Rosie is the Deputy Head of the Department of Business Transformation at Surrey Business School. Rosie's main research interest is in sustainable supply chain management, particularly focused on socially responsible purchasing. She works with the fashion retail, food and beverage and manufacturing sectors as well as the NHS. In 2019, she was awarded Surrey Business School's EC Researcher of the Year.
She previously worked as a Senior Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain at Roehampton Business School (2008-2016). Prior to this she was an Operations Consultant at Deloitte LLP in London working with clients such as News International, BP, Unilever and SABMiller.
Rosie has previously taught a range of operations management, business ethics, retail and supply chain modules and has many years of experience in programme management, curriculum redesign and has been a board member across a range of university committees.
Rosie is a Fellow of the HEA (Higher Education Academy) and was previously a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). She completed the Aurora Women's Leadership Programme in 2018.
University roles and responsibilities
- Deputy Director (Centre for Sustainable Enterprise Management) 2016-2018
- Personal/Academic Tutor
- Professional Training Year Tutor
- Deputy Head of Department (Business Transformation)
Affiliations and memberships
In the media
Rosie's main research interest is in sustainable supply chain management with current projects on supplier selection processes for socially responsible sourcing, supply chain intermediary service triads, modern slavery in global supply chains, transparency and innovative technologies for sustainability (blockchain), energy policy, political CSR and global supply chain turbulence. She has recently completed projects in reverse exchange of devices in the NHS and global sustainability education of future business leaders.
Edinburgh Napier University (reverse logistics)
Lancaster University Management School (modern slavery)
Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary (sustainability education)
Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia (sustainability education)
Mutah University, Jordan (sustainable sourcing)
MSc Business Analytics
Supply Chain and Logistics Management MANM250 (Module leader 2019-2020)
MSc Operations and Supply Chain in the Digital Era
Purchasing and Cost Management MANM404 (Module leader 2018-2019)
Sustainable Supply Chains MANM405 (Module leader 2018-2019)
Supply Chain and Logistics Management MANM250 (Module leader 2017-2018)
Executive MBA and full-time MBA: Understanding, Developing and Growing the Business, Understanding Business in the International Environment (2016-2018), Managing the Agile Business (2018-2020)
Undergraduate: Business, Economics and Sustainability MAN1100 (Module leader 2016-2017)
Previously Taught: Managing Operations, Business Skills, Quantitative and Accounting Methods for Business, Marketing and Enterprise, Retail Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, Retail Theory and Practice
Postgraduate research supervision
Suleman Dauda (planned completion 2019)
Naveed Qureshi (planned completion 2019)
Zahra Shirgholami (planned completion 2021)
Titus Jan Otto Sauerwein (planned completion 2021)
PhD external examiner - July 2019
PhD internal examiner at the University of Surrey - September 2017, November 2017, February 2019
PhD upgrade as first examiner at the University of Surrey - February 2017, August 2017, July 2019
University of Hertfordshire: Module examiner
Edinburgh Napier University: Programme examiner
Previously: Anglia Ruskin University, University of Huddersfield
Supplier Stewards in Sustainable Enterprise, Journal of Corporate Citizenship 2017 (67) pp. 3-11 Greenleaf Publishing in association with GSE Research
Purpose: To examine how organisations report on the detection and remediation of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains; and to understand their approaches to disclosing information in response to modern slavery legislation.
Methodology: An analysis of secondary data based on the statements released in response to the 2015 UK Modern Slavery Act by 101 firms in the clothing and textiles sector.
Findings: Many firms use the same practices to detect and remediate modern slavery as for other social issues. But the hidden, criminal nature of modern slavery and the involvement of third party labour agencies mean practices need to either be tailored or other more innovative approaches developed, including in collaboration with traditional and non-traditional actors. Although five broad types of disclosure are identified, there is substantial heterogeneity in the statements. It is posited however that firms will converge on a more homogenous set of responses over time.
Research limitations: The study is limited to one industry, responses to UK legislation, and the information disclosed by focal firms only. Future research could expand the focus to include other industries, country contexts, and stakeholders.
Practical implications: Managers must consider how their own firm?s behaviour contributes to the modern slavery threat, regulate both their stock and non-stock supply chains, and ensure modern slavery is elevated from the procurement function to the boardroom. In making disclosures, managers may trade-off the potential competitive gains of transparency against the threat of information leakage and reputational risk should their statements be falsified. They should also consider what signals their statements send back up the chain to (sub-)suppliers. Findings also have potential policy implications.
Originality: The study expands our understanding of: (i) modern slavery from a supply chain perspective, e.g. identifying the importance of standard setting and risk avoidance; and, (ii) supply chain information disclosure in response to legislative demands. This is the first academic paper to examine the statements produced by organisations in response to the UK Modern Slavery Act.
this international purchase and intermodal transportation competitive in-class exercise
intentionally holds back selected supply chain details. This Inquiry Based Learning (IBL)
approach simulates a real-world Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP) scenario by
requiring students to identify what information they need and seek out those details from
the instructor while competing with fellow student groups. In this 20-30 minute exercise
students are challenged to identify the all the necessary supply chain activities required
to effectively ship patio swings from a supplier in China to a national retail chain in time
for a spring sale. Generating the benefits of improved critical thinking in a fraction of the
time required for traditional IBL, the approach is best described as a Partial Information
Exercise (PIE). A student survey (n=310) found that students strongly supported the
inquiry approach, it generated significantly increased interest in global supply chain
management roles and responsibilities, and over 91% of participants recommended the
exercise continue to be part of the introductory operations and supply chain management
Purpose: To encourage the study of blockchain technology from an Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM) perspective, identifying potential areas of application; and to provide an agenda for future research.
Approach: An explanation and analysis of blockchain technology is provided to identify implications for the field of OSCM.
Findings: The hype around the opportunities that digital ledger technologies offer is high. For OSCM, a myriad of ways in which blockchain could transform practice are identified, including: enhancing product safety and security; improving quality management; reducing illegal counterfeiting; improving sustainable supply chain management; advancing inventory management and replenishment; reducing the need for intermediaries; impacting new product design and development; and, reducing the cost of supply chain transactions. The immature state of practice and research surrounding blockchain means there is an opportunity for OSCM researchers to study the technology in its early stages and shape its adoption.
Research implications: The paper provides a platform for new research that addresses gaps in knowledge and advances the field of OSCM. A research agenda is developed around six key themes.
Practical implications: There are many opportunities for organisations to obtain an advantage by making use of blockchain technology ahead of the competition, enabling them to enhance their market position. But it is important that managers examine the characteristics of their products, services and supply chains to determine whether they need or would benefit sufficiently from the adoption of blockchain. Moreover, it is important that organisations build human capital expertise that allows them to develop, implement, and exploit applications of this technology to maximum reward.
Originality: The first paper in a leading international OSCM journal to analyse blockchain technology thereby complementing a recent article on digital supply chains that omitted blockchain.
Cole, R. (2020) ‘Stewardship behaviours in sustainable supply chain management’, in “Citizenship and Sustainability in Organisations: Exploring and spanning the boundaries”, ed. Marshall, A. & Murphy, D.F. Routledge/Greenleaf.
Cole, R. (2019) ‘Getting your research philosophy clear’, in "How to keep your doctorate on track: Insights from students’ and supervisors’ experiences” ed. Townsend, K., Saunders, M.K. Loudoun, R & Morrison, E. Edward Elgar.
McLoughlin, K., Benstead, A. and Cole, R. (2020) ‘Getting to the bottom of chain liability’, forthcoming Ideas Incubator session at the European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) Sustainable Supply Chains and Operations Forum, Nottingham, 10th-12th February.
Shirgholami, Z., Cole, R., & Aitken, J. (2019) ‘Getting on the right track: MNCs on the path to end forced labour in supply chains’ paper presented at the BAM Annual Conference, Birmingham, 3rd-5th September.
Thürer, M., Cole, R., Hanna, M. & Protzman, C.W. (2019) ‘Classroom simulations for customization: Teaching production control in non-repetitive contexts’ paper presented at the EurOMA Annual Conference, Helsinki, 17th-19th June.
Cole, R. & Snider, B. (2018) ‘Beat the dice: sustainability uncertainty and implications on the total cost of ownership’, paper presented at EurOMA, Budapest, 24th-26th June. HIGHLY COMMENDED.
Aitken, J., Deakins, E., Skipworth, H and Cole, R. (2018) ‘The role of temporal torms and orientations in operations management’ paper presented at EurOMA special session, Budapest, 24th-26th June.
Cole, R. (2018) 'Tracing the origin: the use of blockchain in supply chain provenance' paper presented at the European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) Sustainable Supply Chains and Operations Forum, Kassel, 5th-6th March.
Cole, R. & Snider, B. (2017) 'Sustainability solutions to manage supply chain turbulence', paper presented at the POMS International Conference, Sydney, 12-14th December.
Cole, R. (2017) 'Tackling trust deficiencies of socially sustainable supply chain members', paper presented at the BAM Annual Conference, Warwick, 5th-8th September.
Farhad, N., & Cole, R. (2017) 'Inter-organizational cooperation of MNCs and NGOs for socially sustainable sourcing', paper presented at the BAM Annual Conference, Warwick, 5th-8th September.
Aitken, J., Bozarth, C., Turner, N. & Cole, R. (2017) 'Supply chain complexity: Developing a combinative capability', paper presented at the EurOMA Annual Conference, Edinburgh, 3rd-5th July.
Farhad, N., & Cole, R. (2017) 'SDGs and the energetic society: A study of inter-organizational cooperation between MNCs and NGOs to achieve socially sustainable sourcing in the Bangladeshi garment sector' paper presented at the SDG and Sustainable Supply Chains in the post-global economy symposium at Royal Holloway University, 27th May.
Farhad, N., & Cole, R. (2017) 'Socially sustainable sourcing through the lens of political CSR: Readymade garments in Bangladesh', paper presented at at the European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) Sustainable Supply Chains and Operations Forum, Milan, 27th-28th April.
Cole, R., Barker, F., & Lindsay, C. (2016) 'Employing reverse logistics for NHS devices: the case of hearing aid equipment in the UK' paper presented at at the Production and Operations Management World Conference, Havana, 6th-10th September.
Cole, R. (2016) 'Initial benchmarking classifications for supplier selection scorecards in socially sustainable supply chains ', paper presented at the European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) Sustainable Supply Chains and Operations Forum, Lancaster, 11th-12th April.
Cole, R. (2015) 'Moving towards a stewardship perspective in the management of socially sustainable supply chains', paper presented at the BAM Annual Conference, Portsmouth, 8th-10th September.
Cole, R., & Aitken, J. (2015) 'Supplier self-assessment and the role of third parties in the pursuit of sustainable supply chains', paper presented at the European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) Sustainable Supply Chains and Operations Forum, Barcelona, 23rd-24th March.
Cole, R., & Aitken, J. (2014) 'Making the right decision: supplier self-assessment tools in the context of sustainable supply chains', paper presented at the EurOMA Annual Conference, Palermo, 20th-25th June.
Cole, R. (2014) 'Under what conditions? Transactional and relational factors affecting supplier selection decisions in the purchasing context of social sustainability' , paper presented at the Sustainable Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management Doctoral Student Conference, Sheffield, 5th June. BEST PAPER AWARD.
Cole, R., & Aitken, J. (2013) 'The identification and management of factors affecting supplier selection decisions to achieve sustainability objectives', paper presented at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation: Logistics Research Network Annual Conference, Birmingham, 4th-6th September.
Cole, R., and Aitken, J. (2012) 'Considering social sustainability factors as a determinant when making supply chain decisions: The difference between theory and practice', paper presented at British Academy of Management Annual Conference, Cardiff, 11th-13th September.
Aitken, J., and Cole, R. (2011) 'Service company led reverse logistics systems', paper presented at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation: Logistics Research Network Annual Conference, Southampton, 7th-9th September.