It’s humbling to be invited by the Hanken School leaders to teach their students and work with their faculty. My Fulbright experience will generate international visibility for our supply chain management program, create collaboration opportunities for our faculty, and promote greater awareness of the Harbert College of Business."
The Harbert College of Business is dedicated to producing research that advances the academy, extends business thought and shapes best practice. Longtime retail supply chain researcher Brian Gibson, Wilson Family Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Supply Chain Innovation at the Harbert College of Business, will have the opportunity to do that on an international scale.
Gibson was awarded the Fulbright-Hanken Distinguished Chair in Business and Economics for 2020-21 in Helsinki, Finland at the Hanken School of Economics. He will co-instruct two graduate courses – Supply Chain for Sustainability (October to December) and Current Topics in Supply Chain Management and Social Responsibility (March to May, 2021). He will also devote time to researching the omnichannel supply chain practices of Finnish retailers and work with the faculty on development of distance learning courses.
“Being selected for the Fulbright chair is a great honor as it recognizes my body of work in research and teaching over a 25-year academic career,” said Gibson, who has been at Auburn since 1999. “It’s humbling to be invited by the Hanken School leaders to teach their students and work with their faculty. My Fulbright experience will generate international visibility for our supply chain management program, create collaboration opportunities for our faculty, and promote greater awareness of the Harbert College of Business.
The Fulbright program is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program and is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright grants are a reflection of scholastic leadership and contributions to society and are made possible through funds appropriated annually by the U.S. Congress and, in many cases, by contributions from partner countries and private parties.
Making an impact, either at the Harbert College or overseas, is paramount for Gibson.
“The more we do to create career-ready students, the more success they will have as alumni. That will support our employers and reflect well on our program,” he said.
At Hanken, Gibson looks forward to taking a “deep dive” into Finland’s retail sector and research how the industry is dealing with the transition to omnichannel supply chain challenges.
Some of the questions Gibson hopes to answer in his research include:
* What are the omnichannel fulfillment requirements of Finnish consumers?
* What are the critical roles of fulfillment technology, operational processes, and talent in enabling Finnish retailers to achieve omnichannel success?
* How do financial, technological, strategic and physical barriers impede the development of Finnish retailers’ omnichannel fulfillment capabilities?
“The Center for Supply Chain Innovation publishes an annual State of the Retail Supply Chain report in the U.S. I will be conducting a similar type of study with Hanken School researchers, with the potential to generate an annual retail study through their research center,” he added.
Gibson also believes two eight-week terms in Helsinki will make him a better asset to Harbert College and the supply chain discipline.
“The company engagement activities will be so much richer than just reading about supply chains operations in Finland and other Nordic countries,” he said. “This will help me gain a more global business perspective that I can bring back to Auburn. I also look forward to experiencing the culture, developing new relationships, and picking up a bit of the Finnish language. Sotakotka (War Eagle)!”