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Green drivers and green enablers in pharmaceuticals supply chain: in the context of an emerging economy

Kali Charan Sabat (Alliance University, Bangalore, India)
Bala Krishnamoorthy (NMIMS, Mumbai, India)
Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya (Department of Strategic Management, IIM Nagpur, Nagpur, India)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 24 May 2022

Issue publication date: 12 July 2023




The purpose of this study was to comprehend the current state of green supply chain management (GSCM) and its drivers and enablers in the pharmaceutical supply chains (PSCs).


This study developed a model consisting of the factors green drivers, green enablers and green practices. For this study, data were collected from 166 supply chain heads from 124 pharmaceutical companies operating in India. The data was empirically analysed using SmartPLS3 software.


The study revealed that in Indian PSCs, public pressure, supplier pressure and competitor pressure were the major drivers for GSCM practices and coercive pressures such as pressure from government and regulatory bodies were insignificant drivers. The results indicated that the influence of green drivers and green enablers altered with supply chain flow. Green drivers indicated higher influence at the upstream of PSCs whereas the influence of green enablers was higher at the downstream of PSCs. Furthermore, the study revealed that the factor “green enablers” was a good mediator for the relationship between “green drivers” and “GSCM practices” in PSCs.

Research limitations/implications

This study was an extension work with the addition of external green drivers to the self-induced organizational activities. Further investigations can be done by including the “green barriers” construct in the conceptual model.

Practical implications

This research connected the institutional theory with the resource-based view to understanding the role of green drivers and green enablers in greening PSC. For managers and regulators, this study provided clear insights on how to approach different supply chain drivers and enablers to maximize the impact of GSCM practices. Moreover, the findings of this study helped in incorporating knowledge about GSCM into a framework that can be used for defining strategies for setting up a sustainable PSC for pharmaceutical products leading to the development and growth of the pharmaceuticals industry.


Most of the earlier studies on GSCM were at the firm level and some studies were at the supply chain level. To further enhance the scope of GSCM theory, this study was conducted at two different levels, first at the complete supply chain level and second at three different levels: upstream, firm-level and downstream.



Sabat, K.C., Krishnamoorthy, B. and Bhattacharyya, S.S. (2023), "Green drivers and green enablers in pharmaceuticals supply chain: in the context of an emerging economy", The TQM Journal, Vol. 35 No. 6, pp. 1349-1377.



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