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Mediating effect of productivity between sustainable supply chain management practices and competitive advantage: evidence from apparel manufacturing in Bangladesh

Mohammad Rezaur Razzak (Department of Management, College of Economics and Political Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 30 August 2022

Issue publication date: 7 March 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the combined theoretical perspectives offered by the sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) practices view and the resource-based view (RBV), this study aims to examine whether pursuit of environmental, social and economic sustainability measures of SSCM practices drive competitive advantage (CA) among fashion-apparel manufacturing organizations in an emerging economy. Furthermore, the study investigates whether the above relationships are mediated by productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a theoretically supported conceptual framework, a set of hypotheses are tested by applying partial least squares structural equation modeling on a sample of 345 export-oriented fashion-apparel manufacturing companies in Bangladesh. SmartPLS (v.3.2) is applied to analyze the path model through bootstrapping procedure.

Findings

The findings suggest that the direct relationship between social sustainability dimension of SSCM practices along and CA is positive and significant. While the direct relationships between environmental sustainability and CA, and economic sustainability and CA, were found to be non-significant. However, when productivity was applied as a mediator, all the paths were significant.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributes to the strategic management literature by presenting a combined theoretical perspective proposing the idea that sustainable supply chain practices can influence both productivity and CA, where productivity is a pertinent mediator.

Practical implications

The study presents evidence for ready-made garments manufacturers in emerging economies on how compliance with environmental, social and economic sustainability measures in the supply chain of apparel manufacturers leads to gains in CA for the firms. Additionally, the study shows that such measures must also have a net positive impact on productivity to be able to influence CA significantly.

Originality/value

This paper appears to be among the first study that presents a framework based on a combined view of SSCM practices and RBV to empirically investigate the role of productivity as a mediator in the relationships between the sustainability dimensions of SSCM practices and CA in apparel manufacturing.

Keywords

Citation

Razzak, M.R. (2023), "Mediating effect of productivity between sustainable supply chain management practices and competitive advantage: evidence from apparel manufacturing in Bangladesh", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 428-445. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-01-2022-0022

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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