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Exploring synergetic effects between investments in environmental and quality/lean practices in supply chains

Frank Wiengarten (Department of Operations and Innovation Management, ESADE School of Business, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain)
Brian Fynes (Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)
George Onofrei (Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 7 March 2013

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to report the empirical results examining potential synergetic effects between investments in environmental and quality/lean practices within the supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross‐country survey data collected by the “Global Manufacturing Research Group” within Europe was utilized to test the hypotheses. Synergetic effects were conceptualized through interaction effects using ordinary least square regression (OLS) analysis.

Findings

Results indicate that synergetic effects between traditional practices such as lean and quality and environmental practices are possible. More specifically, the impact of lean and quality practices on operational supply chain performance can be amplified through environmental practices such as ISO 14001, pollution prevention, recycling of materials and waste reduction.

Originality/value

Although research on the performance impact of environmental practices within the supply chain context has matured over the past years, there is still a scarcity of research exploring their relationship with traditional manufacturing practices such as quality and lean. Underpinned through the resource based view and the concept of complementarity, this study addresses this shortcoming through exploring the impact of environmental practices on the efficacy of quality and lean practices within a supply chain context. This paper will thus be beneficial for supply chain managers developing a case for environmental investments and will further advance research on manufacturing practices within the supply chain context.

Keywords

Citation

Wiengarten, F., Fynes, B. and Onofrei, G. (2013), "Exploring synergetic effects between investments in environmental and quality/lean practices in supply chains", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 148-160. https://doi.org/10.1108/13598541311318791

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited