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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2018

Jan Meinlschmidt, Martin C. Schleper and Kai Foerstl

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how buying firms manage their lower tier sustainability management (LTSM) in their supply networks and what contextual factors…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how buying firms manage their lower tier sustainability management (LTSM) in their supply networks and what contextual factors influence the choice of approaches. As most of the environmental and social burden is caused in lower tiers, the authors use the iceberg analogy.

Design/methodology/approach

Findings from 12 case studies and 53 interviews, publicly available and internal firm data are presented. In an abductive research approach, transaction cost economics (TCE) conceptually guides the analytical iteration processes between theory and data.

Findings

This study provides eight LTSM approaches grouped into three categories: direct (holistic, product-, region-, and event-specific) indirect (multiplier-, alliance- and compliance-based) and neglect (tier-1-based). Focal firms choose between these approaches depending on the strength of observed contextual factors (stakeholder salience, structural supply network complexity, product and industry salience, past supply network incidents, socio-economic and cultural distance and lower tier supplier dependency), leading to perceived sustainability risk (PSR).

Research limitations/implications

By depicting TCE’s theoretical boundaries in predicting LTSM governance modes, the theory is elevated to the supply network level of analysis. Future research should investigate LTSM at the purchasing category level of analysis to compare and contrast PSR profiles for different purchase tasks and to validate and extend the framework.

Practical implications

This study serves as a blueprint for the development of firms’ LTSM capabilities that suit their unique PSR profiles. It offers knowledge regarding what factors influence these profiles and presents a model that links the effectiveness of different LTSM approaches to resource intensity.

Originality/value

This study extends the application of TCE and adds empirically to the literature on multi-tier and sustainable supply chain management.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Jan Meinlschmidt, Kai Foerstl and Jon F Kirchoff

Sustainable supply management (SSM) has attracted considerable attention from researchers in recent years concentrating on how firms develop and use SSM capabilities to…

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1386

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable supply management (SSM) has attracted considerable attention from researchers in recent years concentrating on how firms develop and use SSM capabilities to meet stakeholder demands. Acquiring and sharing sustainability knowledge with suppliers have been identified as critical success factors of SSM. The purpose of this paper is to identify the mechanisms that allow firms to effectively acquire and share sustainability-related knowledge with suppliers and how these knowledge generation and desorption mechanisms support the evolution of firm SSM capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

To address the research purpose, four longitudinal case studies, two industry leaders in SSM and two industry followers, were conducted at multiple consecutive points in time between 2008 and 2013.

Findings

The results indicate which mechanisms constitute a sustainability-related absorptive and desorptive capacity and how they support SSM. Thereby, this research explains which mechanisms support firms to acquire sustainability knowledge, assimilate and exploit it and also share it with their suppliers over time.

Research limitations/implications

This research sheds light on the development and refinement of SSM capabilities by studying the explorative and exploitative learning cycles within focal buying firms taking place over time. Findings indicate a multiplicity in applying absorptive capacity- and desorptive capacity-related mechanisms yields an ambidextrous ability to simultaneously exploit existing knowledge through incremental SSM improvements and explore new SSM knowledge for more radical refinements of SSM capabilities.

Practical implications

The results provide a blueprint for firms, especially for sustainability followers, seeking to develop effective SSM capabilities. Furthermore, the results explain which mechanisms support firms to acquire, assimilate and exploit sustainability knowledge and also to share it with their suppliers.

Originality/value

SSM knowledge acquisition, assimilation, exploitation and sharing takes place over time in focal buying firms. This ongoing process helps explain how an SSM capability development and refinement is manifested in both leaders and followers.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2021

Sara Hajmohammad, Anton Shevchenko and Stephan Vachon

Firms are increasingly accountable for their suppliers' social and environmental practices. Nonmarket stakeholders nowadays do not hesitate to confront buying firms for…

Abstract

Purpose

Firms are increasingly accountable for their suppliers' social and environmental practices. Nonmarket stakeholders nowadays do not hesitate to confront buying firms for their suppliers' misconducts by mobilizing demonstrations, social media campaigns and boycotts. This paper aims to develop a typology of response strategies by targeted firms when they face such contentions and to empirically investigate why these strategies vary among those firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on social movement and stakeholder salience theories, the authors develop a set of hypotheses linking their typology of four response strategies to three key contextual factors – nonmarket stakeholder salience, nonmarket stakeholder ideology and the target firm reputation – and examine them using a vignette-based experiment methodology.

Findings

The results suggest that nonmarket stakeholder salience significantly impacts the nature of response (reject or concede), whereas the nonmarket stakeholder ideology is significantly related to the intensity of response (trivial or vigorous). Interestingly, the firms' reputation was found to have no significant effect on their response strategy when they faced stakeholder contentions.

Originality/value

This paper adds both theoretical and methodological value to the existing literature. Theoretically, the study develops and tests a comprehensive typology of response strategies to nonmarket stakeholder contentions. Methodologically, this study is original in leveraging a vignette-based experiment that allows establishing causal factors of response strategies following a supplier sustainability misconduct.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2021

Herbert Kotzab, Ilja Bäumler and Paul Gerken

Integration is a key element of supply chain management (SCM) and a lot of research has been executed within the field of supply chain integration (SCI). The purpose of…

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148

Abstract

Purpose

Integration is a key element of supply chain management (SCM) and a lot of research has been executed within the field of supply chain integration (SCI). The purpose of this paper is to particularly identify the intellectual research front and foundation of SCI and how they developed over time.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examined more than 1,700 peer-reviewed academic papers that were published between 1995 and 2019 in nearly 40 relevant peer-reviewed academic journals (all indexed in Web of Science). The authors analysed the structure of more than 55,000 individual references with the R-package bibliometrix and used VOSviewer for visualization.

Findings

The SCI research front is characterized by papers that show the effects of SCI on the firm performance, the consequences of SCI on SCM in general and present the enablers of SCI. The research front is embedded within the resource-based, transaction cost and contingency theory. The intellectual foundation refers to conceptual modelling, definitional clarification and integration dimensions. The research identifies Frohlich and Westbrook’s (2001) paper as the central reference for this research area. The dynamic evolution of the intellectual foundation of SCI changed from theorising in Phase 1 (1995–2006) towards empirical testing in Phase 2 (2007–2019).

Research limitations/implications

The results refer to the SCI discussion within a preselected number of peer-reviewed academic journals and to the data quality as provided by the Web of Science.

Originality/value

The study explored the research front and intellectual foundation of SCI. It reveals the most important papers and journals of this area by using bibliometric tools such as bibliometrix, biblioshiny and VOSviewer. The paper shows trends in research themes, theories and methodological developments.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2020

Christopher M. Durugbo, Zainab Al-Balushi, Abdellatef Anouze and Omar Amoudi

The dynamic nature of uncertainty sources in regional operations represents supply chain management (SCM) imperatives to review uncertainty management frameworks on an…

Abstract

Purpose

The dynamic nature of uncertainty sources in regional operations represents supply chain management (SCM) imperatives to review uncertainty management frameworks on an ongoing basis with a view to identifying and prioritising critical indices of uncertainty for effective SCM. The purpose of this study is to identify the critical indices of uncertainty for regional supply chains and analyse how SCM practitioners perceive uncertainty.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a Delphi-based study with a panel of 70 SCM experts from the Sultanate of Oman in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. It applies three rounds of a Delphi exercise to identify, select and prioritise the critical indices of supply chain uncertainty perceived by panel experts. The thematic analysis also provides theorisations on the process for uncertainty perception and factors shaping perception.

Findings

A total of 39 uncertainty indices were identified from demand, supply, manufacturing, control, technology, competitive, project, transport and geological sources. The Delphi selection round captured the top 12 indices of experts. The research found an accumulative–aggregative duality that explains uncertainty perception and a cost–conformance–connection triadic set of factors underlying the perceived critical indices. Project uncertainty produced the top-ranked index in the final Delphi round.

Originality/value

This paper makes three main contributions. First, it offers a bottom-up based insight into supply chain uncertainty using the Delphi-based study and from a GCC perspective. Second, the research is unique in its focus on Oman and, third, it is of value for the international operations of GCC companies and for international firms with intentions of expanding, moving or outsourcing their operations to a GCC country such as Oman.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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