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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2019

Paul D. Cousins, Benn Lawson, Kenneth J. Petersen and Brian Fugate

Sustainable supply chain management has become an increasingly important driver of business performance. Understanding the contingent nature of how performance is improved…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable supply chain management has become an increasingly important driver of business performance. Understanding the contingent nature of how performance is improved in this context is therefore a critical task for management. The purpose of this paper is to explore the moderating effects of two practices unique to sustainable supply chain – ecocentricity and supply chain traceability – on a firm’s environmental and operating cost performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected from 248 UK manufacturing firms and analyzed using moderated hierarchical regression.

Findings

The results suggest that green supply chain management (GSCM) practices are associated with improvements in both environmental and cost-based performance. Further, higher levels of ecocentricity and supply chain traceability are associated with stronger relationships between GSCM practices and cost performance. Contrary to expectations, high levels of supply chain traceability were found to negatively moderate the relationship between GSCM practices and environmental performance.

Research limitations/implications

The research design was survey-based and cross-sectional. Future studies would benefit from longitudinal research designs that capture the effects of GSCM practices on performance over an extended period. The survey data is also perceptual; using secondary data to capture environmental performance outcomes, for example, would be another opportunity for future research.

Practical implications

The authors provide additional support to findings that GSCM practices benefit both environmental and cost performance dimensions. In this context, the authors show that investments by firms in working with a broader set of eco-system partners (ecocentricity) and building supply chain traceability and leads to improved environmental sustainability outcomes. The authors encourage managers to carefully consider how they conceptualize and monitor their supply chains.

Originality/value

This paper offers several contributions to the research in this area. First, the authors develop and validate a measurement scale for ecocentricity and supply chain traceability. Second, the authors show how these two variables – unique to sustainable supply chains – can positively influence firm and environmental performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 December 2020

Yaw Agyabeng-Mensah, Ebenezer Afum, Innocent Senyo Kwasi Acquah, Essel Dacosta, Charles Baah and Esther Ahenkorah

The priority giving to green practices in today's competitive market has made green logistics management practices (GLMPS) a significant driver of organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

The priority giving to green practices in today's competitive market has made green logistics management practices (GLMPS) a significant driver of organizational performance. The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of GLMPS, logistics ecocentricity and supply chain traceability on sustainability performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses structured questionnaires to gather data from 274 managers of manufacturing firms in Ghana. The partial least square structural equation modeling approach is used to analyze the data to test the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

The results obtained from the analysis indicate that GLMPS positively influence social sustainability and environmental sustainability. However, GLMPS negatively influence business performance. The results further reveal that logistics ecocentricity and supply chain traceability augment GLMPS to achieve significant improvement in both business performance and environmental sustainability through the mediation effect approach.

Originality/value

The study proposes a conceptual framework that tests the combined effect of GLMPs, logistics ecocentricity and supply chain traceability on environmental sustainability, social sustainability and business performance from the Ghanaian perspective.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

Jessica L. Darby, Brian S. Fugate and Jeff B. Murray

Scholars have called for diversity in methods and multi-method research to enhance relevance to practice. However, many of the calls have only gone so far as to suggest…

Abstract

Purpose

Scholars have called for diversity in methods and multi-method research to enhance relevance to practice. However, many of the calls have only gone so far as to suggest the use of multiple methods within the positivism paradigm, which dominates the discipline and may constrain the ability to develop middle-range theory and propose workable solutions to today’s supply chain challenges. The purpose of this paper is to present a rationale for expanding the methodological toolbox of the field to include interpretive research methods.

Design/methodology/approach

This research conceptually illustrates how positivist and interpretive philosophies translate into different research approaches by reviewing an extant positivist qualitative study that uses grounded theory and then detailing how an interpretive researcher would approach the same phenomenon using the hermeneutic method.

Findings

This research expands the boundaries and impact of the field by broadening the set of questions research can address. It contributes a detailed illustration of the interpretive research process, as well as applications for the interpretive approach in future research, particularly theory elaboration, middle-range theorizing, and emerging domains such as the farm-to-fork supply chain and the consumer-based supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

The development of alternative ways of seeking knowledge enhances the potential for creativity, expansion, and progress in the field.

Practical implications

Practical implications of this research include enabling researchers to elaborate theory and develop middle-range theories through an alternative philosophical paradigm. This paradigm facilitates practical insights that are directly relevant to particular domains and move beyond general theories seeking generalizability.

Social implications

Social implications of this research are much more indirect in nature. This research encourages supply chain management (SCM) scholars to look at phenomena (including those with social implications) from a different philosophical perspective, which can reveal new insights.

Originality/value

This research contributes a rationale for expanding the methodological toolbox of the field to include interpretive research methods and also contributes a methodological operationalization of the interpretive approach. By reflecting on the nature of science and method in SCM, the study opens the door for creativity and progress to expand the boundaries and impact of the field.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Pedro Álvarez-Suárez, Pedro Vega-Marcote and Ricardo Garcia Mira

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse a teaching strategy designed to increase the awareness of trainee teachers and educate them with regard to sustainable…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse a teaching strategy designed to increase the awareness of trainee teachers and educate them with regard to sustainable consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

Ninety-four subjects (trainee teachers) were assessed on their knowledge of the environmental impacts of consumerism, their attitudes to sustainable consumption and their behavioural intentions before (pre-test) and after (post-test) the teaching intervention took place.

Findings

Statistical analysis of the results obtained revealed that subjects increased their knowledge of the social and environmental impacts of consumerism, became more aware of the need to take action in this regard, and developed behaviours oriented towards a sustainable model of consumption.

Research limitations/implications

The proper application of an educational strategy of this nature requires more time than that actually assigned to the teaching intervention itself. This obstacle was overcome by using the time envisaged by the European Space for Higher Education, but the outcome could not be monitored.

Practical implications

A reduction of individual and collective consumption in universities.

Originality/value

The study demonstrates the possibilities of an educational strategy that when applied to trainee teachers in higher education promotes sustainable consumption.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2014

Helen Kopnina and Frans Meijers

This article aims to explore the challenges posed by the conceptual framework and diversity of practice of education for sustainable development (ESD). The implications of…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to explore the challenges posed by the conceptual framework and diversity of practice of education for sustainable development (ESD). The implications of plurality of ESD perspectives and methodological approaches as well variations in ESD practice will be addressed. Critical framework for conceptualizing of ESD which takes environmental ethics into account will be proposed through the discussion of The Ecocentric and Anthropocentric Attitudes Toward the Sustainable Development (EAATSD) scale.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for a general review approach, covering literature that provides an overview of the concepts and practices of ESD, as well as program evaluation studies. Additionally, qualitative evaluation of EAATSD scale with students of higher professional education was conducted, using in-depth interviews and dialogue with individual students as well as classroom discussions.

Findings

It was found that there are wide and inconclusive debates about the aims of ESD based on the critique of sustainable development discourse in general and instrumentalism embedded in ESD in particular. According to the qualitative evaluation, EAATSD scale can be used for testing anthropocentric and Ecocentric Attitudes Towards Sustainable Development in students of higher education. Based on these results, this scale was found to be revealing of the critical view of paradoxes and challenges inherent in multiple goals of sustainable development as well as useful for testing anthropocentric and ecocentric attitudes in students of higher education.

Research limitations/implications

Reliability of the scale needs further statistical testing, and as is the case in conventional EE/ESD evaluations, and consequent research is necessary to improve institutional, national, and international applicability to particular cases. Future research should draw from this critical review in order to devise alternative evaluation tools.

Practical implications

In practice, this implies that currently administered evaluations of generic ESD, while useful in concrete cultural or institutional settings, might be premature. The article concludes with the reflection upon which conceptual, methodological, cultural, and ethical challenges of ESD which should be useful for ESD researchers and practitioners in different national settings.

Originality/value

This article fulfills an identified need to address the paradoxes of sustainable development and to study how ESD can be more effective.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 December 2020

Stelvia V. Matos, Martin C. Schleper, Stefan Gold and Jeremy K. Hall

The research is based on a critically analyzed literature review focused on the unanticipated outcomes, trade-offs and tensions of sustainable operations and supply chain…

Abstract

Purpose

The research is based on a critically analyzed literature review focused on the unanticipated outcomes, trade-offs and tensions of sustainable operations and supply chain management (OSCM), including the articles selected for this special issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors introduce the key concepts, issues and theoretical foundations of this special issue on “The hidden side of sustainable operations and supply chain management (OSCM): Unanticipated outcomes, trade-offs and tensions”. The authors explore these issues within this context, and how they may hinder the authors' transition to more sustainable practices.

Findings

The authors present an overview of unanticipated outcomes, trade-offs, tensions and influencing factors from the literature, and identify how such problems may emerge. The model addresses these problems by highlighting the crucial effect of the underlying state of knowledge on sustainable OSCM decision-making.

Research limitations/implications

The authors limited the literature review to journals that ranked 2 and above as defined by the Chartered Association of Business Schools Academic Journal Guide. The main implication for research is a call to focus attention on unanticipated outcomes as a starting point rather than only an afterthought. For practitioners, good intentions such as sustainability initiatives need careful consideration for potential unanticipated outcomes.

Originality/value

The study provides the first critical review of unanticipated outcomes, trade-offs and tensions in the sustainable OSCM discourse. While the literature review (including papers in this special issue) significantly contributes toward describing these issues, it is still unclear how such problems emerge. The model developed in this paper addresses this gap by highlighting the crucial effect of the underlying state of knowledge concerned with sustainable OSCM decision-making.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2021

Ruting Huang and Xin Yao

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the decision behaviors and channel coordination of a sustainable three-echelon supply chain with retailer-led game setting.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the decision behaviors and channel coordination of a sustainable three-echelon supply chain with retailer-led game setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop game-theoretic models to examine the decision behaviors of channel members in a three-echelon supply chain consisting of one supplier, one distributor and one dominated retailer. The authors first formulate two models for centralized decision and decentralized decision. And then this paper proposes sub-supply chain coordination and a two-tariff contract to coordinate the full supply chain. Finally, some management insights are obtained with a case study.

Findings

The authors find that when faced with environmentally conscious consumers, the channel members can benefit from higher greening level; however, higher cost of green technologies would have negative impacts on manufacturer's effort. The analysis also shows that cooperation among players can improve the supply chain performance and help with environmental improvement.

Research limitations/implications

The findings provide important managerial insights for the three-echelon supply chain to achieve sustainable goals where the retailer bears the environmental responsibility. However, this paper also has some limitations with assuming risk-neutral channel members and symmetric information.

Originality/value

The findings of the study contribute to coordination and collaboration in sustainability of supply chains. The results provide important managerial insights for the three-echelon supply chain to achieve sustainable goals.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2020

Craig R. Carter, Lutz Kaufmann and David J. Ketchen

The purpose of this paper is to develop a theorization of the unintended consequences of sustainable supply chain management (SSCM).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a theorization of the unintended consequences of sustainable supply chain management (SSCM).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors integrate extant theory of unintended consequences, sustainable supply chain management and paradox theory to develop a typology of the unintended consequences of SSCM initiatives and a conceptual model of the antecedents of these unintended consequences.

Findings

The authors advance a mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive typology of the unintended consequences of SSCM initiatives. These unintended consequences include trade-offs as well as synergies in the form of positive spillover. The authors’ conceptual model identifies multiple levels of stakeholders, multiple performance dimensions, multiple time horizons and the interplay with social construction as antecedents to the unintended consequences of SSCM initiatives.

Practical implications

The authors’ typology suggests that managers must move beyond simply assessing whether the intended consequences of an SSCM initiative have been achieved. Managers must also, to the extent they can, assess the potential for unintended consequences to arise. The authors’ typology provides an initial roadmap for managers to continue, discontinue or further consider an SSCM initiative, based on the resulting unintended consequences. The authors’ theorization also provides guidance about how managers can more successfully bring SSCM initiatives to fruition and start cycles of learning.

Originality/value

There largely has been a focus in the operations and supply chain management literature on trade-offs between economic performance on the one hand and social or environmental performance on the other. The authors advocate that this focus needs to shift to interactions within and between social and environmental performance. Further, trade-offs are only one type of unintended consequence. By developing a mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive typology, the authors introduce a much clearer conceptualization of the unintended consequences of an SSCM initiative and a much better understanding of how to manage SSCM initiatives, both prior to and postimplementation.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2020

Wayne Fu and Hung-Chung Su

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of three strategic environmental options on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Namely, we examine the effects of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of three strategic environmental options on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Namely, we examine the effects of pollution prevention and waste management (PPWM) practices, green supply chain (GSC) practices, and outsourcing on reducing local and supply chain GHG emissions.

Design/methodology/approach

Using ASSET4 and deploying first-differencing fixed-effects panel data models, the study conducts a large-scale empirical examination on the effects of these focal strategic environmental options on GHG emissions.

Findings

This study finds that PPWM practices reduce local GHG emissions and that GSC practices reduce supply chain GHG emissions. The results also show that outsourcing does not reduce local GHG emissions and has an adverse effect on supply chain GHG emissions.

Practical implications

The study findings indicate that environmental practices are effective in reducing GHG emissions. However, they are effective only in their corresponding domain. Further, outsourcing is not a viable strategic option, and managers should be mindful of its undesired environmental consequences.

Originality/value

Firms undertake strategic environmental options, such as implementing environmental practices and reallocating production activities, to improve their environmental performance. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of these options on reducing GHG emissions has not been thoroughly examined.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Bruno S. Silvestre, Fernando Luiz E. Viana and Marcelo de Sousa Monteiro

A growing number of private, voluntary and mandatory sustainability standards have recently emerged. However, supply chain corruption practices as mechanisms to circumvent…

Abstract

Purpose

A growing number of private, voluntary and mandatory sustainability standards have recently emerged. However, supply chain corruption practices as mechanisms to circumvent sustainability standards have also grown and occur regularly. This paper strives to elaborate theory on the intersection of institutional theory, business corruption and the sustainability standards literature by investigating factors that influence the emergence of supply chain corruption practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on secondary data, four in-depth case studies of supply chain corruption practices are investigated through the use of adaptive theory and the method of constant comparisons to elaborate theory on this important phenomenon.

Findings

The paper suggests that although sustainability standards can improve supply chain sustainability performance, if they are adopted only symbolically and not substantively, unanticipated outcomes such as supply chain corruption may occur. The study proposes a typology of supply chain corruption practices, further explores the symbolic adoption of sustainability standards in supply chains and proposes the novel construct of “social isomorphism for corruption.” Since focal companies play central roles in leading supply chain corruption practices, we reason that they can also play a pivotal role in preventing supply chain corruption practices by promoting the substantive adoption of sustainability standards across their supply chains.

Originality/value

This paper elaborates theory on the challenging phenomenon of corruption in supply chains by linking the supply chain management literature to the corruption and the sustainability discourses and offers important insights to aid our understanding on the topic. It generates six propositions and four contributions to the sustainable supply chain management theory, practice and policy.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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