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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2020

V.G. Venkatesh, Abraham Zhang, Eric Deakins and Venkatesh Mani

Tragic incidents such as the Rana Plaza building collapse call into question the value and effectiveness of supplier codes of conduct (SCC) used in multi-tier supply…

Abstract

Purpose

Tragic incidents such as the Rana Plaza building collapse call into question the value and effectiveness of supplier codes of conduct (SCC) used in multi-tier supply chains. This paper aims to investigate the barriers to sub-supplier compliance and the drivers from the perspective of suppliers that adopt a double agency role by complying with buyer-imposed SCC while managing sub-supplier compliance on behalf of the buyer.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopts a sequential, mixed-methods approach. The qualitative phase develops a conceptual model with the aid of the extant the literature and semi-structured interviews with 24 senior manufacturing professionals. The quantitative phase then uses a hierarchical regression analysis to test the conceptual model using survey data from 159 apparel suppliers based in India.

Findings

The findings reveal that sub-supplier compliance is positively impacted by effective buyer–supplier governance and by the focal supplier having a strategic partnership with the sub-supplier. Conversely, price pressure on sub-suppliers adversely impacts their compliance, while institutional pressure on them to comply is generally ineffective.

Research limitations/implications

The context of the study is limited to the garment industry in India.

Practical implications

To improve SCC compliance rates, buyers and focal suppliers should actively develop strategic partnerships with selected upstream supply chain actors; should set a reasonable price across the supply chain; and, should include specific sub-supplier compliance requirements within the supply contract. The findings also suggest the need to develop social sustainability protocols that are cognisant of regional contexts.

Originality/value

The absence of prior research on SCC implementation by sub-suppliers, this study represents a pioneering empirical study into such multi-tier sourcing arrangements. It provides strong support that sub-supplier governance arrangements differ from those typically found in the focal supplier layer. It also provides empirical evidence of the critical factors that encourage sub-supplier compliance within the apparel industry of a regionally developing economy.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Shobod Deba Nath, Gabriel Eweje and Aymen Sajjad

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how sub-suppliers decouple the implementation of sustainable supply management practices in supply chains, and what…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how sub-suppliers decouple the implementation of sustainable supply management practices in supply chains, and what institutional logics permit these suppliers to do so.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a qualitative design, we conducted 23 in-depth semi-structured interviews with owners and managers of apparel sub-suppliers. To corroborate research findings, the views of owners and managers were triangulated by further interviewing 18 key representatives of wide-ranging institutional actors.

Findings

The findings suggest that owners and managers of sub-suppliers use two decoupling responses: (1) consensual strategy to compromise sustainability requirements (2) concealment strategy. In addition, this paper identifies multiple institutional types of conflicting logics: instrumental logic, legitimacy logic complexity and gaps in normative logic, which interplay amongst sub-suppliers whereby permit to decouple the implementation of supply management practices.

Research limitations/implications

While the current paper provides an early contribution from the perspectives of second-tier and third-tier suppliers, future research could be extended to include further upstream sub-suppliers and downstream tiers including the end consumers.

Practical implications

It is important for brand-owning retailers and first-tier suppliers to predict sub-suppliers' decoupling behaviour and conflicts for supply management practices implementation since they may present potential vulnerability for buyers and lead suppliers.

Originality/value

This study extends the application of institutional theory and contributes to the literature on extended suppliers' supply management practices in a developing country context, which is an under-researched area.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2001

Paul Mangiameli and Christopher J. Roethlein

This paper is a preliminary case study that examines a connected supply chain. The chain studied consists of the North American Appliance Division of the Whirlpool…

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1083

Abstract

This paper is a preliminary case study that examines a connected supply chain. The chain studied consists of the North American Appliance Division of the Whirlpool Corporation, the Stanley Engineered Components (SEC) division of Stanley Works, Inc. and SEC’s suppliers. Specifically the paper examines the two related questions: first, are there differences in quality definitions between levels of a supply chain? Second, does the higher level entity in the supply chain understand the quality requirements imposed on their suppliers? Examined and written from the point of view of SEC (the middle of the chain), the paper concludes that the definitions and implementation of these definitions differ markedly at each level. Lack of understanding about the effects of quality requirements between levels also prevails. The case also examines why these results occurred.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2018

Philipp C. Sauer and Stefan Seuring

This study aims to investigate the under-researched role of the sub-supplier’s direct environment in achieving compliance with multi-tier sustainable supply chain…

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2142

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the under-researched role of the sub-supplier’s direct environment in achieving compliance with multi-tier sustainable supply chain management (MT-SSCM) objectives.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on conceptual research, this study aims to generalize the characteristics of multi-tier supply chains in light of institutional theory and supply chain (SC) uncertainty to enhance the understanding of their complex interrelationship.

Findings

A three-dimensional framework is built around the supply and demand uncertainty as well as the pressures for sustainability exerted by the supplier’s direct environment to propose ideal constellations for the application of MT-SSCM. Moreover, research directions and implications for the alteration of suboptimal constellations are developed.

Practical implications

Incorporating the supplier’s environment in the choice of MT-SSCM practices couples the sustainability priorities of the focal firm and the supplier. This enables a more complete picture of the sustainability objectives and sustainable development aims of the SC partners.

Originality/value

On the basis of institutional theory, the study extends current MT-SSCM concepts by including the supplier’s direct environment in the choice of ideal management practices in a particular SC setup. It provides a definition of a multi-tier SC as an institutional field and a number of research implications regarding MT-SSCM as well as generic SSCM. Moreover, the proposed framework helps SC managers to understand the complex interplay of the SC partners’ sustainability aims and provides implications for choosing the most suitable MT-SSCM practices.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Thomas E. Johnsen

This paper proposes and empirically investigates two strategies that companies can employ to involve indirect suppliers in new product development (NPD): supply network…

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4838

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes and empirically investigates two strategies that companies can employ to involve indirect suppliers in new product development (NPD): supply network delegation; and supply network intervention. The implications of the two strategies are explored.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper brings together the traditional NPD literature, organizational behaviour and organizational economics literature, and reports on three in‐depth case studies of NPD projects, involving 39 semi‐structured interviews across three supply networks.

Findings

The findings reveal different manifestations of the two strategies of supply network intervention and delegation, when applied as part of supplier involvement in product development, and positive and negative indications of delegation and intervention, depending on the actor perspective: manufacturers perceive a need to control the product development process across several supply network tiers through intervention in supplier selection and communication, but these actions are likely to “tie the hands of the suppliers”.

Practical implications

Managers are advised to explicitly delegate decisions to suppliers, for example, by issuing parts approval lists and encouraging communication and problem solving amongst suppliers, and to exercise caution in applying the intervention strategy.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to a better understanding of how to involve indirect (sub‐) suppliers in product development, and the implications of these actions for multiple supply network actors.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 12 February 2019

Christina Öberg

Additive manufacturing, that is, layer-based manufacturing technologies, is thought to change supply chain operations from global to local, while also affecting design…

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2287

Abstract

Purpose

Additive manufacturing, that is, layer-based manufacturing technologies, is thought to change supply chain operations from global to local, while also affecting design processes and product structures. As this transformation happens, a power struggle among various actors relating themselves to additive manufacturing has emerged. The purpose of this paper is to discuss and explain the development of additive manufacturing from a power dependence point of view.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on data collected from a number of seminars hosting a total of 620 industry experts representing 102 companies in the area, and reflecting every step of the supply chain.

Findings

The paper points out how measures to deal and create power imbalances occur also related to indirect parties, and how the disruptive character of the supply chain leads to exercised power.

Originality/value

The power struggle provides new insights into how an emerging technology is realised and the effect of protectionism on such attempts. Specifically related to additive manufacturing, the paper illustrates the business side from various actors’ point of view, which adds to technological perspectives on additive manufacturing, as well as studies viewing the supply chain from a bird’s-eye perspective.

Details

European Journal of Management and Business Economics, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2444-8494

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Christopher Roethlein and Sara Ackerson

Analyzes four entities in a connected supply chain through a case study. Focuses on the relationships between organizations and the specific goals and objectives of each…

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4682

Abstract

Analyzes four entities in a connected supply chain through a case study. Focuses on the relationships between organizations and the specific goals and objectives of each firm. The study was conducted from an insider's view through personal experiences, and a series of on‐site and telephone interviews with managers from each entity of the supply chain. Focuses on passing on and interpreting quality goals, alignment of quality goals and the existence of partnership with the connected supply chain. The main reason for the success of the supply chain is the strength or dominance of the manufacturer. Strong and frequent unidirectional communication exists between the manufacturer and the supplier and between the manufacturer and the distributor. These connections are the crux of the supply chain. From this strong relationship, the supply chain is able to remain successful while communication weakens and disappears at either end of the supply chain.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2021

Christina Öberg

Additive manufacturing has been described as converting supply chains into demand chains. By focusing on metal additive manufacturing as a contemporary technology causing…

Abstract

Purpose

Additive manufacturing has been described as converting supply chains into demand chains. By focusing on metal additive manufacturing as a contemporary technology causing ongoing disruption to the supply chain, the purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss how incumbent firms act during an ongoing, transformational disruption of their supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews and secondary data, along with seminars attracting approximately 600 individuals operating in metal additive manufacturing, form the empirical basis for this paper.

Findings

The findings of this paper indicate how disruption occurs at multiple positions in the supply chain. Episodic positions as conceptualised in this paper refer to how parties challenged by disruption attempt to reach normality while speeding the transformational disruption.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to previous research by theorising about episodic positions in light of a supply chain disruption. The empirical data are unique in how they capture supply chain change at the time of disruption and illustrate disruptive, transformational change to supply chains. The paper interlinks research on disruption from the innovation and supply chain literature, with contributions to both.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2018

Mark Stevenson and Rosanna Cole

The purpose of this study is to examine how organisations report on the detection and remediation of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains and to understand…

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7682

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how organisations report on the detection and remediation of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains and to understand their approaches to disclosing information in response to modern slavery legislation.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis of secondary data based on the statements is released in response to the 2015 UK Modern Slavery Act by 101 firms in the clothing and textiles sector.

Findings

Many firms use the same practices to detect and remediate modern slavery as for other social issues. But the hidden, criminal nature of modern slavery and the involvement of third party labour agencies mean practices need to either be tailored or other more innovative approaches developed, including in collaboration with traditional and non-traditional actors. Although five broad types of disclosure are identified, there is substantial heterogeneity in the statements. It is posited however that firms will converge on a more homogenous set of responses over time.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to one industry, responses to UK legislation and the information disclosed by focal firms only. Future research could expand the focus to include other industries, country contexts and stakeholders.

Practical implications

Managers must consider how their own firm’s behaviour contributes to the modern slavery threat, regulates both their stock and non-stock supply chains and ensures modern slavery is elevated from the procurement function to the boardroom. In making disclosures, managers may trade-off the potential competitive gains of transparency against the threat of information leakage and reputational risk should their statements be falsified. The managers should also consider what signals their statements send back up the chain to (sub-)suppliers. Findings also have potential policy implications.

Originality/value

The study expands the authors’ understanding of: modern slavery from a supply chain perspective, e.g. identifying the importance of standard setting and risk avoidance; and, supply chain information disclosure in response to legislative demands. This is the first academic paper to examine the statements produced by organisations in response to the UK Modern Slavery Act.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Andreas Norrman and Ulf Jansson

Supply chain risk management (SCRM) is of growing importance, as the vulnerability of supply chains increases. The main thrust of this article is to describe how Ericsson…

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44203

Abstract

Supply chain risk management (SCRM) is of growing importance, as the vulnerability of supply chains increases. The main thrust of this article is to describe how Ericsson, after a fire at a sub‐supplier, with a huge impact on Ericsson, has implemented a new organization, and new processes and tools for SCRM. The approach described tries to analyze, assess and manage risk sources along the supply chain, partly by working close with suppliers but also by placing formal requirements on them. This explorative study also indicates that insurance companies might be a driving force for improved SCRM, as they now start to understand the vulnerability of modern supply chains. The article concludes with a discussion of risk related to traditional logistics concepts (time, cost, quality, agility and leanness) by arguing that supply chain risks should also be put into the trade‐off analysis when evaluating new logistics solutions – not with the purpose to minimize risks, however, but to find the efficient level of risk and prevention.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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