Extending the Supply Chain Visibility Boundary: Utilizing Stakeholders for Identifying Supply Chain Sustainability Risks

International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Forthcoming

39 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2016

See all articles by Christian Busse

Christian Busse

Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg

Martin Schleper

German Graduate School of Management and Law

Jenny Weilenmann

Independent

Stephan M. Wagner

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Chair of Logistics Management

Date Written: August 12, 2016

Abstract

This article investigates how buying firms facing low supply chain visibility can utilize their stakeholder network to identify salient supply chain sustainability risks (SCSR). The study employs a design science approach to develop a procedural model for identifying SCSR as a new artifact. A small-scale field-testing study in a food supply chain of a Swiss retail firm demonstrates its applicability and pragmatic validity. When stakeholder knowledge external to the supply chain is regarded as a valuable resource, a generic understanding of a buying firm’s supply chain suffices to identify SCSR hotspots without creating complexity for the SCSR management. The article contributes to the study of SCSR by identifying mechanisms buying firms can employ to identify SCSR hotspots and fostering the nascent understanding of responsibility attribution by stakeholders. Moreover, the emerging theory of the supply chain is enriched by paving a way to extend the supply chain visibility boundary. The procedural model is presumably most useful in contexts of elevated stakeholder pressure and low supply chain visibility. Future research should seek to validate and improve the effectiveness of the newly designed artifact. The procedural model is directly applicable in corporate practice to the identification of SCSR. Moreover, its application fosters the understanding of a firm’s supply chain and its stakeholder network. SCSR is an increasingly important phenomenon in corporate practice that has received only scarce research attention. The design science approach represents a valuable means for generating theoretical insights and emergent solutions to the real-world problem of SCSR identification.

Keywords: Sustainability, Risk management, Design science, Supply chain visibility, Stakeholder management

JEL Classification: M11, M14, M16

Suggested Citation

Busse, Christian and Schleper, Martin and Weilenmann, Jenny and Wagner, Stephan M., Extending the Supply Chain Visibility Boundary: Utilizing Stakeholders for Identifying Supply Chain Sustainability Risks (August 12, 2016). International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2838357

Christian Busse (Contact Author)

Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg ( email )

Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118
Oldenburg, D-26129
Germany

Martin Schleper

German Graduate School of Management and Law ( email )

Bildungscampus 2
Heilbronn, 74076
Germany

Jenny Weilenmann

Independent ( email )

Stephan M. Wagner

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Chair of Logistics Management ( email )

Department of Management, Technology and Economics
Weinbergstrasse 56/58
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 3259 (Phone)
+41 44 632 1526 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.scm.ethz.ch

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