The purpose of this study is to examine how the pressures from stakeholders located in company's country of origin and level of internationalization of the company influence the implementation of socially responsible supply chain management (SR-SCM) practices.
To assess this level of influence, an SR-SCM performance index is developed by building on existing theoretical frameworks and using secondary data from ThomsonReuters’ WorldScope and ASSET4 databases to capture responsible supply chain actions categorized in communication, compliance and supplier development strategies. The analysis is based on 1,252 international companies from diverse countries and sectors between 2007 and 2016.
The effectiveness of stakeholder pressures in facilitating the adoption of socially responsible practices varies greatly with regard to the strategic element of SR-SCM and the type stakeholders considered. Companies that are more internationalized tend to adopt a greater number of SR-SCM practices, whereas home country stakeholders are of diminishing relevance with the increasing internationalization of a company.
Governments in companies’ countries of origin should ensure that social issues in supply chains are adequately covered by regulations. Ideally, laws should not only cover firms’ domestic operations but also their global activities.
Citizens should be given the opportunities to raise their voice and publicly express their disagreement with business misconduct and non-compliance. Apart from that, the role of workers’ associations and investors in the social sustainability debate should be strengthened.
This study contributes to SR-SCM theory development by operationalizing existing conceptual frameworks, showing how domestic stakeholders shape SR-SCM performance and analyzing whether the influence of certain stakeholder groups diminishes or increases when a company is more globally-oriented in its operations.
This paper forms part of a special section “Responsible Supply Chain and Social Sustainability: Sustainability Accounting and Management Research and Practice”, guest edited by Ki-Hoon Lee and Stephan Vachon.
The authors wish to acknowledge the suggestions and recommendations of the reviewers to help finalize the paper.
Damert, M., Koep, L., Guenther, E. and Morris, J. (2021), "Stakeholders and socially responsible supply chain management: the moderating role of internationalization", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 667-694. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-03-2019-0092
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited