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The role of intermediaries in establishing a sustainable supply chain

Cole, Rosanna and Aitken, James (2019) The role of intermediaries in establishing a sustainable supply chain Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management.

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Abstract

In sustainable supply chain management, buyers may use intermediaries to bridge exchanges with suppliers when knowledge of suitable sustainability practices is weak and in need of facilitation. Understanding how supply chain intermediaries perform this role and what happens when intermediation is no longer needed is important in establishing more sustainable supply chains. Two supply chain intermediaries have been investigated with the resulting case study evidence analysed using the Gioia methodology. The findings suggest supply chain intermediaries add value to the buyer-supplier exchange by facilitating sustainability-related information transfer, knowledge development, risk management and improved capabilities. For example, specific practices such as corrective action reports, often managed by the intermediary, underpin the development of a sustainable supply chain. When the intermediary is no longer needed, they become disintermediated from the specific buyer-supplier exchange but may be re-employed in a new triadic relationship in the future with previous parties. This provides positive spill-over effects through intermediation–disintermediation–post-inter-mediation cycles for both the buyer and supplier populations and for broader society. Overall, the findings highlight the value of the transient position of supply chain intermediaries in establishing sustainable supply chains and the intended consequences of their involvement.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Cole, Rosannar.cole@surrey.ac.uk
Aitken, JamesJames.Aitken@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 22 April 2019
DOI : 10.1016/j.pursup.2019.04.001
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Supply chain intermediaries; Sustainable supply chains; Socially responsible purchasing; Sustainable sourcing; Sourcing triads
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 08 May 2019 15:47
Last Modified : 08 May 2019 15:47
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/851766

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