PhD Defense: Vered Doctori-Blass

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Presents

Vered Doctori-Blass
PhD Candidate
Bren School

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009
8:30 a.m.
Bren Hall Pine Room (3526)

PhD Defense

"Information, Decision-Making, and Corporate Eco-efficiency: Three Essays"

Faculty Co-Advisors:

Roland Geyer

Magali Delmas

 

Abstract

Promoting long-term corporate sustainable performance with combined economic, environmental, and social considerations within a corporate culture requires a better understanding of the relationship between managers’ decisions and the resulting performance. In my dissertation, I use a set of research methods from the disciplines of Industrial Ecology and Management Science to examine the effect of corporate decision-making on resulting environmental performance, measured in various eco-efficiency terms. Each chapter provides insight into a different level of decisions that affect the eco-efficiency of firms.

In the first chapter, I analyze the effect of information on sustainable product end-of-use operations. I first provide a generic framework for assessing the value of information. Then, I apply the framework to the case of decisions related to end-of-use collection of cell phones to demonstrate the applicability of the framework in quantifying the relationship between information, decision-making, and economic and environmental performance.

The second chapter is focused on rejection decisions of projects in the context of energy intensity and energy efficiency. I examine organizational barriers to the implementation of energy-efficiency projects using data from the U.S. Department of Energy IAC program, with emphasis on projects that were not implemented and reasons for their rejection. I find that the type of the firm’s contact person who participates in the energy assessment could significantly impact the rejection decision. I find that managers with access to organizational resources would less likely reject recommendations for organizational reasons, while they would more likely reject recommendations for operational reasons.

In the third analysis chapter, I evaluate how the eco-efficiency rating of firms is influenced by the types of indicators and rating methodologies used. I demonstrate the application of Data Envelopment Analysis methodology in the context of Socially Responsible Investing decisions. I find that rating based on Data Envelopment Analysis is superior to other methodologies in order to ascertain firms’ environmental performance allowing the integration of different performance measures.

Overall, my dissertation is interdisciplinary in nature and creates bridges between the disciplines of management science and industrial ecology. Each chapter provides theoretical and practical insights to better understand the relationship of decision-making and resulting corporate eco-efficiency.

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