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PhD Ceremony Wilfred Rachan 12 September 2012

At Wednesday 12 september 2012, Wilfred Rachan received his doctoral degree at the PhD ceremony in Leiden. His research is about the effects of collaborative supply chain solutions on strategic performance management. During the dissertation process he was involed in the Dual PhD Centre of Campus The Hague, Leiden University. His promotor is prof. dr. Hans Borgman. Below, he describes his experiences of the PhD ceremony.

My PhD Ceremony at Leiden University

Dr. Wilfred Rachan

I knew this was going to be my special day; it turned out to be more than I could have imagined.

The day started with my first “paranymph”, Nicole getting fitted into a formal dress for the occasion and my other “paranymph” Fletch and I getting fitted into coat-tails with white bow ties. Keef, one of my buddies from Singapore, who swore never to be in a formal suit also decided to get fitted. That was one unexpected achievement.

We then proceeded to grab some lunch by the river café just outside the Academy building. This was great to calm the nerves and to get ready for the ceremony ahead. The weather was beautiful in Leiden and things were looking just great as we sat by the river, our little entourage of 5. I took this time to practise the pronunciation of the Dutch words I had to use to address the committee during the defence ceremony. I did falter each time I had to use these terms. That, to my wife was more nerve-wrecking than the delivery of the defence.

Our little entourage reported to the Pedel’s office before the ceremony. The Pedel, Mr. W. van Beelen, a nice gentleman, went through the process in the most calm assertive manner. I was a bundle of nerves trying to look cool.

Once the formalities were explained, the Pedel escorted us to the “Senaatskamer”. I was overwhelmed, donning the walls were countless portraits of famous professors, of which the oldest one dated back to 1597. The atmosphere in the room - in their collective presence from the past is a humbling feeling of oneself. Then, anxiety set in and I began to sweat.

The opposition committee arrived as we stood on ceremony, all seven being led by Dean of Faculty Campus The Hague, Prof. dr. Jouke de Vries.

Then without much delay, the questioning started. After 45 minutes - which felt like 45 days to me, the Pedel came in to end the session. I was relieved. It was time for the professors to deliberate and decide my fate.  I sweat more.

After a good 15 minutes, they returned to the room, the Dean delegated the conferring of the doctorate to Prof. dr. Hans Borgman. He made the best speech, he was eloquent and structured. In this short speech, Prof. dr. Borgman was able to articulate the importance of patience and perseverance, which contributed a great part of my dissertation. I will forever be proud to be associated with Prof. dr. Borgman. I received my PhD diploma from Prof. dr. Joost Kok.

The sweating stopped. The beaming started. I was elated. It was surreal; words cannot describe the whole atmosphere, the feeling and the ceremony. The only way one can truly appreciate this, is to go through it by oneself.

This was the most wonderful day of my life.


Ceremony in the
Ceremony in the "Senaatskamer" or Senate-room

The Dissertation

Collaborative supply chain solutions are widely accepted in the industry as one of the main factors driving the manager’s action learning. In a competitive market environment, the behaviour of the manager can be the difference between an enterprise strategic performance success and failure.

The research examines the effects of collaborative supply chain solutions on strategic performance management. Based on an explorative Action Research (AR) study over 4 iterations at 3 manufacturing companies, I developed the strategic performance inhibitors (SPI) model from the identified strategic performance attributes. From the SPI model, research variables were derived leading to a number of effects from collaborative supply chain solutions on strategic performance management.

One of the main contributions of this research is to describe these effects through causal models based on data collected, building upon and extending existing theoretical models.

For more information about the research of Mr. Rachan, visit his personal page on this website.

The committee in the Academy building
The committee in the Academy building


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