The purpose of this paper is to explore how intra-industry strategic alliances (SAs) seek to assess supplier risk related to sustainability, what motivation drives single members to form or join such an SA, and how such a joint endeavor affects supplier risk management.
An embedded single case study with multiple units of analysis was conducted. The main data were collected through semi-structured interviews with key respondents from seven leading chemical companies, three of which were founding members of the SA, while four were new members.
This paper shows that forming/joining an SA concerning sustainability-related supplier risk assessment, results in the reduction of task uncertainty and equivocality as well as the increase of information processing capacities. Based on the implemented sharing routines, a higher overall efficiency can be achieved. Moreover, the members benefit from an enhanced identification of varying stakeholder expectations, a facilitated capability building and a more comprehensive supplier risk assessment. In particular, the joint endeavors result in assessment processes of higher robustness, which provide outcomes of higher quality.
This paper is the first to investigate companies’ efforts toward improving their supplier risk management in the area of sustainability by establishing/joining an intra-industry SA. By providing insights into the motivation to form or join such a collaborative platform and illustrating the effects that arise from the SA’s work from an organizational information processing perspective, it provides a contribution to both academics and managerial practice.
Canzaniello, A., Hartmann, E. and Fifka, M.S. (2017), "Intra-industry strategic alliances for managing sustainability-related supplier risks: Motivation and outcome", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 47 No. 5, pp. 387-409. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-01-2016-0034
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