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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…

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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

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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…

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1599

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

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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…

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234

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

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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

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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…

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11611

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

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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…

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

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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.

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1233

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

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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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2019

Bokolo Anthony Jnr

This paper aims to investigate the current value chain activities grounded on Porter’s value chain theory and to examine the drivers of strategic environmentalism that…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the current value chain activities grounded on Porter’s value chain theory and to examine the drivers of strategic environmentalism that influence sustainable value chain adoption. This study further constructs a prescriptive model to reveal the extent to which information communication technology (ICT)-based industries are adopting sustainable value chain practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using questionnaire from selected ISO 14000/14001-certified ICT-based firms in Malaysia and analyzed using partial least square-structural equation modeling.

Findings

Results reveal that the primary activities positively influence sustainable value chain. Moreover, results indicate that support activities significantly influence sustainable value chain adoption in ICT-based firms. Results further show that strategic environmentalism drivers have an impact on sustainable value chain adoption.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected from ICT-based industries in Malaysia only. Additionally, this research extends the body of knowledge and offers theoretical implications for ICT-based industries in Malaysia and other emerging economies in adopting sustainable value chain activities.

Practical implications

Practically, this study assists ICT-based industries to change their current paradigm from the traditional operations to a more holistic approach toward supporting practitioners to simultaneously achieve social responsibility, environmental and economic growth.

Social implications

This study offers social implications for ICT-based industries to implement cleaner operations by decreasing CO2 emission, lessening energy usage, diminishing cost incurred and minimizing usage of natural resources, thereby increasing product recovery and recycle-ability of IT hardware.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to address the issue related to sustainable value chain in ICT-based industry by providing a roadmap on how practitioners can implement sustainable initiatives or more significantly, how to infuse these initiatives in their current chain, while concurrently enhancing competitiveness. Furthermore, this paper examines the current activities implemented by practitioners toward sustainable value chain adoption and explores the correlation of the drivers of strategic environmentalism with regard to sustainable value chain.

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Aleksandr M. Kitsis and Injazz J. Chen

Drawing on multi-theoretical lenses and a combination of supply chain and business ethics literature, this study aims to investigate the role of motives in driving…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on multi-theoretical lenses and a combination of supply chain and business ethics literature, this study aims to investigate the role of motives in driving sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) practices and sustainable performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 205 supply chain companies in the USA, the authors apply structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis to empirically test the proposed model and seven hypothesized relationships.

Findings

Results of the study underscore the critical role of moral motives, while highlighting that all three types of motives (instrumental, relational and moral) are robust in driving SSCM practices and achieving improvement in all three dimensions of sustainable performance–economic, environmental and social.

Research limitations/implications

This research can help supply chain scholars develop a more robust subfield of motivation-based SSCM research to gain a deeper understanding of how motives may differentially predict sustainable supply chain practices and performance.

Practical implications

The results of this study demonstrate the critical links between moral motivation and the triple bottom line (TBL) performance and suggest that managers pay more attention to moral motives in their decision-making.

Originality/value

This study bridges gaps in the extant literature by incorporating motivation-based antecedents, expanding the scope of SSCM practices, including the social dimension of sustainability and investigating the mediating effects of SSCM practices on the links between motives and the TBL performance.

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