توسعه تامین کننده مسئول رفتار اجتماعی: ساخت توسعه و اعتبار سنجی سنجش
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21312||2012||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7230 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 140, Issue 1, November 2012, Pages 160–167
Chinese manufacturing has recently been plagued by a raft of product safety problems such as melamine-tainted milk, lead-tainted toys, toxic toothpaste, defective tyres, and fake medicines. A probable cause of these incidents is a lack of business ethics in the suppliers concerned. In the literature much has been suggested on the use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to improve firms’ ethical behaviors and on the use of supplier development (SD) to improve suppliers’ capabilities. This research integrates the literature on CSR and SD to develop a new approach, called socially responsible supplier development (SRSD), to address suppliers’ ethical problems. SRSD suggests leveraging a buying firm's concerted supplier development efforts to improve its important suppliers’ capabilities in CSR implementation. We develop and validate scales for measuring SRSD practices. In addition, we provide empirical evidence on the validity of existing CSR scales for Chinese manufacturing firms. Our results are based on analysis of the data of 160 pairs of buyer–supplier relationships in four manufacturing industries in China. The results indicate that all the scale items possess adequate reliability and validity to reflect SRSD and CSR. We also discuss the implications of our findings for research and practice.
Although many researchers have strongly advocated that any manufacturing organization should develop in sustainable ways that satisfy the needs of multiple stakeholders and create values through environmental and social performance (Ciliberti et al., 2008, Vachona and Klassen, 2008 and Pagell and Gobeli, 2009), many manufacturers are still severely affected by unethical behaviors that occur in their manufacturing processes and supply chains. For instance, a pet food manufacturer, Menu Foods, paid a $24 million settlement to customers in 2008 because its Chinese suppliers intentionally spiked the gluten with melamine to pass chemical inspection (Tybout and Roehm, 2009). Unfortunately, melamine was used not only in pet food, But also in milk products for humans. The melamine-tainted milk manufactured in China caused nearly 300,000 people to fall sick and several deaths of infants (DeLaurentis, 2009). The dairy products of 21 manufacturers including such major players as Mengniu, Yili, and Sanlu were also found contaminated. The scandal spread into a global concern with recalls, bans, or warnings of contaminated food being reported in Europe, the USA, and Asia (BBC, 2010 and DeLaurentis, 2009). Investigations revealed that the problems were caused by suppliers. They are farms or similar businesses, which added melamine to diluted milk to boost the apparent presence of protein in the milk (Ma, 2009 and Fairclough, 2008). In addition to food-related organizations, Mattel, a toy company, recalled approximately 14 million toys because of their excessive levels of lead or the presence of small detachable magnets that can be swallowed. This scandal resulted in Mattel facing numerous lawsuits and suffering severe reputation damage (Gilbert and Wisner, 2010). Similarly, it is not Mattel but its suppliers that produce the defective toys. There are other similar supplier-related ethical problems such as toxic toothpaste, defective tyres, and fake medicines (Ip, 2009 and Lu, 2009) and strong public criticisms of Nike, Adidas, and Sainsbury for their failure in controlling labor abuses in their suppliers (Barton, 2007, Yu, 2008 and Emmelhainz and Adams, 1999). These supplier-related ethical problems and their consequences imply that buying firms need to recognize suppliers’ ethical problems as a strategically important concern. In the management literature, concerns for managing ethics in organizations typically refer to the approach of corporate social responsibility (CSR). One common perspective to understand CSR is to use stakeholder theory to conceptualize CSR as the extent to which businesses assume the economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary responsibilities imposed on them by their various stakeholders ( Maignan et al., 1999). The success of employing CSR to address issues of ethics and enhance organizational performance has been well documented in the literature (e.g., Luo and Bhattacharya, 2006 and McWilliams and Siegel, 2000). On the other hand, the operations and supply management literature has widely reported that supplier development (SD) is a viable approach for buying firms to improve the capabilities of their suppliers. Similarly, SD's effectiveness in improving the operational performance of both the supplier and the buying firm is supported empirically by a number of studies (e.g., Krause et al., 2000 and Krause et al., 2007). However, the current understanding of CSR and SD offers very few guidelines on how a buying firm can enhance its suppliers’ CSR capabilities. To fill this void, we introduce a novel approach in this research – socially responsibly supplier development (SRSD) – to address suppliers’ ethical problems. SRSD refers to the concerted supplier development efforts made by a buying firm to improve its important suppliers’ capabilities to CSR implementation. We expect that by implementing SRSD, important suppliers will be induced to implement CSR and the ethical performance of both suppliers and the buying firms will be improved. In order to advance the understanding of SRSD, we develop and test the measurement scales for SRSD in this research. Using qualitative methods including literature review, expert panel discussion involving six professionals, and a pilot test involving managers of 20 manufacturers, we identify three dimensions and the corresponding scale items of SRSD. Based on the data of 160 paired buyer–supplier manufacturers in China, we quantitatively validate the scales through various statistical tests. In addition, we also validate the scale items of seven selected dimensions of CSR. The contributions of this research to theory and practice are four-fold. First, we address the recent supplier-related ethical problems by introducing the SRSD concept that offers practical insights to manufacturers on how to take a proactive role in enhancing the ethical practices and performance of their suppliers. Second, we extend both the operations and supply management literature and the business ethics literature by introducing and developing the SRSD concept. Indeed, the development of the SRSD concept sheds light on how to integrate concepts from differing academic disciplines to generate a solution for a practical problem. Third, researchers can use the SRSD scales developed in this research to further test and refine the concept empirically. Practitioners can also use the scales as an assessment tool to evaluate their SRSD implementation status. Finally, in addition to developing the new SRSD scales, we also examine and validate seven relevant dimensions of CSR and their scale items in this research. Given the lack of validation studies on the use of CSR scales in Chinese organizations, our validation results contribute to improving the generalizability of the current CSR scales. The remainder of this paper is divided into three parts. In the second part we provide a literature review of related works on sustainability, ethics, operations management (OM), SD, and CSR, and discuss the theoretical background underpinning the development of the SRSD concept and its three underlying dimensions. In the third section we present and elaborate on the results of using qualitative and quantitative methods to develop and validate the SRSD and CSR scales. Finally, in the last section we discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of the research findings, and suggest topics for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Several recent ethical incidents reveal that a buying firm's performance can be severely affected by its suppliers’ lack of concern for social responsibility. Nonetheless, the extant literature offers very limited suggestions on how a buying firm can proactively help its important suppliers implement CSR in order to improve the ethical performances of both the suppliers and the buying firm. In this research we integrate the literature on business ethics and supply management to come up with the SRSD concept, which is concerned with a buyer's concerted efforts in developing its key suppliers’ CSR capabilities and implementation commitment. In order to further theory development and understanding of SRSD, reliable and valid measures of SRSD are required. Thus, we develop three multi-item scales reflecting the three dimensions of SRSD for researchers to examine buying firms’ efforts in influencing their suppliers’ CSR practices. Within the extant literature on supply management and business ethics, suggestions tend to concentrate on how to influence suppliers indirectly by paying attention to select ethical suppliers through diverse requirements and regulations in the tendering and assessment processes (e.g., Baden et al., 2009, Tsoi, 2010, Carter and Jennings, 2004, Carter et al., 1999 and Carter and Carter, 1998). Obviously, SRSD represents a novel concept that extends the extant literature by suggesting that buying firms can take a proactive role in influencing the ethical practices and performance of their suppliers. Furthermore, SD researchers tend to consider SD as an approach for buying firms to improve operational performance through the transfer of OM knowledge or practices to suppliers (e.g., Krause et al, 2000; Krause, 2007). The SRSD concept extends the understanding of SD in that we propose that SD can be used for transferring corporate-level management practices, such as CSR, and its outcome can be ethical performance improvement in the supplier and the buying firm. In addition to the development of the SRSD concept, the multi-item SRSD scales we have developed and tested are another major contribution of this research. We employ qualitative methods to develop the scale items for the three dimensions of SRSD and validate them quantitatively based on the data of 160 pairs of buyer–supplier relationships. The analysis results indicate that our new scales exhibit adequate psychometric properties for theory building, testing, and refinement. Because of the increasing awareness of the importance of ethics and the trend towards developing closer and interdependent supplier relationships, we expect that many researchers will direct their attention towards exploring how organizations can work closely with suppliers in order to meet consumers’ heightening expectations on ethics. By using valid and reliable scales, such as the SRSD scales developed in this research, business ethics and supply management researchers will be able to move forward from conceptual discussions or anecdotal studies to testing specific hypotheses or conceptual models (Sethi and King, 1994). The SRSD scales developed in this research contribute to practice by offering ideas to practitioners on what specific practices are needed when organizations intend to improve suppliers’ capabilities in CSR adoption. Specifically, the items of the first SRSD dimension (i.e., SR-information sharing) imply that the buying firm has to be willing to share its knowledge on CSR to suppliers. The items of the second SRSD dimension (i.e., SR-supplier evaluation) imply that the buying firm should put an audit and feedback system in place for monitoring suppliers’ CSR implementation and outcomes, and those of the third SRSD dimension (i.e., SR-supplier development) imply that the buying firm has to be ready to get directly involved in suppliers’ CSR implementation or ethics-related problem-solving efforts. In addition, the SRSD and CSR scale items can be used by organizations to monitor their SRSD and CSR implementation status and track changes over time. Furthermore, the scales could serve as a diagnostic tool that allows organizations to collect information to determine which particular SRSD or CSR dimensions are weak and in need of attention. In addition, within the framework of the recently developed ISO 26000 (i.e., an international standard on social responsibility), promoting social responsibility in the value chain is one of the values of the standard (ISO, 2010). Consequently, our developed SRSD scales will be particularly useful for organizations that intend to obtain ISO 26000 certification. Our research is not free of limitations, which introduce future research opportunities. First, we collect both interview data in the pilot test and survey data in the validation test from manufacturing organizations. Future research could collect data from service organizations for validation in order to improve the generalizability of the scales. Second, although the 160 pairs of buyer–supplier relationships in the data-set of this research can be deemed acceptable when compared with similar prior studies (e.g., Luo, 2006 and Krause et al., 2007), a sample size of at least 200 is needed when there are 40 scale items in the CFA test (Hair et al., 2010). Future research could employ a bigger data-set in order to generate more accurate CFA results. Third, as an exploratory study, we use data from four industries for the validation test. However, organizations in different industries operate under different environments and face unique problems and constraints. Future research may replicate this research by focusing on a single industry in order to offer some industry-specific insights that may better meet the needs of organizations. Fourth, we conduct the validation test based on cross-sectional survey data, which makes the assumed cause–effect relationship in the examination of predictive validity questionable. Future research could use a longitudinal approach to collect data on SRSD and CSR at different times in order to obtain evidence to support the assumption in the predictive validity test. Finally, the results of the predictive validity test reveal an important research question that is not yet addressed by current research. The results indicate that the SRSD dimensions are significantly related to many of the dimensions of CSR. Future research could examine more rigorously how SRSD adoption in the buying firm is associated with CSR adoption in the supplier by using analysis methods such as structural equation modeling. In addition, when examining such associations, factors that may moderate or mediate the associations could be identified and tested empirically.