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Even though it has been theorized that initiatives on sustainable development should pursue an equilibrium among social, environmental and economic dimensions, several studies have pointed that an unbalance exists regarding the consideration of the three dimensions. However, there is little evidence to support such unbalance. Thus, in this article, we propose a tool to determinate sustainable dimensions balance by representing sustainable efforts according to their orientation. To test our tool, we reviewed about ten years of literature from top tier journals dealing with Sustainable Supply Chain issues to establish the sustainable efforts undertaken. Our results visually unveil unbalance on research in this field and show that most research is oriented to environmental and economic aspects, leaving social issues aside.
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See Table 2.
Coding scheme for classifying articles according to their SD orientation. An article is coded within a SD dimension if its main subject is listed on the ‘Themes’ column. Since some articles deal with quite a few problems at the same time, an article could be coded in one or more dimensions.
Environmental friendly transport
Environmental measurement and evaluation
Gas emissions reduction
Green product design
Green purchasing and supply
Green urban logistics
Quality of life
Sustainable competitive advantage
Some authors, as Handfield et al. [ 17], use the term Environmental Supply Chain Management instead of GSCM. All the same, both terms are equivalents.
The full results can be provided by request.
The full list can be provided by request.
Carter, C.R., Easton, P.L.: Sustainable supply chain management: evolution and future directions. Int. J. Phys. Distr. Log. 41(1), 46–62 (2011) CrossRef
Seuring, S., Müller, M.: Core issues in sustainable supply chain management - a Delphi study. Bus. Strateg. Environ. 17(8), 455–466 (2008) CrossRef
Srivastava, S.K.: Green supply-chain management: a state-of-the-art literature review. Int. J. Manag. Rev. 9(1), 53–80 (2007) CrossRef
Carter, C.R., Rogers, D.S.: A framework of sustainable supply chain management: moving toward new theory. Int. J. Phys. Distr. Log. 38(5), 360–387 (2008) CrossRef
Pagell, M., Shevchenko, A.: Why research in sustainable supply chain management should have no future. J. Supply Chain Manag. 50(1), 44–55 (2014) CrossRef
Pagell, M., Wu, Z.: Building a more complete theory of sustainable supply chain management using case studies of 10 exemplars. J. Supply Chain Manag. 45(2), 37–56 (2009) CrossRef
Elkington, J.: Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island (1998)
Yawar, S.A., Seuring, S.: Management of social issues in supply chains: a literature review exploring social issues, actions and performance outcomes. J. Bus. Ethics 141(3), 621–643 (2017) CrossRef
Koh, S.C.L., Gunasekaran, A., Tseng, C.S.: Cross-tier ripple and indirect effects of directives WEEE and RoHS on greening a supply chain. Int. J. Prod. Econ. 140(1), 305–317 (2012) CrossRef
Constantini, V., Crespi, F., Marin, G., Paglialung, E.: Eco-innovation, sustainable supply chains and environmental performance in European industries. J. Clean. Prod. 155(2), 141–154 (2017) CrossRef
Rao, P., Holt, D.: Do green supply chains lead to competitiveness and economic performance? Int. J. Oper. Prod. Manag. 25(9), 898–916 (2005) CrossRef
Carter, C.R., Jennings, M.M.: Logistics social responsibility: an integrative framework. J. Bus. Logist. 23(1), 145–180 (2002) CrossRef
Carter, C.R., Jennings, M.M.: Social responsibility and supply chain relationships. Transp. Res. E-Log. 38(1), 37–52 (2002) CrossRef
Murphy, P.R., Poist, R.F.: Socially responsible logistics: an exploratory study. Transp. J. 41(4), 23–35 (2002)
Frota Neto, J.Q., Bloemhof-Ruwaard, J.M., Van Nunen, J.A.E.E., Van Heck, E.: Designing and evaluating sustainable logistics networks. Int. J. Prod. Econ. 111(2), 195–208 (2008) CrossRef
Seuring, S., Müller, M.: From a literature review to a conceptual framework for sustainable supply chain management. J. Clean. Prod. 16(15), 1699–1710 (2008) CrossRef
Handfield, R., Sroufe, R., Walton, S.: Integrating environmental management and supply chain strategies. Bus. Strateg. Environ. 14(1), 1–19 (2005) CrossRef
Ciliberti, F., Pontrandolfo, P., Scozzi, B.: Logistics social responsibility: standard adoption and practices in Italian companies. Int. J. Prod. Econ. 113, 88–106 (2008) CrossRef
March, S.T., Smith, G.F.: Design and natural science research on information technology. Decis. Support Syst. 15, 251–266 (1995) CrossRef
Hevner, A.R., March, S.T., Park, J., Ram, S.: Design science in information systems research. MIS Quart. 28(1), 75–105 (2004) CrossRef
- Unveiling Unbalance on Sustainable Supply Chain Research: Did We Forget Something?
Marco Segura Morales
Henry N. Roa
Carlos Montenegro Armas
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