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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2016

Annachiara Longoni and Raffaella Cagliano

Sustainable operations are increasingly part of firms’ competitive strategies. Research widely investigates the relationship between sustainable operations and competitive…

2674

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable operations are increasingly part of firms’ competitive strategies. Research widely investigates the relationship between sustainable operations and competitive advantage, considering financial performance as a dependent variable, and shows controversial results. The purpose of this paper is to operationalize competitive advantage as internal and external intangible benefits, such as human resource (HR) and customer benefits. HR benefits concern the deployment of a workforce pursuing a firm’s goals and strategy; customer benefits concern the improvement of a firm’s relationship with its customers.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical results are provided in an analysis of data from a survey conducted on a sample of 107 Italian firms in the food industry. A single industry and country are selected to avoid possible differences in regulations and in operations processes. Structural equation modelling is used to test hypotheses relating sustainable operations to HR and customer benefits.

Findings

The authors distinguish between green and social operations practices. Green operations practices directly impact customer benefits but not HR benefits. Social sustainable operations practices do not directly impact customer benefits but instead have a direct impact on HR benefits. Hence, through HR benefits, they have an indirect impact on customer benefits.

Practical implications

The authors provide results showing to operations managers that both green operations and social operations are crucial to obtaining customer benefits. Social operations do this by enhancing HR benefits. Green operations instead are not positively related to HR benefits.

Originality/value

This research serves as an original contribution to the sustainable operations literature in two ways. First, from a resource-based perspective, the relationship between sustainable operations, HR benefits, and customer benefits is proposed and tested. Such benefits are also shown to be interrelated based on the service profit chain model. Second, green and social operations practices are analysed separately providing a nuanced view of benefits related to sustainable operations.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Göran Svensson and Beverly Wagner

The purpose of this paper is to describe: a process to achieve sustainable business operations; and a sustainable business model of Global Warming Potential (GWP…

1685

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe: a process to achieve sustainable business operations; and a sustainable business model of Global Warming Potential (GWP) footprint on Earth, GWP being the measure of how much a given amount of greenhouse gas is estimated to contribute to global warming. It is a relative scale which compares the effect of a given gas (e.g. methane or nitrous oxide) with that of the same amount of carbon dioxide.

Design/methodology/approach

A Swedish fast food chain selling hamburger meals is examined in a case study. Data were collected from available corporate internal and external documentation, by site observations as well as from non‐structured interviews with top managers and company employees.

Findings

The company's efforts to accomplish its target of “zero mission” GWP‐footprint (CO2e) on Earth consist of both an iterative and continuous process and business model. Both underpin the corporate notion and desire to reduce fossil fuel dependency and greenhouse gas emissions.

Research limitations/implications

The findings stress the importance of addressing corporate GWP‐footprints (CO2e) from a business perspective, rather than relying on political or governmental legislation and regulation. It also opens opportunities for further research.

Practical implications

The case shows the possibility of implementing successful sustainable operations and sustainable business models in national “for‐profit” organisations without governmental subsidies in a highly competitive market, dominated by powerful multinational fast food chains.

Social implications

Changing consumer behaviour and purchasing patterns, as well as governmental intervention imposed at top political levels worldwide, will most likely increase the necessity for companies to create sustainable business models linked to GWP‐footprint (CO2e).

Originality/value

The principal contribution based on the presented case study is an illustration of how one can achieve sustainable business operations and create a sustainable business model in an industry that often has been heavily criticised in the past for harming the natural environment. It also shows how to create awareness of the GWP‐footprint (CO2e) of a company's products so that in turn customers may be able to make conscious and deliberate product choices.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 May 2022

Albi Thomas and M. Suresh

Using total interpretive structural modelling (TISM), this paper aims to “identify”, “analyse” and “categorise” the sustainable-resilience readiness factors for healthcare…

Abstract

Purpose

Using total interpretive structural modelling (TISM), this paper aims to “identify”, “analyse” and “categorise” the sustainable-resilience readiness factors for healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

To obtain the data, a closed-ended questionnaire was used in addition to a scheduled interview with each respondent. To identify how the factors interact, the TISM approach was employed and the cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to a classification method was used to rank and categorise the sustainable-resilience readiness factors.

Findings

This study identified ten sustainable-resilience readiness factors for healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study states that the major factors are environmental scanning, awareness and preparedness, team empowerment and working, transparent communication system, learning culture, ability to respond and monitor, organisational culture, resilience engineering, personal and professional resources and technology capability.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused primarily on sustainable-resilience readiness characteristics for the healthcare sector.

Practical implications

This research will aid key stakeholders and academics in better understanding the factors that contribute to sustainable-resilience in healthcare.

Originality/value

This study proposes the TISM technique for healthcare, which is a novel attempt in the subject of readiness for sustainable-resilience in this sector. The paper proposes a framework including a mixture of factors for sustainability and resilience in the healthcare sector for operations.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 3 February 2022

Vishal Singh Patyal, P.R.S. Sarma, Sachin Modgil, Tirthankar Nag and Denis Dennehy

The study aims to map the links between Industry 4.0 (I-4.0) technologies and circular economy (CE) for sustainable operations and their role to achieving the selected…

2869

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to map the links between Industry 4.0 (I-4.0) technologies and circular economy (CE) for sustainable operations and their role to achieving the selected number of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a systematic literature review method to identify 76 primary studies that were published between January 2010 and December 2020. The authors synthesized the existing literature using Scopus database to investigate I-4.0 technologies and CE to select SDGs.

Findings

The findings of the study bridge the gap in the literature at the intersection between I-4.0 and sustainable operations in line with the regenerate, share, optimize, loop, virtualize and exchange (ReSOLVE) framework leading to CE practices. Further, the study also depicts the CE practices leading to the select SDGs (“SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation,” “SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy,” “SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure,” “SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production” and “SDG 13: Climate Action”). The study proposes a conceptual framework based on the linkages above, which can help organizations to realign their management practices, thereby achieving specific SDGs.

Originality/value

The originality of the study is substantiated by a unique I-4.0-sustainable operations-CE-SDGs (ISOCES) framework that integrates I-4.0 and CE for sustainable development. The framework is unique, as it is based on an in-depth and systematic review of the literature that maps the links between I-4.0, CE and sustainability.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 August 2020

Vilmar Antonio Gonçalves Tondolo, Marina D'Agostini, Maria Emília Camargo, Rosana da Rosa Portella Tondolo, Josefer de Lima Souza and André Andrade Longaray

The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationships among four types of sustainable operations practices and sustainable performance in the environmental, economic…

376

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationships among four types of sustainable operations practices and sustainable performance in the environmental, economic and social dimensions and identifies significant moderators.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to achieve the proposed goal, this study was developed through a systematic review of the literature followed by a meta-analysis of the correlations and by a meta-regression. The sampling criteria were quantitative operations management articles published through 2019.

Findings

The results suggest that all 13 analyzed relationships are positive and are affected by moderators.

Research limitations/implications

In theoretical terms, this study reinforces the positive relationship between sustainable operations practices and performance and, more importantly, detects moderating effects. One of the study limitations is the composition of the sample, focusing exclusively on quantitative correlational articles published in journals.

Practical implications

In practice, the findings of this study imply that managers should be vigilant in implementing sustainable operations practices, observing the conditions in which more of these practices can be implemented into performance.

Originality/value

This study differs from others because it includes the social dimension of sustainable performance and the identification of moderators.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 70 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 April 2019

Ruchini Senarath Jayasinghe, Raufdeen Rameezdeen and Nicholas Chileshe

The purpose of this paper is to explore the synergies between post-end-of-life of building (PEoLB) concepts and operations to achieve sustainability.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the synergies between post-end-of-life of building (PEoLB) concepts and operations to achieve sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review (SLR) was conducted using 65 articles published between 2006 and 2017, and it has been subjected to descriptive and thematic analysis.

Findings

The descriptive analysis revealed that the majority of the articles were about (60 per cent) PEoLB operations, followed by (23 per cent) PEoLB concepts. Only 17 per cent of the articles have dealt with PEoLB-related strategic approaches. The thematic analysis elaborated on the literature development; interrelationships between PEoLB concepts and operations; impediments of introducing sustainability on these operations, remedial measures and information-based strategic approaches to achieve sustainability. Based on the findings, a conceptual framework for sustainable PEoLB operations is proposed. Furthermore, four areas of potential future research are discussed.

Research limitations/implications

This study presents a future research agenda including best practices to plan PEoLB operations and the development of optimisation models, risk management and information-based strategic approaches.

Practical implications

The proposed conceptual research framework triggers and nurtures potential pathways to introduce sustainable PEoLB operations under sound information flow. This could create a basis for future empirical studies in filling the identified gaps in literature. The framework could also assist practitioners in mitigating risks associated with transportation, storing and contamination of salvaged materials through enhanced information flow. In addition, the framework provides some managerial guidance to organisations seeking ways of establishing sustainability during reverse logistics (RL) operations.

Originality/value

This paper presents an SLR of an emerging area of research that encapsulates closed-loop supply chain through sustainable RL operations. The study highlights the interrelationships between PEoLB concepts and operations. It develops a robust approach to effectively manage the PEoLB operations underpinned by a sound information flow to facilitate sustainability.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 February 2015

Niall Piercy and Nick Rich

The adoption of lean operational practices and independently the uptake of business practices related to sustainability and corporate social responsibility continues to…

12830

Abstract

Purpose

The adoption of lean operational practices and independently the uptake of business practices related to sustainability and corporate social responsibility continues to grow. Past research has hinted at relationships between these two areas – suggesting that “lean is green” (e.g. Florida, 1996). The lean mantra of waste reduction and “doing more with less” is immediately apparent as delivering environmental benefits and has formed the basis of past research (e.g. Hughes, 2012). Almost all research linking lean operations or lean supply chains to sustainability issues have focused exclusively on environmental impact. The purpose of this paper is to explore the broader sustainability benefits of lean operations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a longitudinal multi-year (up to four years observation), multi-case analysis (n=5).

Findings

The paper reports that lean operations meet a wide range of sustainability outcomes beyond environmental benefits (including supply monitoring, transparency, workforce treatment, and community engagement). The paper specifies the internal and external policies, procedures, tools, and strategies for implementation of lean and sustainable operations management (OM). This is encapsulated in the development of a stage-based theoretical model of lean-sustainability. Further, it is proposed that lean implementation and sustainability performance are in fact interlinked.

Originality/value

Past research on the role of lean operations in improving sustainably has focused almost exclusively on environmental benefits accruing from toolkit/workplace level waste reduction. This paper demonstrates that lean provides more than a toolkit (a philosophy and strategic direction) and that this meets a wide range of sustainable outcomes. This finding makes major contributions to conceptualising how lean operations influence sustainability outcomes. The paper develops the first integrative stage-based model of lean and sustainable OM.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Joseph Sarkis, Chunguang Bai, Ana Beatriz Lopes de Sousa Jabbour, Charbel José Chiappetta Jabbour and Vinicius Amorim Sobreiro

The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework integrating the Hart and Milstein (2003) strategies for organizational sustainable development (SD) with the ideas of…

1087

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework integrating the Hart and Milstein (2003) strategies for organizational sustainable development (SD) with the ideas of Kleindorfer et al. (2005) on sustainable operations management (SOM), which requires guidance of green supply chain management (GSCM).

Design/methodology/approach

The construction of the framework was based on previous studies that discussed synergies between operations management principles with environmental bias and studies on adoption of GSCM practices.

Findings

The proposed framework guides managers to reconcile operations management practices/principles that are already being implemented in organizations with an environmental perspective because these practices sustain organizations to simultaneously reach SOM and SD.

Originality/value

The paper presents a framework that provides guidance on how organizations can seek sustainability in their operations, considering that articles on the topic of sustainability have not been developed with this specific focus.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Andrei Kuznetsov, John Dinwoodie, David Gibbs, Mark Sansom and Harriet Knowles

The purpose of this paper is to report an explicit taxonomy of maritime operations (MO) to guide harbour masters (HMs) of smaller ports in planning more sustainable operations.

1304

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report an explicit taxonomy of maritime operations (MO) to guide harbour masters (HMs) of smaller ports in planning more sustainable operations.

Design/methodology/approach

This research presents strategies for building theory to promote more sustainable port management in a two-stage research design. Starting from a base taxonomy in research Stage 1, ethnographic content analysis (ECA) of a sparse prior literature on MO generated a tentative taxonomy. In Stage 2, interviews to capture tacit practitioner knowledge refined the tentative taxonomy into a credible practitioner-informed final taxonomy.

Findings

ECA offers researchers a powerful tool to analyse complex operational problems. In this paper MOs are represented in an explicit taxonomy.

Practical implications

A final taxonomy of MOs guides sustainability strategy formulation by HMs and assists them to protect vital commercial revenues which serve supply chains and local communities.

Originality/value

An explicit final taxonomy of MO is derived using a novel methodology. The taxonomy guides sustainability strategy formulation and underpins subsequent planning of sustainable development policies.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 37 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2021

Narender Kumar, Girish Kumar and Rajesh Kr Singh

The study presents various barriers to adopt big data analytics (BDA) for sustainable manufacturing operations (SMOs) post-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemics. In…

Abstract

Purpose

The study presents various barriers to adopt big data analytics (BDA) for sustainable manufacturing operations (SMOs) post-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemics. In this study, 17 barriers are identified through extensive literature review and experts’ opinions for investing in BDA implementation. A questionnaire-based survey is conducted to collect responses from experts. The identified barriers are grouped into three categories with the help of factor analysis. These are organizational barriers, data management barriers and human barriers. For the quantification of barriers, the graph theory matrix approach (GTMA) is applied.

Design/methodology/approach

The study presents various barriers to adopt BDA for the SMOs post-COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, 17 barriers are identified through extensive literature review and experts’ opinions for investing in BDA implementation. A questionnaire-based survey is conducted to collect responses from experts. The identified barriers are grouped into three categories with the help of factor analysis. These are organizational barriers, data management barriers and human barriers. For the quantification of barriers, the GTMA is applied.

Findings

The study identifies barriers to investment in BDA implementation. It categorizes the barriers based on factor analysis and computes the intensity for each category of a barrier for BDA investment for SMOs. It is observed that the organizational barriers have the highest intensity whereas the human barriers have the smallest intensity.

Practical implications

This study may help organizations to take strategic decisions for investing in BDA applications for achieving one of the sustainable development goals. Organizations should prioritize their efforts first to counter the barriers under the category of organizational barriers followed by barriers in data management and human barriers.

Originality/value

The novelty of this paper is that barriers to BDA investment for SMOs in the context of Indian manufacturing organizations have been analyzed. The findings of the study will assist the professionals and practitioners in formulating policies based on the actual nature and intensity of the barriers.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

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