مدیریت پایدار عرضه : یک مطالعه تجربی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|8846||2012||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10010 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 140, Issue 1, November 2012, Pages 168–182
Sustainable business development has received much attention over the past decade owing to the significant attention given by governments and both profit and not-for-profit organizations to environmental, social and corporate responsibility. The emergence of a changing economic order has also made companies around the world seriously think about manufacturing and service sustainability. Global markets and operations have prompted companies to revisit their corporate, business and functional strategies in addition to focusing on outsourcing, virtual enterprise and supply chain management. Sustainability research on supply management has received limited attention. Nevertheless, considering the physically disbursed enterprise environment, supply management is critical for organizational competitiveness. Realizing the importance of sustainability in supply management, an attempt has been made to develop a theoretical framework and then to study the framework by means of an empirical study using perceptions and practices of selected French companies. Finally, a summary of findings and conclusions are reported.
In recent years, supply chain management (SCM) has received a great deal of attention from practitioners and scholars. In a physically distributed enterprise environment, outsourcing has become an integral part of supply chain management. This indicates the role of supply management in order to ensure the competitiveness of supply chains. Moreover, the sustainability of supply chains relies on the sustainable supply management considering the fact that even manufacturing has become more of a service in which various resources are traded as commodities. Therefore, sustainability in supply chain management is critical for the success of whole supply chain management. Nevertheless, “only recently have the logistic, operations management and supply chain management research groups started publishing more about the implementation of sustainability in supply networks” (Van Bommel, 2011) and the burgeoning body of literature addressing the issue of sustainability (Kleindorfer et al., 2005 and Jayaraman et al., 2007), considered it as a key dimension of corporate social responsibility (CSR) (Pagell et al., 2008). In recent years, an increasing number of special issues on sustainability and sustainable SCM in recent years have been edited in the Journal of Operations Management (Linton et al., 2007), International Journal of Production Economics (Piplani et al., 2008), Journal of Supply Chain Management (Pagell et al., 2008), Supply Chain Management: an International Journal (Lindgreen et al., 2009), and Journal of Cleaner Production (Baumgartner, 2011). More and more companies take this new issue into account by editing sustainable development reports, by setting up dedicated sustainable structures or by employing sustainable development experts. Min and Galles (1997) explore “green purchasing” to determine the key factors affecting a buying firm's choice of suppliers. Our research is based on the assumption that it is currently essential and compulsory for companies to integrate sustainability issues in their SCM (Wolters et al., 1997). Handfield et al. (2002) highlight that upstream partners, and more precisely, suppliers, are frequently the most concerned with environmental preoccupations. Several examples of companies underline the importance of this trend. Since 2003, Ford Motor Company requires its suppliers to have ISO 14001 certification and more than 5000 collaborators have been effected by this decision. Similarly, companies such as Adidas, Nike and Sony have also taken steps toward increased sustainability with their suppliers. These “success stories” should not, however, overshadow reality. Lots of companies experience difficulties with their sustainable business development management even if they agree that nowadays their activity depends considerably on their responsibility towards their partners and stakeholders (Dyllick and Hockerts, 2002). Indeed, taking environmental issues into account influences the company's upstream relationships (Beske et al., 2008) and its downstream customers. From this perspective, Seuring and Müller (2008) point out a deficit of research dealing with sustainable development. Sustainable development is defined as “a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs” (WCDE, 1987). It relies on the economic, environmental and social dimensions. Ho et al. (2010), observe that green concerns are increasingly used as supplier selection criteria. Taking this perspective, in this paper we study the sustainability of upstream SCM considering the fact that supply management (strategic alliances, supplier section and its criteria) plays a major role in supply chain management. The main objective of our research is to investigate whether “sustainable sourcing” can positively impact company image and enhance the drive for business sustainability (Walton et al., 1998, Hall, 2000 and Bowen et al., 2001). The organization of the paper is as follows: Section 2 reviews some selected literature on Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) and the importance of supply management sustainability. A theoretical framework for Sustainable Supply Management (SSM) is proposed in Section 3. Section 4 discusses the research objectives and methodology employed. The results of the empirical data analysis are presented in Section 5. Section 6 includes a summary of findings, conclusions and future research directions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Based on the literature review and analysis, we developed a theoretical framework for sustainable supply management. This framework primarily focuses on suppliers and their firms’ involvement in developing and managing a sustainable business. In order to validate the framework in a real life context, we developed a questionnaire to operationalizing the model. The whole process refined the SSM framework and helped identify the enabling conditions and critical success factors. 6.1. Summary of findings The following enabling conditions and critical success factors for SSM highlight the results of our research efforts. 6.1.1. Reasons for SSM The major reasons influencing SSM adoption include top management vision, government regulatory requirements, type of business sector, customer demand, competitor actions, and, other external stakeholders such as NGOs. If the potential gain to be had from pursuing SSM is under question, it is essential for companies to evaluate external and internal pressures from the perspectives of corporate, social and environmental responsibilities. Internal drivers are mainly associated with organizational factors such as top management vision, shareholders or founder's value and middle management and employees commitment (Bowen et al., 2001). A positive top management vision of SSM influences the involvement of company in environmental initiatives and practices (Zsidisin and Siferd, 2001). By becoming more environmentally friendly, they expect higher competitive advantage (Porter and Van der Linde, 1995), increased company's brand image (Bai and Sarkis, 2010) and environmental performance (Hervani and Helms, 2005). Interestingly, Walker et al. (2008) observe that middle management commitment and employee involvement are more and more related to SSM. Environmental motivations and ethical value filtering the whole organization, becomes a “way of life”. Companies’ environmental efforts are also driven by external reasons. Government regulation and legislation are major pressure for companies (Walton et al., 1998; Zhu et al., 2008). Their desire to be thought leader for sustainability or innovator for new environmental regulations, transform this government regulatory constraint in a motivation or a positive driving force in SSM. This can become a source of organizational capabilities that generate competitive advantage (Rao and Holt, 2005). Whatever are the major reasons influencing SSM adoption (internal or external), companies must be aware of the opportunities created by dealing with environmental issues. These can lead to the gain of new customers, to economic benefits, to sustainable capabilities, competitive advantage, etc. 6.1.2. Performance criteria for SSM Based on the empirical findings, we determined that performance objectives of quality, price, reliability, service rate, delivery, and flexibility are appropriate to support the sustainability of upstream supply chains. SSM based on collaboration within the supply chain improve manufacturing performance (Vachon and Klassen, 2008). Other criteria that are not so significant include size, certification, trust, associated services, long-term relationships, geographic proximity, environmental concerns, economic reliance, personal relationships, IT and IS and social responsibility. It is important to note that suppliers are interested only in the outcomes, but not in those processes that create the outcomes. Therefore, suppliers should also look at the processes so they can ensure the anticipated outcomes for SSM and can develop internal environmental capabilities. 6.1.3. Greening supply chains Greening supply chains is a major management and operations strategy. This means that the green supply chain concept should be applied across whole value chains (despite our focus here only on sustainable supply management). SSM should be integrated with the rest of the supply chain phases and their sustainability. There are several major issues that need to be addressed while developing green supply management. The factors that are considered most important should include waste reduction, saving packaging materials, achieving ISO 14001 certification, lean management, eco-design and production facilities. Factors such as cleaner programs, controlling carbon footprints, product life cycle management, green transportation channels and reverse logistics are also considered important and related to environmental issues and social responsibility. In order to tackle these major green issues, Vachon and Klassen (2008) advocate environmental collaboration between supply chain partners (suppliers and customers). For companies, a direct and joint involvement of theirs suppliers in the development of environmental management and solutions, will reduce the green impact from their products, processes and the supply chain's material flows (Carter and Carter, 1998 and Bowen et al., 2001). Exchange of mutual information, strong willingness to learn from each other and good understanding of each others responsibilities and capabilities in regard to environment management will create a rich collaborative context and improve environmental performance. Therefore, companies should be encouraged to develop environmental collaboration with their suppliers in order to get better greening supply chains (Handfield et al., 1997). 6.1.4. Characteristics of suppliers Companies should analyze supplier characteristics in order to determine suitable strategies, techniques, operational policies and tools for SSM. Some of the criteria for choosing suitable suppliers should include the relative importance for the company of multi-national enterprises, strategic partnerships with suppliers, supplier's geographic profile, supplier size, non-strategic partnerships, and supplier's location, but not from suppliers’ perspectives. However, suppliers, as they can be identified as key drivers of SSM practices, should be aware of these in their operations to enhance SSM (Vachon and Klassen, 2008). In this regard, Carter and Dresner (2001) suggest that suppliers can help and support SSM, even if they act seldom as a direct driving force. By providing valuable ideas, their integration and cooperation in SSM can help to manage more effectively sustainable issues (Vachon and Klassen, 2006), Strategic partnerships with suppliers become a source of organizational capabilities which are expected to generate competitive advantage and improve environmental performance (Porter and Van der Linde, 1995). Nevertheless, companies have to be recognizant of suppliers’ carbon footprint and if they do not want to pay higher inputs costs due to their suppliers’ carbon-related costs, they have to be attentive to their suppliers’ locations and supplier environmental practices, In this perspective, we propose that Environmental Management Systems should to be adopted in order to reduce environmental impacts throughout the supply chain (Darnall et al., 2008). 6.1.5. Managerial approaches for SSM Various managerial approaches have been employed for SSM. Globally speaking active, collaborative and reactive decision making approaches have more positive impact on SSM than do pro-active and individual approaches. The relative importance of these characteristics depends upon the supplier and its capacity to drive sustainable practices for its customers (Vachon and Klassen, 2008). By contributing to the reduction of wasted chemicals, the development of environmental technologies or the solving of waste disposals problems, suppliers create value for their customers and become more competitive (Rao and Holt, 2005). Government regulations, competitors’ green supply chain management and customers can influence companies’ decision making approaches. Under such pressures, companies react frequently in a compliance driven way (Walkers et al., 2008) and do not appear to have integrated environmental concerns. This reactive mode has also been observed in uncertainty environment, where pro-active environmental practices such as collaboration with suppliers, are limited as focal companies prefer to manage and allocate internally scarce resources (Carter and Carter, 1998). Even if pro-active approach to the environment could lead to development of supply capabilities including knowledge and know-how on sustainable issues (Bowen et al., 2001 and Sarkis, 2003) suggest that a. Whatever the managerial approaches for SSM, companies will face difficulties to set up pro-active approaches for SSM because of the complex nature of sustainable decisions (Zhu et al., 2008 and Bai and Sarkis, 2010). If collaboration with suppliers could constitute an answer for SSM, companies should develop environmentally conscious business practices (such as reduction, reuse, remanufacture, recycling, etc. Srivastava, 2007), set up environmental performance metrics (Awasthi et al., 2010) and identified green supply chain alternatives (Sarkis, 2003). 6.1.6. Barriers to SSM Supply management should consider the perceived and real barriers to SSM. This will help companies develop suitable strategies and action plans for reducing the effect of these barriers on successfully achieving SSM. Some of the major barriers to SSM include financing the greening of supply management, return on investment, supplier production capabilities, supplier's human resources, green induced changes, supplier culture, nature of the product, company production capacity, supply chain network and top management support for SSM. Barriers such as supply chain networks, supplier size, focal company human resources, localization and experiences and top management support do not have the same importance. Bowen et al. (2001) outline the difficulties that companies face when they want to assess the economic gains coming from their environmental practices. Zhu and Sarkis (2007) observe that Chinese manufacturers suffer economic losses because of this short term vision of environmental management. This difficulty of assessing economic gains through environmental performance is however overcome when green practices are developed in the long-term (Carter and Dresner, 2001). This long-term perspective of green practices is an important condition for companies to perform good SSM and should be undertaken in all sustainable issues. This assumption will permit companies to overcome several challenges regarding barriers for SSM. 6.1.7. Benefits and motivations of SSM The perceived benefits and motivations of sustainable supply management should be taken into account while making decisions regarding SSM development. Customer satisfaction, suppliers’ innovation capacity, quality, trust, supply risk management, and fill rate are some of the major benefits of SSM that should be considered. Benefits such as optimal inventory, flexibility, supply chain cost and supply lead time are not considered that important and as such should be given a lower priority. The pressure of customer as a primary motivation for companies to cooperate with them for environmental objectives has been observed in several researches. Persuasion to push for waste reduction and cost improvements is very often used by customers to improve their environmental image and reputation. Audit and external certifications such as ISO 14001 can also provide information on the environmental performance of suppliers. This upstream pressure on environmental questions is explained by the suppliers’ contribution to customers’ green issues (Zhu et al., 2008; Srivastava, 2007) and additionally for the improvement of manufacturing performance (Vachon and Klassen, 2008). By collaborating with their suppliers on greening supply chains, focal companies are expected to improve their performance in traditional dimensions – quality, fill-rate and flexibility – and to benefit from suppliers’ capabilities to innovate in sustainable issues and to manage supply risks. In this perspective, we argue that in order to meet the customers’ expectation, companies have to integrate their suppliers in SSM as they can help to provide valuable ideas on sustainability (Walker et al., 2008) and can be source of efficient use of resources and environmental capabilities (Porter and Van der Linde, 1995 and Handfield et al., 1997). 6.2. Conclusions and future research directions In this paper, the importance of sustainable supply chain management, in particular SSM has been discussed and analyzed. A theoretical framework for SSM along 7 dimensions was developed, an empirical study to validate the theoretical framework was conducted, and a list of enabling conditions and critical success factors for SSM was summarized. The results of this research can be summarized as follows: • External factors or pressures have positive impact on the development of SSM. • Internal factors have less impact on SSM as compared to external factors. • Performance objectives are more appropriate for selecting suppliers in the upstream supply chain than are processes. • Sustainability strategies and action plans tend to have more positive outcomes on sustainable supply management than do performance objectives. • Waste reduction efforts have greater impact on greening supply chains than do environmental issues. • Suppliers’ demographic characteristics significantly influence SSM. • Multi-national and small and medium enterprises have differential impact on sustainable supply management. • Active, collective and reactive decision making approaches have more positive impact on SSM than do pro-active, collaborative and individual approaches. • Financial barriers have more impact on SSM than do non-financial barriers • The vision of supplier firm top management and their support is a critical success factor in SSM. • Key benefits such as customer satisfaction, supplier innovation, quality and capacity have greater positive impact on SSM than do lead-time, cost, flexibility and inventory optimization. These findings can be used as research hypotheses to expand the scope of further research on SSM. The following are some additional, potential future research directions: • Develop a more comprehensive model for SSCM based on SSM. • Study SSCM with help of empirical data collected from companies. • Develop a framework for performance measures and metrics in SSM. • Conduct cross-country empirical studies to see if there is any difference in the emerging models for SSCM. At present, the authors are pursuing research on some of the above topics. Once the results are available, we will report them and their analysis to the academic and practitioner communities.