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Addressing sustainability information needs along supply chains

Addressing sustainability information needs along supply chains Gaining a better understanding of various actors’ information demands and developing suitable approaches to fulfilling them is key in managing sustainability performance in supply chains. Sustainability thereby creates different levels of uncertainty and equivocality. This paper investigates the challenges in managing sustainability information flows along several nodes in the supply chain.Design/methodology/approachA multiple case study approach explores the various sustainability information needs along different nodes of supply chains. For this, three automotive triads are investigated, each comprising an original equipment manufacturer, a first-tier supplier and a second-tier supplier.FindingsThe results reveal that fulfilling information demands presents a substantial challenge to each of the three actors, albeit a different one in each case: whereas focal companies seek to figure out what information may be relevant to sustainability performance, their direct suppliers struggle to develop suitable approaches for enabling second-tier suppliers to generate and provide such information.Practical implicationsDepending on the level of uncertainty and equivocality, companies are supported in approaching sustainability information needs by applying individual or collective processing mechanisms. Decisions on such mechanisms and organisational structure can help to allocate resources according to the degree of challenges to achieve a fit between information needs and mechanisms.Social implicationsReducing uncertainty and equivocality related to sustainability information provides a powerful approach to improving the sustainability performance along supply chains.Originality/valueHaving identified sustainability information challenges, the paper analyses and develops a typology of potentially useful approaches. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

Addressing sustainability information needs along supply chains

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
eISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/sampj-02-2019-0034
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Gaining a better understanding of various actors’ information demands and developing suitable approaches to fulfilling them is key in managing sustainability performance in supply chains. Sustainability thereby creates different levels of uncertainty and equivocality. This paper investigates the challenges in managing sustainability information flows along several nodes in the supply chain.Design/methodology/approachA multiple case study approach explores the various sustainability information needs along different nodes of supply chains. For this, three automotive triads are investigated, each comprising an original equipment manufacturer, a first-tier supplier and a second-tier supplier.FindingsThe results reveal that fulfilling information demands presents a substantial challenge to each of the three actors, albeit a different one in each case: whereas focal companies seek to figure out what information may be relevant to sustainability performance, their direct suppliers struggle to develop suitable approaches for enabling second-tier suppliers to generate and provide such information.Practical implicationsDepending on the level of uncertainty and equivocality, companies are supported in approaching sustainability information needs by applying individual or collective processing mechanisms. Decisions on such mechanisms and organisational structure can help to allocate resources according to the degree of challenges to achieve a fit between information needs and mechanisms.Social implicationsReducing uncertainty and equivocality related to sustainability information provides a powerful approach to improving the sustainability performance along supply chains.Originality/valueHaving identified sustainability information challenges, the paper analyses and develops a typology of potentially useful approaches.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 3, 2021

Keywords: Multi-tier supply chain management; Corporate sustainability; Information processing; Sustainable supply management

References