As focal buyers implement sustainable supplier management (SSM) to advance their supply chain sustainability, the purpose of this paper is to provide a more nuanced understanding of how buyers’ use of power may incite varying perceptions of justice from suppliers that affect sustainable supplier performance (SSP).
This paper draws on multidisciplinary literature and collects empirical data from 181 supplying firms in China to examine the complex links among power use, justice, SSM, and sustainable performance using partial least squares structural equation modeling.
Both coercive and reward buyer power can facilitate SSM implementation and justice perception moderates the impact of SSM on SSP. Furthermore, coercive power adversely influences justice evaluation, thereby attenuating the effect of SSM on performance.
This study complements and extends sustainable supply chain management research by evaluating SSM: on environmental, social and economic performance; from the perspectives of suppliers; and in an emerging market where many suppliers of Western firms are located. It also adds to behavioral SCM research by examining how buyers’ exercise of power might influence suppliers’ justice perception.
To implement SSM, focal buyers cannot simply issue codes of conduct to suppliers and ignore suppliers’ disposition to commit to standards. While coercive power might be convenient and tempting for buying firms, managers ought to be judicious in the use of coercion.
This is the first large-scale empirical investigation on the links among power use, justice, SSM and sustainable performance from the perspectives of suppliers in an emerging economy.
Chen, Y. and Chen, I.J. (2019), "Mediated power and sustainable supplier management (SSM): Linking power use, justice, and supplier performance", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 49 No. 8, pp. 861-878. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-12-2018-0393
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