Diary of an MBA #8: Business gets spicy

15 April 2011
Chris Atkins, author of Supply Management's Diary of an MBA blogOver the past couple of months of the Durham MBA we’ve all been ploughing ahead with our elective modules and beavering away to complete the subsequent assignments. I’ve got a practical course in negotiation to look forward to shortly and next month a few days on supply chain management with visiting professor Carlos Mena from Cranfield School of Management. We’ve also started planning for our trip to Sri Lanka in June as part of our international development elective. I’m part of a small team assigned to examine the cinnamon industry and we’ve decided to compare the impact of fair trade certification by local producers on the associated communities. I hope this proves to be an interesting week and a good opportunity to take time out from Durham. Between June and September we undertake a research project of our own choosing that culminates in a written dissertation. This forms a hefty chuck of the programme, so it is both important to select a topic that is of personal interest and feasible to complete in the timeframe. We’ve been warned that although three months may sound like ample time, the effort involved with designing questionnaires and interviews, collecting data, conducting an extensive literature review and the other academic requirements should not be underestimated. I’ve chosen to look at the uptake of sustainable procurement practices within the SME sector. I’m interested to test the appetite for the much vaunted business case amongst smaller organisations and will be developing my research questions further over the coming weeks. I’d be very pleased to hear from anyone that may have knowledge of this specific issue, particularly from people that work within this sector and may be interested in taking part in the study. If you leave a comment, we can get in touch. This week a group from Durham are travelling down to London for the MBA’s annual “city tour”. The business school have lined up a number of appointments with various different organisations in and around the city including, the Bank of England, PwC and - timely for those among us bound for Sri Lanka - the Fair Trade Foundation.
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Bramwith Consulting
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