Jörg H. Grimm, Joerg S. Hofstetter, Joseph Sarkis · 2018
Journal of Cleaner Production · Elsevier BV

Interrelationships amongst factors for sub-supplier corporate sustainability standards compliance: An exploratory field study

Sub-supplier compliance with a focal firm's corporate sustainability standards (CSS) is increasingly recognized as an important dimension of sustainable supply chain management. This paper draws on recent sub-supplier management studies and their critical success factors (CSFs) to investigate the interrelationships between and strengths of CSFs. While previous research focused on the perspective and practices only of focal firms, this exploratory field study investigated a focal firm, one of its suppliers and one of its sub-suppliers in a multi-tier supply chain setting. Our findings suggest that sub-supplier assessment and collaboration are influenced by (1) the committed long-term relationship between the direct supplier and the sub-supplier, (2) the involvement of the direct supplier, and (3) the focal firm's buyer-power over the direct supplier. In return, sub-supplier assessment and collaboration influence those and further CSFs in a feedback loop, enabling virtuous or vicious cycle effects. The perspective of the sub-supplier revealed substantial differences to the supplier and the focal firm, in particular the lower feedback loop effect of collaboration on CSFs.

Full publication is available on: DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.08.074

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Joerg Hofstetter

Joerg Hofstetter
KEDGE Business School, France

Dr. Joerg S. Hofstetter, an expert in sustainability, procurement and multinational multi-tier value chains with over 20 years of experience, is Associate Professor in Supply Chain Management at KEDGE Business School Bordeaux, President of the International Forum on Sustainable Value Chains (ISVC), Lecturer at the University of St. Gallen, and Fellow of the Center for Organization Research & Design (CORD) at Arizona State University. He consulted various national government and intergovernmental organizations (including the OECD, the World Bank Group) as well as over 100 private and public companies across different industries, and is non-executive board member in the private sector. He is a founding member of the GRONEN Foundation, a member of Future Earth’s Working Groups on Circular Economy and Global Value Chains, a member of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform’s Trade & Competitiveness Research Committee, and involved in several UNIDO working groups. Previously, he served at the University of St. Gallen as Vice Director of its Chair of Logistics Management and Assistant Professor of Management. Dr. Hofstetter, a German national, has extensive knowledge in sustainability, circular economy, sustainability in multinational multi-tier supply chains, sustainability in procurement, global value chains, value chain mapping, sub-supplier management, supplier development, distribution management, and corporate supply chain management. He received several substantial public and private research grants, works internationally with both the public and the private sector, and published in leading academic journals, expert journals and books. Under Dr. Hofstetter’s leadership, the International Forum on Sustainable Value Chains (ISVC), a Switzerland based non-profit association, has become a recognized academia-led platform with members from different parts of the world and sectors developing and implementing scientifically proven, hands-on solutions to master the many sustainability challenges in global value chains. He holds a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Stuttgart, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Management from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He lives in Zürich, Switzerland with his wife, an international IPR lawyer and senior manager, and their daughter.

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