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Sustainable supply chain management practices and performance: An integrated perspective from a developing economy

Ravindra Baliga (NITIE, Mumbai, India)
Rakesh D. Raut (NITIE, Mumbai, India)
Sachin S. Kamble (NITIE, Mumbai, India)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 19 August 2019

Issue publication date: 30 July 2020



Sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) is a relatively new sub-field of supply chain management (SCM). The performance of SSCM is based on the triple bottom line approach encompassing people-planet-profit, hence being defined not in only in social and environmental terms, but also the economic. The purpose of this paper is to develop an integrated study which uses antecedent-practices-performance principles in order to determine the drivers of SSCM practices, and the impact of these practices on sustainable supply chain performance. The importance of the study lies in the fact that the Indian Government is making significant efforts to boost the manufacturing sector, and sustainability is among the significant imperatives for Indian manufacturing to be competitive globally.


A conceptual model based on the antecedents-practices-performance principles was developed, and included six constructs identified from the literature: the drivers being the motivators of sustainability, lean management (LM) and supply management (SM), the practices were the environmental and social practices in the supply chain and, finally, the sustainable supply chain performance; eight hypotheses were conceived in the model development process. The survey instrument was conceptualised from an in-depth study of literature and was employed to conduct a survey of 211 operations and supply chain managers and functional heads from the Indian manufacturing industry. The scales were validated by employing the confirmatory factor analysis, followed by structural equation modelling to develop the structural relationships between the constructs using Amos 20.0.


The results of the SEM suggest that the antecedents, i.e. motivators, LM and SM, have a significant bearing on environmental and social practices in the SCM; these practices, in turn, also have a positive relationship with SSCM performance (except the relationship between LM and social practices in SCM) with acceptable goodness-of-fit measures. Thus out of the eight hypotheses, seven can be said to statistically significant.

Research limitations/implications

In addition to the motivators of sustainability, the study based on extant literature has considered LM and SM among the drivers of sustainability in SCM. The study has also identified that in earlier studies, the focus has been on environmental practices, and this integrated study has also included social practices in the supply chain.


This study suggests that sustainability performance may also be realised through lean and SM principles; an integrated perspective has been adopted with the consideration of both environmental and social practices. Further, the proposed model represents a novel integration of literature from diverse domains such as environmental management, business ethics and corporate social responsibility as well as performance management.



Baliga, R., Raut, R.D. and Kamble, S.S. (2020), "Sustainable supply chain management practices and performance: An integrated perspective from a developing economy", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 1147-1182.



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