A framework for sustainable supply networks: alternative routes for the identification of sustainability-oriented innovations in industrial supply networks

Roscoe, Samuel, Cousins, Paul and Lamming, Richard (2014) A framework for sustainable supply networks: alternative routes for the identification of sustainability-oriented innovations in industrial supply networks. In: EurOMA 2014, June 20th-25th 2014, Palermo Italy. (Accepted)

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Abstract

This article presents a conceptual framework for Sustainable Supply Networks. To build this framework, we reviewed existing sustainability frameworks and found that innovation was highlighted as a key factor in sustainability. However, we also found little consideration given to how to discover innovations that address sustainability issues. Through an examination of the Supply Chain Management and Network literature, we uncovered three alternative and sometimes contradictory routes to discovering Sustainability-Oriented Innovation. The Supply Chain Management literature proposes strong ties with a few strategic suppliers to benefit from the knowledge and technology that spills over from supplier to the firm during the New Product Development process. In contrast, the network literature calls for the creation of multiple weak ties to non-strategic suppliers to increase the opportunities for identifying innovation. The network literature further suggests a third and potentially more promising route: building weak ties to suppliers that bridge structural holes in the network. We posit that strong ties with strategic suppliers will lead to the development of incremental Sustainability-Oriented Innovations, whilst weak ties with multiple suppliers and with suppliers that bridge structural holes will tend to lead to radical Sustainability-Oriented Innovations. Finally, we suggest that once Sustainability-Oriented Innovations are identified, they should be transferred to other suppliers and implemented in their operations to increase the sustainability performance of the focal firm

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Conceptual Framework, Sustainability, Supply chain management, Supply networks, Sustainability-oriented innovation, Industrial networks
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Depositing User: Samuel Roscoe
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2016 11:22
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2016 11:22
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/63430

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