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Article

Maisam Abbasi

The purpose of this article is to explore and classify the pattern of themes and challenges in developing socially sustainable supply chains.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore and classify the pattern of themes and challenges in developing socially sustainable supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is based on a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature to explore what major themes and challenges have been discussed and the significant gaps where opportunities for further research can be found.

Findings

In total, four categories of themes were identified, namely, human-centric, focal organization-centric, supply chain-centric and governance-centric. Challenges were classified into seven categories, namely, inadequate and asymmetric knowledge, difficulties of operationalization, shifting the values, subjectivity in evaluation, governance complexity, difficulties of small- and medium-sized enterprises and sustainability fade.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of the article is on the social pillar of sustainable development in the context of supply chains. A more holistic systematic investigation of synergy of all the three pillars/bottom lines of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social) can be an opportunity for further research.

Practical implications

Taking a more holistic view of the pattern of currently discussed themes and challenges may be beneficial in increasing the absorptive capacity of industrial and business practitioners, by accumulating and assimilating external knowledge, when they design and operationalize innovative strategies in developing sustainable supply chains.

Originality/value

This article may increase awareness about the social responsibilities of supply chains actors and stakeholders in different scales. It may also guide managers, decision makers and practitioners to better understand the difficulties, obstacles or dilemmas that can hinder the sustainable development of supply chains. The results section presents a framework driven from the emerged themes, and the discussion section provides propositions for tackling the challenges and opportunities for further research.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article

Jane Glover

The purpose of this paper is to explore the dark side of supermarket-driven sustainable dairy supply chains. This paper raises questions about the unintended consequences…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the dark side of supermarket-driven sustainable dairy supply chains. This paper raises questions about the unintended consequences of implementing sustainable supply chain management in the dairy food supply chain. It critically questions whether unintended consequences were actually, anticipated, as the course of action taken by retailers reinforces the dominant profitability discourse.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a critical management studies approach, this paper challenges the dominant discourse to shed light on the social consequences of the win-win sustainable supply chain management in the dairy food supply chain. The focus of this paper is on the experiences of farmers, taking their viewpoint of sustainable supply chains rather than taking the perspective of the multinationals who have traditionally been the focus of supply chain management research (e.g. McCarthy et al., 2018; Quarshie et al., 2016).

Findings

The study illuminates how retailers have bolstered their dominant position through using sustainable supply chains to exert further control over their suppliers. The management of sustainable supply chains has been a further catalyst in economically and socially dividing rural communities and creating tensions between dairy farmers.

Originality/value

This paper uses an ethnographic study to provide in-depth stories of the changes that took place within one farming community. It exposes the hidden ways in which the introduction of a sustainable dairy supply chain has created social and economic division, further reducing the collective power of dairy farmers through creating a dual supply chain.

Details

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

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Article

Maisam Abbasi and Fredrik Nilsson

The purpose of this article is to explore themes and challenges in making supply chains environmentally sustainable.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to explore themes and challenges in making supply chains environmentally sustainable.

Design/methodology/approach

The study began with a systematic review, and content analysis of articles in top‐ranking related journals from logistics, transport, sustainability and environmental areas, and ended with research propositions contributing to the further advancement of supply chain management.

Findings

The findings illustrate the major themes published in 18 journals concentrating on sustainable supply chains with special focus on environmental issues. From the systematic review five major areas of challenges for supply chain management are derived: costs, complexity, operationalisation, mindset and cultural changes, and uncertainties. From all of these areas synthesising discussions are provided and research propositions suggested. It is concluded that there is a great need for models and frameworks that consider the complexity involved, take holistic perspectives, and challenge the basic assumptions underlying most of the research published (i.e. reductionism, positivism and economic growth).

Research limitations/implications

Sustainability in this article is mainly related to environmental issues. Analysis of complex interactions between environmental, social and economic aspects might provide opportunities for future research.

Practical implications

The results presented in this paper provide a systematic structure for classifying issues related to logistics sustainability; something which will be beneficial for managers and policy‐makers when they approach sustainable supply chain management challenges.

Originality/value

This paper provides propositions for research based on the emergent outcome of challenges that can guide research, industry and policy‐makers in future sustainability efforts.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Book part

Raffaella Cagliano, Christopher G. Worley and Federico F. A. Caniato

This chapter introduces the volume’s theme by describing the challenges of sustainability in the agri-food industry and the critical role of agri-food supply chains

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter introduces the volume’s theme by describing the challenges of sustainability in the agri-food industry and the critical role of agri-food supply chains. Following a description of traditional and sustainable supply chain management practices, we discuss the likely characteristics of sustainability-oriented innovations and how organizations pursuing higher levels of economic, social, and environmental performance will need to adapt their capabilities.

Methodology/approach

Drawing on the emerging concepts and practices from sustainable supply chain management as well as traditional and emerging concepts from innovation, we develop general propositions and expectations about how organizations might address sustainable effectiveness in their supply chains. The importance of the agri-food industry to all three pillars of sustainable effectiveness and predictions about the inability to feed future populations gives the discussion a certain urgency.

Findings

Sustainability-oriented innovations in the agri-food supply chain are different from traditional innovations. We develop propositions regarding the driving motivations, their nature and scope (i.e., more radical and systemic than incremental and focused), and the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach. The 10 cases presented in the volume are summarized.

Details

Organizing Supply Chain Processes for Sustainable Innovation in the Agri-Food Industry
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-488-4

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Article

Carina Acioli, Annibal Scavarda and Augusto Reis

The purpose of this paper is 1) to investigate the effects on the crucial Industry 4.0 technological innovations that interact between the real and virtual worlds and that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is 1) to investigate the effects on the crucial Industry 4.0 technological innovations that interact between the real and virtual worlds and that are applied in the sustainable supply chain process; 2) to contribute to the identification of the opportunities, the challenges and the gaps that will support the new research study developments and 3) to analyze the impact of the Industry 4.0 technologies as facilitators of the sustainable supply chain performance in the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Design/methodology/approach

This research is performed through a bibliographic review in the electronic databases of the Emerald Insight, the Scopus and the Web of Science, considering the main scientific publications on the subject.

Findings

The bibliographic search results in 526 articles, followed by two sequential filters for deleting the duplicate articles (resulting in 487 articles) and for selecting the most relevant articles (resulting in 150 articles).

Practical implications

This article identifies the opportunities and the challenges focused on the emerging Industry 4.0 theme. The opportunities can contribute to the sustainable performance of the supply chains and their territories. The Industry 4.0 can also generate challenges like the social inequalities related to the position of the man in the labor market by replacing the human workforce with the machines. Therefore, the man-machine relationship in the Industry 4.0 era is analyzed as a gap in the literature. Therefore, as a way to fill this gap, the authors of this article suggest the exploration of the research focused on the Society 5.0. Also known as “super-smart society,” this recent theme appeared in Japan in April 2016. According to Fukuda (2020), in addition to the focus on the technological development, the Society 5.0 also aims at the quality of life and the social challenge resolutions.

Originality/value

This article contributes to the analysis of the Industry 4.0 technologies as facilitators in the sustainable supply chain performance. It addresses the impacts of the Industry 4.0 technologies applied to the supply chains in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it analyzes the research gaps and limitations found in the literature. The result of this study can add value and stimulate new research studies related to the application of the Industry 4.0 technologies as facilitators in the supply chain sustainable performance. It can encourage the studies related to the COVID-19 impacts on the sustainable supply chains, and it can promote the research development on the relationship among the man, the machine and the labor in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Details

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

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Article

Minelle E. Silva, Ana Paula Ferreira Alves, Patricia Dias and Luis Felipe Machado Nascimento

The purpose of this paper is to analyse how a company’s orientation enables sustainable practices in its supply chains. Specifically, it focusses on how the strategic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse how a company’s orientation enables sustainable practices in its supply chains. Specifically, it focusses on how the strategic orientation of a company may stimulate new behaviours in supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

Two in-depth qualitative case studies were conducted. Each company’s orientation to sustainable supply chains was studied using cross-case analysis.

Findings

The organisations in this study have a market-driving (i.e. proactive) orientation instead of market-driven (i.e. responsive) behaviour. Using analysis from the process of change for sustainability and explaining some challenges faced by both organisations, findings indicate that a corporate strategy of sustainability modified the companies’ management processes, even for the company that changed its orientation during the time (i.e. sustainability was not the main strategy at first). Practical examples of actions are provided to illustrate the study’s conclusion that a corporate orientation towards sustainability is an enabling factor in developing sustainable supply chain management (SCM).

Research limitations/implications

Strategic management plays an important role in a company’s orientation towards sustainability – internally and throughout its supply chains. Based on the findings, future research should measure the effect of a company’s orientation on sustainable SCM.

Practical implications

This study contributes to the understanding of companies’ strategic orientations and explores ways to introduce sustainability into supply chains.

Originality/value

The paper examines an underexplored debate regarding to how strategic orientations are related to sustainable SCM, focussing on both market-driving (i.e. proactive) and market-driven (i.e. responsive) orientations.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Book part

Mohammad Shamsuddoha

Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from…

Abstract

Contemporary literature reveals that, to date, the poultry livestock sector has not received sufficient research attention. This particular industry suffers from unstructured supply chain practices, lack of awareness of the implications of the sustainability concept and failure to recycle poultry wastes. The current research thus attempts to develop an integrated supply chain model in the context of poultry industry in Bangladesh. The study considers both sustainability and supply chain issues in order to incorporate them in the poultry supply chain. By placing the forward and reverse supply chains in a single framework, existing problems can be resolved to gain economic, social and environmental benefits, which will be more sustainable than the present practices.

The theoretical underpinning of this research is ‘sustainability’ and the ‘supply chain processes’ in order to examine possible improvements in the poultry production process along with waste management. The research adopts the positivist paradigm and ‘design science’ methods with the support of system dynamics (SD) and the case study methods. Initially, a mental model is developed followed by the causal loop diagram based on in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and observation techniques. The causal model helps to understand the linkages between the associated variables for each issue. Finally, the causal loop diagram is transformed into a stock and flow (quantitative) model, which is a prerequisite for SD-based simulation modelling. A decision support system (DSS) is then developed to analyse the complex decision-making process along the supply chains.

The findings reveal that integration of the supply chain can bring economic, social and environmental sustainability along with a structured production process. It is also observed that the poultry industry can apply the model outcomes in the real-life practices with minor adjustments. This present research has both theoretical and practical implications. The proposed model’s unique characteristics in mitigating the existing problems are supported by the sustainability and supply chain theories. As for practical implications, the poultry industry in Bangladesh can follow the proposed supply chain structure (as par the research model) and test various policies via simulation prior to its application. Positive outcomes of the simulation study may provide enough confidence to implement the desired changes within the industry and their supply chain networks.

Details

Sustaining Competitive Advantage Via Business Intelligence, Knowledge Management, and System Dynamics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-707-3

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Article

Nathalie Fabbe‐Costes, Christine Roussat and Jacques Colin

Companies that try to build sustainable supply chains or that have to reengineer their supply chains to face sustainable development issues are confronted with such a…

Abstract

Purpose

Companies that try to build sustainable supply chains or that have to reengineer their supply chains to face sustainable development issues are confronted with such a complex and uncertain context that scanning their environment becomes more than ever necessary. This paper makes up the first stage of a research program. It aims to find an adequate scanning approach for sustainable supply chain design.

Design/methodology/approach

The research follows a two‐steps methodology. First, it looks for appropriate scanning frameworks by reviewing the dedicated literature. Second, it gathers ideas and knowledge combining an analysis of sustainable supply chain empirical studies with the collection of experts' scanning know‐how, by means of semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

This first stage of the research program suggests use of a multi‐and interrelated levels scope for sustainable scanning with a network perspective. The renewed target approach it promotes results in modifying scanning priorities. The overall findings shape up the first draft of a sustainable scanning framework, including a multi‐levels scope of analysis, a list of sustainable targets and a first contribution concerning scanning methods and attitudes.

Research limitations/implications

The relevance of our scanning framework needs further testing to validate its usefulness and provide recommendations for managers.

Practical implications

The paper proposes a scanning framework and a list of targets that could be implemented by professionals.

Originality/value

The contribution in this paper is to link environmental scanning and sustainable development adding a supply chain orientation, and to propose a conceptual “sustainable scanning framework”. It is hoped that further research will prove that it has interesting managerial implications for companies challenged by sustainable development issues.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article

Mohsen Varsei, Claudine Soosay, Behnam Fahimnia and Joseph Sarkis

This paper aims to provide a framework which can assist focal companies in the development of sustainable supply chains. Sustainable development from an industrial…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a framework which can assist focal companies in the development of sustainable supply chains. Sustainable development from an industrial perspective has extended beyond organisational boundaries to incorporate a supply chain approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature related to sustainable supply chain management is reviewed by incorporating concepts from four organisational theories, including the resource-based, institutional, stakeholder and social network perspectives, to illustrate key drivers and enablers of sustainability initiatives in the supply chain. A conceptual multidimensional framework is then developed that can be used for the initial assessment of supply chain sustainability.

Findings

Development and assessment of sustainability in supply chains are being increasingly incorporated as part of supply chain management today. This paper presents a multidimensional framework which can serve as a tool for research scholars and supply chain practitioners in identifying and assessing various economic, environmental and social performance indicators.

Research limitations/implications

The framework and approach presented are conceptual, and require additional and broader validation. Additional theories, at differing levels, such as individual behaviour theory, should be utilised to further enhance and evaluate the framework. Developing and integrating analytical models for prescriptive and practical supply chain solutions can enhance the applicability of the framework.

Practical implications

The framework adopts a multidimensional approach to assessing and designing sustainable supply chains, as it not only incorporates economic and environmental dimensions but also provides a practical approach to quantifying and embedding the social dimension into decision-making. The framework helps industry practitioners in initial exploration of trade-offs among economic, environmental and social performance of supply chains, which, in turn, could assist them in creating a business case for sustainability.

Originality/value

The paper is one of few studies that incorporates some of the key aspects of all three dimensions of sustainability in a single overarching framework for supply chains and offers significant theoretical contribution and implications for sustainable supply chain management.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article

Matloub Hussain, Raid Al-Aomar and Hussein Melhem

The purpose of this paper is to empirically assess the impact of integrated lean and green practices on the sustainable (environmental, economic and social) performance of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically assess the impact of integrated lean and green practices on the sustainable (environmental, economic and social) performance of a hotel supply chain.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review and previous exploratory studies were used to develop a hypothesized model that characterizes the integrated lean and green (LeGreen) impact on supply chain sustainability. A case study of a large sample of the UAE hotels is used to collect and analyze empirical data, validate the measurement model and test study hypotheses using structural equation modeling (SEM).

Findings

The results showed that three major lean techniques (Kaizen, quality and productive maintenance) and three green techniques (health and safety, waste disposal and green certifications) have substantial impact on the sustainable performance of hotel supply chains. Further results revealed that LeGreen impacts are complementary. Lean techniques have the highest impact on the economic performance of the hotel supply chain and the least impact on the environmental performance. Green practices, on the other hand, have opposite impacts.

Research limitations/implications

Although the study findings may vary in different contexts, study methodology and measurement model can be adapted to assess the LeGreen impact on the sustainable performance of hotel supply chains, as well as other service industries such as banking and health care.

Practical implications

The proposed assessment model is expected to be of great value toward the effective implementation of LeGreen practices across hotel supply chains in the UAE and globally. The study findings also provide guidelines for practitioners within the hospitality sector to undertake the proposed model and to adapt it for assessing and enhancing sustainable performance in other sectors of the service industry.

Originality/value

There is a growing emphasis by practitioners and academics on measuring the impact of LeGreen on the sustainable performance of service supply chains. However, the assessment of LeGreen impacts within the context of a hotel supply chain remains unexplored with a scarcity of comprehensive assessment frameworks. This study aims to fulfill this gap in literature and provide directions for researchers to expand the proposed model and to further analyze the integrated lean-green impact on the sustainability of supply chains of hotels and the service industry.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

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