Institutional pressures and sustainability assessment in supply chains
AbstractPurpose: Firms are increasingly held accountable for the welfare of workers across entire supply chains and so it is surprising that standard forms of governance for socially sustainable supply chain management have not yet emerged. Assessment initiatives have begun to develop as a proxy measure of social sustainable supply chain management. This research examines how social sustainability assessment initiatives instigate and use institutional pressures to drive third party accreditation as the legitimate means of demonstrating social sustainability in a global supply chain. Design/methodology/approach: Ten assessment initiatives focused on assuring social sustainability across supply chains are examined. Data is collected through interviews with senior managers and publicly available secondary material. Findings: The findings show how the social sustainability assessment initiatives act by instigating institutional pressures indirectly rather than directly. Coercive pressures are the most prevalent and are exerted through consumers and compliance requirements. The notion of pressures operating as a chain is proposed, and the recognition that actors within and outside of a supply chain are crucial to the institutionalization of social sustainability is discussed. Originality/value: Studies on sustainable supply chain management often focus on how companies sense and act upon institutional pressures. To add to the extant body of knowledge this study focuses on the sources of the pressures and demonstrates how assessment initiatives use coercive, normative and mimetic pressures to drive the adoption of social sustainability assessment in supply chains.
CitationKauppi, K., Hannibal, C. (2017) 'Institutional pressures and sustainability assessment in supply chains', Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 22 (5), pp. 458-472. doi: 10.1108/SCM-01-2017-0004
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
JournalSupply Chain Management: An International Journal
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Emerald in Supply Chain Management on 17/10/2017, available online: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/SCM-01-2017-0004/full/html The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
The following licence applies to the copyright and re-use of this item:
- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/CC BY-NC-ND 4.0