Improving sustainability performance through supplier relationship management in the tobacco industry

Adesanya, Ayotunde, Yang, Biao, Bin Iqdara, Farok Wanes and Yang, Ying (2020) Improving sustainability performance through supplier relationship management in the tobacco industry. Supply Chain Management, 25 (4). pp. 413-426. ISSN 1359-8546

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore how tobacco manufacturing companies can improve their sustainability performance via effective supplier relationship management (SRM).

Design/methodology/approach: This study has adopted a single case study of an international tobacco company. The primary data involved semi-structured interviews with participants from the case company who are familiar with sustainable SRM in the tobacco industry and are engaging in various techniques to improve sustainability performance.

Findings: The drivers for sustainable SRM commonly identified in literature are observable within the case company. There is also clear evidence of integrating sustainability in its SRM processes. However, the perception of sustainability as a requirement to meet stringent regulations limits its scope and drive in pursuing sustainable SRM. It has also limited supplier sustainability evaluation and performance metrics. Furthermore, the findings of this paper reinforce the importance of a procurement team’s ability to work with other functional teams in implementing sustainable SRM. The findings also contribute to the emerging literature on the impact of sustainability on supplier segmentation and multi-tier supplier management.

Research limitations/implications: This study provides insight into the varying SRM methods used in the tobacco industry to ensure compliance and improve sustainability performance. However, further research is required to explore the generalisability of the findings of this study derived from a single case study.

Originality/value: The tobacco industry is an under-researched industry, particularly in terms of sustainable operations and supply chain management practices. The findings of this study seem to be relevant to those comparable industries with stringent regulations as well.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Sustainability, supplier relationship management, sustainability risk management, tobacco industry
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 18 May 2020 07:01
Last Modified: 18 May 2020 07:15

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