Hing Kai Chan (Nottingham University Business School China, University of Nottingham China, Ningbo, China)
Alain Yee Loong Chong (Nottingham University Business School China, University of Nottingham China, Ningbo, China)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 2 February 2015


Chan, H.K. and Chong, A.Y.L. (2015), "Editorial", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 115 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-11-2014-0355



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Industrial Management & Data Systems, Volume 115, Issue 1

Invited review paper on corporate sustainability development

Welcome to the first issue of 2015.

With the commencement of the New Year, we will be seeing many new and exciting developments in Industrial Management & Data Systems (IMDS). One of the key initiatives for IMDS is to publish invited review articles from prominent scholars in their respective fields to provide focus, in depth discussions that will be valuable to researchers. We hope the review articles will create an atmosphere for academic debate, to provide insights generated from the literature, and to organize long-term research directions for future research. All invited review papers will go through the same rigorous review process as regular papers.

About the invited review paper

We are delighted to present our first review paper for 2015 entitled “Corporate sustainability development in China: review and analysis.” This invited review paper is authored by three prominent scholars in the field. They are Professor Chunguang Bai, Professor Joseph Sarkis, and Professor Yijie Dou. Their biographical details are presented at the end of this editorial.

Corporate sustainability development (CSD) not only relates to business practices or processes, but also involves corporates’ responsibilities, which has created a lot of discussions or debates in the last two decades. Therefore, the number of studies in this area has been soaring at an unbelievable rate. This can be reflected by the number of papers that are published from the two databases, Emerald and Science Direct (Elsevier), which is illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Number of papers concerning corporate sustainability

Figure 1 is based on a search on the terms “corporate sustainability” without any screening or filtering, and was accessed on November 20, 2014. However, this simple search is sufficient to provide valid evidence on the rising trend of this area. It can be easily observed that Figure 1(a) and (b) are consistent in terms of the increase in studies over the last two decades, despite extracting from different databases. In other words, the awareness and thus importance of CSD can be inferred.

The reason why China is the focal point has been explained clearly in the review paper. In short, the economic growth of China in the last decades has led to high environmental and social costs as well. Readers are encouraged to refer to this review paper for more details. The review paper not only summaries key incidents of CSD in China and recent development from the literature systematically, but also suggests way forward by classifying different factors associated to CSD in China. A framework is developed to help measure the performance of CSD subject to different CSD practices, which are highly related to IMDS (such as supply chain management, information systems for data collection, etc.).

The co-editors and the contributing authors hope that this review paper provides an integrated synthesis of the literature and can help readers to reveal the theoretical arguments for the future research’s needs and directions in this area.

Hing Kai Chan and Alain Yee Loong Chong

About the Contributors

Professor Chunguang Bai is with the Management Science & Engineering School at Dongbei University of Finance & Economics, China. She earned her PhD in Management Science from the Dalian University of Technology, China. Her research interests include supply chain management, management of technology, and business process management and the environment. She has published a number of publications in reputable journals such as International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Production Research, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, and the Journal of Cleaner Production, Information Systems Frontiers, Expert Systems with Applications. Her research has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China Project (Nos 71102090, 71472031); the Liaoning Excellent Talents in University (No. WJQ2014029). She has been a visiting scholar at Temple University in the USA.

Professor Joseph Sarkis completes his research and educational activities as a Professor of Management within Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Foisie School of Business. He has investigated a number of topics related to greening businesses ranging from financial performance of green organizations to analytical modeling of green supply chains. He is concerned about the quality of life for this and future generations. Much of his work has been completed in emerging and developing countries, where poor environmental quality affects people directly and immediately. Hopefully, industry will see value from among his over 350 published works and actually seek to apply some of his research findings to make this world a better place to live for humans, flora and fauna. Much of his work has come from collaborations with colleagues from throughout the world.

Professor Yijie Dou is with the Center for Industrial and Business Organization, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, China. His work focuses on sustainable supply chain management and circular economy. He has published papers in areas of operations management and environmental management. His current work examines the role of government and NGOs in promoting the greening of supply chains, and how the supplier environmental risk is evaluated and mitigated. He has also been involved in some practical consulting projects and has provided strategic advices and specific policy recommendations to the circular economy development of industrial parks.