The on-going revelations of social misconducts in supply chains throughout industries have attracted scholarly attention leading to increasing and diverse publications labelled as social responsibility in supply chains. Yet, sustainability defined as the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental aspects has been a hot topic in business and supply chain management research for more than a decade. Accordingly, the question arises whether distinctive research on social issues in supply chains is really needed. Building on the first conceptualizations of social responsibility in the context of supply chains provided by Carter and Jennings (2002a) and Murphy and Poist (2002), this paper is first to provide a comprehensive overview of the current structure and body of knowledge on social issues in supply chains published in peer-reviewed English-speaking management journals between 2002 and 2013. The current structure is examined by the distribution of articles according to year and journal of publication as well as by the papers’ epistemological orientation, research design, theoretical anchoring and unit of analysis. The body of knowledge is conceptualized into five research categories dealing with social issues in supply chains which serve as grounds to outline distinctive avenues for further research in this domain.
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- Socially responsible supply chains: A distinct avenue for future research?
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Stölzle
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