CET
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