Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management
Catherine H. Strohbehn
School operators are looking for ways to improve efficiency by reducing costs. One approach is to examine costs along the supply chain using technology to reduce identified costs. The purpose of this study was to identify key attributes that affect a school nutrition program's willingness to adopt technology for supply chain management (SCM).
A survey design was used to gather data from the 500 school districts with the highest enrollment in the United States. An online questionnaire with a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree) gathered data from school nutrition program professionals about their supply chain and information orientations and their willingness to engage in technology-enabled SCM initiatives. The response rate was 31.8%.
Descriptive statistics were used to analyze demographic traits of the respondents and their school district. Typical respondents were females, 51-60 years old, with an advanced college degree and 20 or more years of foodservice experience. On average the respondent's school nutrition program was operated by the school district (92.4%), employed fewer than 500 workers (77.3%), was financially solvent (71.5%), and did not centralize food purchasing (60.2%), production (84.7%), or delivery functions (60.2%).
Respondents extensively utilized software within their departments and to exchange information with other departments in the school district, with other members of their supply chain, and also with their customers. Factor analysis identified three factors of supply chain orientation: Trust (M = 4.40), Top Management Support (M = 2.73), and Commitment (M = 3.92). Information Management Practices (M = 4.17) was identified for information orientation, and the average rating for Overall Information Management was 4.30. In general, respondents were willing to adopt technology for SCM initiatives (M = 3.98). Multiple regression analysis determined that supply chain orientation but not information orientation predicted a willingness to adopt technology for SCM.
School nutrition personnel are well-advised to gain top management support prior to engaging in projects to implement technology for SCM initiatives and to select supply chain partners to whom they are fully committed and trust. Future research is needed to further explore SCM technology initiatives already underway in school districts.
Julie Ann Boettger
Boettger, Julie Ann, "Effects of organizational attributes on adoption of technology for supply chain management in large school nutrition programs" (2009). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 10516.