Corporate social responsibility in global supply chains has become an increasingly salient issue for many organisations. In a response to this, the aim of this research is to consider the influence of strategic management, and in particular the role of business strategy, in shaping socially and environmentally responsible purchasing and supply management activities. In examining this theme, this research draws heavily upon recent conceptualisations of the relationship between strategic management and corporate social responsibility, and empirically assesses this relationship with a focus on such practices within the supply chain.
Using a novel data collection approach to capture firms’ actual social and environmental supply management activities, these data draw on interviews with 178 UK-based firms and observations of 340 separate buyer-supplier relationships. Primary data were supplemented with secondary data to capture both industry and firm characteristics. This methodology minimises social desirability bias and common source bias.
The findings suggest that responsible purchasing and supply management is strongly driven by business strategy in the business to consumer market. In contrast, in the business to business market such initiatives are largely influenced by firms’ financial resources and economic obligations. In both the business to consumer and business to business sector, however, business strategy and financial resources are contingent on the industry environment. Hence, the industry environment plays a significant, albeit indirect, role in shaping socially and environmentally responsible purchasing and supply management activities.
This research offers one of the first insights into how strategic management, and in particular how business strategy, influences firms’ investments in socially and environmentally responsible purchasing and supply management initiatives. Through conceptual and empirical investigations this research highlights this relationship and notes the importance of integrating business strategy with general supplier practices, with a focus on the implementation of corporate social responsibility in individual buyer-supplier relationships.
|Date of Award||1 Sep 2010|
|Supervisor||Andrew Millington (Supervisor) & Steve Brammer (Supervisor)|
- business strategy
- strategic management
- responsible purchasing and supply