Transparency in Global Energy Supply Chains
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- Master of Science 
Research on transparency in global supply chains has increased in recent years due to enhanced emphasis on sustainability, global dependencies, and supply chain disruptions illustrated through the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine. A sector particularly relevant to illustrate global dependencies and disruptions is the energy sector, which now experiences significant shifts in supply and demand. Characterized by the recent energy crisis, enhanced political demands, and the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, it is evident that the sector is experiencing intensified pressure. Furthermore, as the energy sector is heavily dependent on foreign suppliers, some of them accused of human rights violations and considerably contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions, it becomes evident that the sector would be in favor of practices that facilitate more control and visibility throughout global supply chains. In general, transparency is the tool suggested to better cope with the aforementioned complexities. However, as transparency is currently proven to be relatively poor within this sector, it becomes crucial to identify the factors influencing transparency. With regards to the previous section, this master thesis identifies factors influencing transparency within global energy supply chains and investigates how transparency might enable sustainability. In literature, researchers have covered the topic of transparency to a great extent, focusing on benefits and opportunities in theory. However, despite transparency being extensively covered in literature, we were intrigued by the insufficient research on how transparency is applied in practice and the concept´s corresponding complexities. In addition, few researchers have investigated transparency in connection to the energy sector, an interesting field of investigation due to recent intensified pressure and its characteristics of fierce competition, complex supply chains, and project-based organizing. Consequently, we constructed one overall research question and one sub-question that we attempt to answer to further investigate the research gap: (1) What are the key factors influencing transparency in global energy supply chains? and (2) How does transparency enable sustainability? We aimed to answer these research questions through a qualitative study with valuable insight acquired from expert interviews to better understand the aforementioned. To answer the first research question, we explored transparency in energy supply chains to better understand the present situation. Further, we investigated drivers, showcasing the need for enhance transparency, barriers, elements that inhibit transparency, and enablers, underlying preconditions that enhance transparency in practice. The sub-question was included due to the growing number of organizations that now aim to improve sustainability in their supply chains, making it a relevant subject for investigation. Consequently, we have been investigating whether transparency could simplify the process of accomplishing sustainability in practice. Our research revealed that globalization and corresponding risk, increased emphasis on sustainability, and the development of new laws and regulations are underlying factors that encourage energy-associated enterprises to ensure transparent supply chains. Through investigating the factors which inhibit information sharing, our study proposes that it is, in fact, the industry characteristics themselves, complexity, fierce competition, and project-based organizing, that impede transparency. Moreover, to ensure transparency in global supply chains, energy-associated corporations are encouraged to invest in information technologies, develop internal culture and allocate new responsibilities, collaborate, and develop common standards across the entire supply chain. Our findings also conclude that transparency can be used as a tool for sustainability, as it is proposed to create increased awareness and monitoring.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Logistics, operations and supply chain management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2022