Tatjana Mirosnicenko won this year's KPMG-RSM Sustainability Master Thesis Award for her thesis entitled E-grocery: the effectiveness of content sharing on social media in promoting green slot choice behavior. The MSc graduate was presented the award at the RSM Sustainability Forum 2018, hosted by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), on 13 April 2018. The runner-up was MSc graduate Thomas Behrendt for his thesis about episodic volunteering in the light of the gig economy.

The jury consisted of Jerwin Tholen, director sustainability at KPMG Advisory; Jan Bom, editor P+; and Henriëtte Davelaar, Programme manager Sustainability at PGGM. They made a selection from 60 master theses from RSM, which all had a grade of 8.5 or higher and are related to a sustainability topic.

“Tatjana provides e-commerce professionals with a win-win-win-win solution,” said Tholen. “Her thesis provides social media opportunities for consumers to show off their choice for ‘green slots’ for online grocery deliveries. The applicability to business makes this thesis very interesting.”

Four clear wins

Mirosnicenko, who graduated from RSM’s MSc Supply Chain Management in 2017, described four clear wins for retailers in her thesis:

1. Transport efficiency and a reduced footprint of traffic, not only through the delivery vehicle itself but also the reduction of emissions from cars that have to wait when streets are blocked. By promoting ‘green-slots’, consumers are incentivised to pick similar time-frames that will lead to consolidation of shipments.

2. Increased brand loyalty – consumers like the solution and feel good about it.

3. Increased brand awareness – every post on social media contributes to a green image of the retailer.

4. Cost reductions for the retailer and transporter. Green slot choices stimulate customer to have their orders delivered around the same time. In this way, shipments can be consolidated and transportation can be reduced.

“Mirosnicenko’s thesis was based on an interesting experiment, well written and good to understand in the first read,” Tholen concluded. Mirosnicenko won a €1,000 cash prize. The prize was announced by Jerwin Tholen at the RSM Sustainability Forum 2018.

Short-term volunteering

Runner-up Thomas Behrendt graduated from MSc International Management/CEMS in 2016. He won €500 for his thesis, which is entitled Rethinking episodic volunteering in the light of the gig economy.

Behrendt’s research reveals that short-term volunteers can enhance NGOs’ performances through knowledge and expertise, increased productivity through high motivation, a focus on clear goals, and a focus on the core tasks of the organisation.

“This is a must-read for all NGOs and CSR managers within companies,” said Tholen. “The study truly simplifies the benefits of short-term volunteers in four areas, which you can incorporate in an elevator pitch.”

“CSR managers in companies can take Thomas’ results into account in intakes with NGOs and employees that have the ambition to contribute a volunteer on a short-term basis,” said the jury.

The other three nominees for the KPMG-RSM Sustainability Master Thesis Award were:

  • Pam van Wanrooij (MSc Global Business & Sustainability)

Thesis title

  • Merle Stadhouders (MSc Business Information Management)

Thesis title: Determinants of longevity of smart city innovation ecosystems and projects

  • Jonathan Rüden (MSc Business Information Management)

Thesis title: Charging ahead – predicting optimal charging station locations across multiple cities

About Tatjana Mirosnicenko

Tatjana Mirosnicenko worked at a bank for three years before she decided to pursue a bachelor degree in international business at Maastricht University (2012-2015). During that time she joined the foundation Enactus as a board member, and also worked as an international student ambassador for the university. In Ecuador, where she spent her semester abroad, Mirosnicenko realised that she enjoys the complexity of a supply chain. To gain practical experience in that field, she completed internships at Miles & More (Lufthansa), HUGO BOSS and a consulting company before she started RSM’s MSc Supply Chain Management from which she graduated cum laude in 2017. In her award-winning thesis, Mirosnicenko did not solely focus on the supply chain, but also included the aspect of social media.

Mirosnicenko moved to Dublin after her thesis defence to pursue a career in strategic sourcing within leading global building materials group CRH.

More information

KPMG is a global network of independent member firms offering audit, tax and advisory services. The firms work closely with clients, helping them to mitigate risks and grasp opportunities. KPMG member firms can be found in 154 countries and territories. Collectively they employ 200,000 people across a range of disciplines. Sustaining and enhancing the quality of this professional workforce is KPMG's primary objective.

To qualify for the KPMG-RSM Sustainability Master Thesis Award, a thesis subject must be related to social and ecological sustainability, and have achieved a mark of at least 8.5 during its defence. Theses from the past academic year are reviewed; an RSM panel arrives at a shortlist of five theses chosen for a combination of academic excellence, socio-environmental impact, business relevance and originality. The final winner is determined by the jury of external leaders working in the field of corporate sustainability.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China. www.rsm.nl

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at mschouten@rsm.nl.

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