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Multiple multi-tier sustainable supply chain management: a social system theory perspective

Multiple multi-tier sustainable supply chain management: a social system theory perspective
Multiple multi-tier sustainable supply chain management: a social system theory perspective
A multi-tier supply chain is a complex system as it covers a focal company and multiple tiers of suppliers in a complex supply chain network. This study explores the complexity in multi-tier sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) through a social systems theory perspective. We carried out a case study on IKEA China’s sustainable cotton initiative and examined its five cotton-textile supply chains. The primary data were collected through 22 semi-structured interviews with managers of IKEA China and their multi-tier suppliers. The findings suggest that in order to cope with environmental complexity in implementing multi-tier sustainable initiatives, focal companies tend to create both internal complexity and collaborative complexity in a variety of governance mechanisms. In addition, environmental overlap and available collaborative complexity increase in this process and can feed back into systems to facilitate further creation of requisite variety. We contribute to the multi-tier SSCM literature through providing an in-depth understanding of nuanced mechanisms of managing different tiers of suppliers to cope with complexities by adopting a social systems theory perspective. We also contribute to multi-tier supply chain governance mechanisms from an evolution perspective.
Multi-tier supply chains, case study, cotton-textile supply chain, social systems theory, sustainable supply chain management
0020-7543
Gong, Yu
86c8d37a-744d-46ab-8b43-18447ccaf39c
Jiang, Yan
a0e2d928-02b3-46ce-aa3e-9dca8020956f
Jia, Fu
0ce1dfc4-54f9-469a-81f8-9e55f9164770
Gong, Yu
86c8d37a-744d-46ab-8b43-18447ccaf39c
Jiang, Yan
a0e2d928-02b3-46ce-aa3e-9dca8020956f
Jia, Fu
0ce1dfc4-54f9-469a-81f8-9e55f9164770

Gong, Yu, Jiang, Yan and Jia, Fu (2021) Multiple multi-tier sustainable supply chain management: a social system theory perspective. International Journal of Production Research. (doi:10.1080/00207543.2021.1930238).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A multi-tier supply chain is a complex system as it covers a focal company and multiple tiers of suppliers in a complex supply chain network. This study explores the complexity in multi-tier sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) through a social systems theory perspective. We carried out a case study on IKEA China’s sustainable cotton initiative and examined its five cotton-textile supply chains. The primary data were collected through 22 semi-structured interviews with managers of IKEA China and their multi-tier suppliers. The findings suggest that in order to cope with environmental complexity in implementing multi-tier sustainable initiatives, focal companies tend to create both internal complexity and collaborative complexity in a variety of governance mechanisms. In addition, environmental overlap and available collaborative complexity increase in this process and can feed back into systems to facilitate further creation of requisite variety. We contribute to the multi-tier SSCM literature through providing an in-depth understanding of nuanced mechanisms of managing different tiers of suppliers to cope with complexities by adopting a social systems theory perspective. We also contribute to multi-tier supply chain governance mechanisms from an evolution perspective.

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Gong et al. (2021) Multiple multi-tier sustainable supply chain management: a social system theory perspective - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 February 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 31 May 2021
Keywords: Multi-tier supply chains, case study, cotton-textile supply chain, social systems theory, sustainable supply chain management

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449747
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449747
ISSN: 0020-7543
PURE UUID: 07127aa0-b11f-4341-9d11-33f37bdbbced
ORCID for Yu Gong: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5411-376X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Jun 2021 16:32
Last modified: 18 Jun 2022 01:47

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Contributors

Author: Yu Gong ORCID iD
Author: Yan Jiang
Author: Fu Jia

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