Supplier collaboration for sustainability: a study of UK food supply chains
Subjectsfood supply chain
N100 Business studies
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAchieving sustainability in the supply chain is not a choice but an inevitable necessity for the organisation to survive and thrive in the long run. Supplier collaboration to achieve sustainability is widely recognised but poorly studied phenomena. While there is a handful of studies that focused on collaboration for sustainability in food supply chains, only a few considered sustainable (i.e. environmental, cost and social) or Triple Bottom Line (TBL) performance, and in the context of UK food industry, there is hardly any study. Building on previous studies, this thesis addressed these concerns conceptually and empirically by: a) examining supplier collaboration for sustainable performance; b) assessing supplier collaboration for environment friendly and socially responsible practices; c) measuring environment friendly and socially responsible practices for sustainable performance; and d) validating environment friendly and socially responsible practices as the mediators for supplier collaboration and sustainable performance. To achieve these objectives, first, a structured literature review was performed and identified 61 studies that documented supplier collaboration for sustainability, and a comprehensive review was also conducted to expand the research domain. Second, underpinned by Relational View (RV) theory, a set of 17 testable hypotheses (including sub-hypotheses) were developed, and a survey method was used to collect 203 useable data from UK based food businesses who maintain collaborative relationships with their suppliers. Finally, for data analysis, Partial Least Squared- Structural Equations Modelling (PLS-SEM) technique was used with SmartPLS3 software. The empirical findings validated that: a) supplier collaboration improves environmental, cost and social performance; b) supplier collaboration contributes to improved environment friendly and socially responsible practices; c) environment friendly practices enhance environmentally, cost and social performance; d) socially responsible practices have an impact on environmental and social performance, however socially responsible practices do not have an impact on cost performance; e) environment friendly and socially responsible practices mediate the relationship between supplier collaboration and sustainable performance. The results suggest that supplier collaboration enhances environment-friendly and socially responsible practices which will lead to enhanced environmental, cost and social performance. The contributions of this research to supply chain management literature are: a) to achieve sustainable performance in the food supply chain, collaboration with the suppliers is essential; b) collaborating with the suppliers, firms can improve their environment friendly and socially responsible practices; c) socially responsible practices in the supply chain enhance environmental and social performance but do not improve cost performance; c) this study extends the Relational View theory (RV) from the relation-specific assets for sustainable performance to the relation-specific assets for environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices which lead to sustainable performance. This study found that inter-organisational relationship facilitates environment-friendly and socially responsible practices which will lead to improved sustainable performance. For practitioners, this study offers the sustainability framework that suggests for greater collaboration with the suppliers to improve environment-friendly and socially responsible practices which should lead to a sustainable performance in the food industry. For the policymakers, this study offers a unique proposition to encourage a collaborative environment in the supply chain to achieve sustainable performance in the food industry.
CitationAli,A. (2018) 'Supplier collaboration for sustainability: a study of UK food supply chains'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of doctor of Philosophy.
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