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Tri Tran receives a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant

15 March 2024
Assistant Professor Tri Tran

Dr Tri Tran, together with Dr Peng Xu from the University of Essex, received the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant. The grant of € 11,500 will facilitate research visits and data collection for their research project that explores the advantages of risk-seeking behaviour, particularly in supplier selection problems during disruptions in the context of the healthcare supply chain. Classical supplier selection criteria tend to favour suppliers with steady performance, showing a risk-averse preference. Nonetheless, when it comes to selecting suppliers that perform extremely well in crises, risk-seeking decision-making may be more beneficial.

Dr Tri Tran is an assistant professor at FEB's Department of Operations. Before joining FEB, Dr Tran earned his Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) degree in Logistics from Aalto University, Finland. Dr Peng Xu obtained his Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) degree in Management Science from Aalto University, Finland and is currently an assistant professor (UK Lecturer) in Business Analytics at the University of Essex, UK. Dr Xu and Dr Tran’s project, “Resilient Healthcare Supply Chain Management through Risk-Seeking Decision-Making: A Multi-Method Research Project”, employs a multi-method approach that combines mathematical modelling with expert interviews to explore the advantages of risk-seeking behaviour in strategic decision-making, particularly in supplier selection problems during supply chain disruptions.

The advantages of risk-seeking behaviour

In everyday life, risk-seeking behaviour is often associated with a negative connotation. Risk-seeking decision-makers tend to have less stable performance than their risk-averse counterparts. However, research has shown that risk-seeking behaviour can be beneficial in some contexts. For instance, risk-seeking behaviour could foster innovations and breakthroughs. In the contemporary disruptive global environment, risk-seeking behaviour could also be beneficial when it comes to supplier selection decisions. Classical supplier selection criteria favour suppliers with steady performances. Nonetheless, when it comes to selecting suppliers that perform extremely well in crises, risk-seeking behaviour may be more desirable. This research will provide decision-makers with an analytic decision-support model that can help select suppliers that can do exceptionally well in crises. The healthcare sector was selected as the context of this study, as supply disruptions, especially of critical items, in the healthcare sector can result in grave consequences. Given the severe pressure the healthcare sector has been under in recent years, this research aims to gain important insights into how risk-seeking preference can help healthcare sourcing managers select exceptional suppliers.

Dr Tran and Dr Xu are grateful to the British Academy for the grant. “This enables us to collect empirical data to verify and contextualise our mathematical findings in the healthcare sector,” Dr Tran shared. “Risk-seeking behaviour is observed among ultra-successful entrepreneurs, so it is not all that bad. It is already proven to have advantages in gain-maximising. So, we’d like to investigate the impacts of these mathematical findings in an empirical setting. And we couldn’t think of anything more socially impactful and intellectually stimulating than the healthcare sector, as it is heavily regulated and the tolerance for errors is relatively low.”

About the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants

The BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants are available to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. These awards, up to £10,000 in value and tenable for up to 24 months, are provided to cover the cost of the expenses arising from a defined research project.

For more information, please contact Tri Tran.

Last modified:15 March 2024 12.16 p.m.

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