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The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework for the identification, categorization and prioritization of social sustainability barriers in health-care supply chains.Design/methodology/approachAn exploratory survey tool is used to identify barriers that are relevant to a health-care supply chain. The identified barriers are grouped into five main categories and experts’ opinions were applied to validate the content. Finally, an analytical hierarchical process (AHP) is used to prioritize the main categories and sub-categories of the barriers.FindingsThe exploratory phase identified 34 barriers that are relevant to a health-care supply chain. These barriers were grouped into the following categories: poor infrastructure, organizational culture, poor coordination, stakeholder disparity, and uncertainty. Organizational culture and poor coordination were assigned the highest priority through the AHP. Overall, lack of management support, lack of commitment and lack of coordination were found to be the top relevant barriers to a health-care supply chain.Research limitations/implicationsThis study only explored and prioritized the barriers of social sustainability. Future research should explore the impact of the identified barriers on the overall performance of the hospital supply chain.Practical implicationsThe findings of this study may be of value to the local health-care industry in achieving their objectives by overcoming social sustainability barriers, which would in turn facilitate the implementation of social sustainability programs that can positively contribute to the overall supply chain performance.Social implicationsSocial sustainability has grown in importance as a pressurizing issue to push supply chain managers to assess their social impacts on the communities. This is especially important in service supply chains such as health care, where human element is a part of every stage.Originality/valueDespite practitioners’ and academics’ growing emphasis on the social dimension of sustainability, the categorization and prioritization of social sustainability practices across health-care supply chains and general service care supply chains have not been addressed. This study aims to cover this gap by contributing to both the academic literature and the practical health-care environment.
Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 6, 2019
Keywords: Social sustainability; Analytical hierarchical process; Barriers of social sustainability; Health-care supply chains
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