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Towards socially sustainable supply chains – themes and challenges

Towards socially sustainable supply chains – themes and challenges PurposeThe purpose of this article is to explore and classify the pattern of themes and challenges in developing socially sustainable supply chains.Design/methodology/approachThe methodology is based on a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature to explore what major themes and challenges have been discussed and the significant gaps where opportunities for further research can be found.FindingsIn total, four categories of themes were identified, namely, human-centric, focal organization-centric, supply chain-centric and governance-centric. Challenges were classified into seven categories, namely, inadequate and asymmetric knowledge, difficulties of operationalization, shifting the values, subjectivity in evaluation, governance complexity, difficulties of small- and medium-sized enterprises and sustainability fade.Research limitations/implicationsThe focus of the article is on the social pillar of sustainable development in the context of supply chains. A more holistic systematic investigation of synergy of all the three pillars/bottom lines of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social) can be an opportunity for further research.Practical implicationsTaking a more holistic view of the pattern of currently discussed themes and challenges may be beneficial in increasing the absorptive capacity of industrial and business practitioners, by accumulating and assimilating external knowledge, when they design and operationalize innovative strategies in developing sustainable supply chains.Originality/valueThis article may increase awareness about the social responsibilities of supply chains actors and stakeholders in different scales. It may also guide managers, decision makers and practitioners to better understand the difficulties, obstacles or dilemmas that can hinder the sustainable development of supply chains. The results section presents a framework driven from the emerged themes, and the discussion section provides propositions for tackling the challenges and opportunities for further research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Business Review Emerald Publishing

Towards socially sustainable supply chains – themes and challenges

European Business Review , Volume 29 (3): 43 – May 8, 2017

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0955-534X
DOI
10.1108/EBR-03-2016-0045
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this article is to explore and classify the pattern of themes and challenges in developing socially sustainable supply chains.Design/methodology/approachThe methodology is based on a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature to explore what major themes and challenges have been discussed and the significant gaps where opportunities for further research can be found.FindingsIn total, four categories of themes were identified, namely, human-centric, focal organization-centric, supply chain-centric and governance-centric. Challenges were classified into seven categories, namely, inadequate and asymmetric knowledge, difficulties of operationalization, shifting the values, subjectivity in evaluation, governance complexity, difficulties of small- and medium-sized enterprises and sustainability fade.Research limitations/implicationsThe focus of the article is on the social pillar of sustainable development in the context of supply chains. A more holistic systematic investigation of synergy of all the three pillars/bottom lines of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social) can be an opportunity for further research.Practical implicationsTaking a more holistic view of the pattern of currently discussed themes and challenges may be beneficial in increasing the absorptive capacity of industrial and business practitioners, by accumulating and assimilating external knowledge, when they design and operationalize innovative strategies in developing sustainable supply chains.Originality/valueThis article may increase awareness about the social responsibilities of supply chains actors and stakeholders in different scales. It may also guide managers, decision makers and practitioners to better understand the difficulties, obstacles or dilemmas that can hinder the sustainable development of supply chains. The results section presents a framework driven from the emerged themes, and the discussion section provides propositions for tackling the challenges and opportunities for further research.

Journal

European Business ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: May 8, 2017

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