Socially responsible buying/sourcing (SRB) has become a critical issue in many companies. The purpose of this study was to build an exploratory model to describe buying/sourcing professionals' SRB decision‐making process.
Adopting business ethics and attitude theories, the SRB process was hypothesized to be a composite of cognitive processing and affective reactions to personal sources of information (e.g. peers). The mail survey data obtained from buying/sourcing professionals in the US apparel/shoe companies were analyzed using a Structural Equation Modeling technique.
SRB generally followed a cognitive decision framework and was partly influenced by the decision maker's affective reaction to peer buying/sourcing professionals' behaviors. Emotional reaction to top‐management, however, was not significant.
The SRB scale created for this study is focused on the apparel/shoe buying context, which may limit its applicability to other industries. Also, SRB was measured through subjective perceptions of the respondents, which may be subject to some degree of social desirability bias.
The results suggest that changing the organizational environment where employees observe peers and providing standards of what is socially acceptable can improve SRB.
By employing individual decision makers as the unit of analysis, this study advances the field of ethical decision making by providing empirical evidence that SRB decisions are a product of both cognitive processing and emotional responses.
Park, H. and Stoel, L. (2005), "A model of socially responsible buying/sourcing decision‐making processes", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 235-248. https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550510593176
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