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Towards a theory of multi-tier sustainable supply chains: a systematic literature review

Elcio M. Tachizawa (Department of Business Administrations, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Getafe, Spain)
Chee Yew Wong (Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 2 September 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive framework that synthesizes approaches and contingency variables to manage the sustainability of multi-tier supply chains and sub-suppliers.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a systematic literature review, the authors analyse 39 studies and relevant theories to develop a comprehensive framework that integrates research efforts so far.

Findings

The authors build a conceptual framework that incorporates four approaches to manage the sustainability of multi-tier supply chains. They also identify several contingency variables (e.g. power, dependency, distance, industry, knowledge resources) and their effect on the proposed approaches.

Research limitations/implications

Based on the framework, six research propositions that advance the theories on multi-tier supply chain management, allow lead firms to develop comprehensive sustainable supply chain strategies and set the ground for future research in the area were developed.

Originality/value

This study provides a novel framework for studying sustainability in multi-tier supply chains that goes beyond the single-tier perspective and incorporates the extended supply chain.

Keywords

Citation

M. Tachizawa, E. and Yew Wong, C. (2014), "Towards a theory of multi-tier sustainable supply chains: a systematic literature review", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 19 No. 5/6, pp. 643-663. https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-02-2014-0070

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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