Squaring the Circle: Management, Measurement and Performance of Sustainability in Supply Chains
Grosvold, J.; Hoejmose, S.U. and Roehrich, J.K. (2014). Squaring the circle: Management, measurement and performance of sustainability in supply chains. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 292-305.
51 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 19, 2014
Purpose: This study evaluates the relationships between management, measurement and performance of sustainability in supply chains. We develop a framework, which explores these links through decoupling as articulated by institutional theory. We draw on a conceptual continuum of reactive-proactive sustainable supply chain practices, and identify clusters of companies along these dimensions. We evaluate the theoretical and managerial implications of this for sustainability performance.
Design/methodology/approach: This study uses primary and secondary datasets from 12 inductive, multiple case studies across different industries. This approach captures diversity of practices and contexts, and thus increase the potential robustness of the theory induced from the results.
Findings: We find varying degrees of alignment between management practices and measurement systems of sustainable supply chains. Some firms better align their sustainable supply chain management and measurement practices than others, resulting in tighter coupling and ultimately improved sustainability performance in the supply chain.
Research limitations/implications: Further research should explore the conditions under which firms decouple their practices and the contextual settings that are associated with decoupling, loosely coupled and tightly coupled alignment between management, measurement and performance, and should test our conceptual framework across countries, industries and different relationships between public and private organisations.
Originality/value: This is the one of the first empirical explorations of decoupling theory and the reactive-proactive continuum to sustainable supply chain management, and the extent to which firms align their ‘management’ and ‘measurement’ practices and how this impacts the successful implementation of sustainable supply chains.
Keywords: Sustainability performance, managing performance, measuring, sustainable supply chain management, multiple case studies
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