Responsible supply chain management (RSCM) can help protect a firm's corporate reputation by shielding it from negative media attention and consumer boycotts. RSCM can also enhance a firm's corporate reputation, which allows firms to secure business contracts and penetrate new market segments successfully. This study empirically examines: (i) the extent to which responsible supply chain management practices is driven by a desire to protect corporate reputation; and (ii) whether responsible supply chain management can enhance corporate reputation and thereby generate competitive advantage to the firm. We draw on primary and secondary datasets across seven firms, spanning the publishing, technology, beverage, tobacco, finance and home improvement sectors. We find compelling evidence to suggest that firms often engage in RSCM due to a desire to protect corporate reputation. Similarly, we find empirical evidence to suggest that responsible supply chain practices can enhance reputation and thereby create competitive benefits, although this link is not as profound as the relationship between RSCM and reputation protection and there are significant variations across industries. These findings have significant implications for marketing theory and, in particular, industrial marketers, who are increasingly expected to implement responsible supply chain practices.
- multi-case study approach
- reputation enhancement
- reputation protection
- responsible supply chain management
- corporate reputation
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- Management - Professor
- Information, Decisions & Operations - Director – HPC Supply Chain Innovation Lab
- Bath Centre for Healthcare Innovation and Improvement
Person: Research & Teaching