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Managing supplier sustainability risks in a dynamically changing environment - sustainable supplier management in the chemical industry

: Reuter, C.; Foerstl, K.; Hartmann, E.; Blome, C.


Journal of purchasing and supply management 16 (2010), Nr.2, S.118-130
ISSN: 1478-4092
International Purchasing and Supply Education and Research Association (IPSERA Annual Conference) <18, 2009, Wiesbaden>
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Konferenzbeitrag
Fraunhofer IIS ()

Varying definitions and interpretations of sustainability standards have become a major concern for purchasing and supply management (PSM). As the foremost interface to an increasingly global supply base, PSM plays an important role in the mitigation of sustainability-related risks. By conducting responsible purchasing and supplier management, the risk of corporate reputational damage to the buying firm, caused by supplier misconduct, can be avoided. However, resources for effective risk-mitigation are limited and the applicability of supply risk assessment and supplier assessment methods have not been evaluated for sustainability. In this paper, we explore how leading PSM functions identify, assess, and treat supplier sustainability risks and elaborate on the integration of sustainability risk management in supplier management processes. Based on the findings from a multiple case study in the chemical industry and by drawing on the dynamic capabilities view (DCV), we propose that mature and sustainable supplier management capabilities are a source of competitive advantage in terms of lower exposure to reputational risks and enhanced operational performance.