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A relational, transformative and engaged approach to sustainable supply chain management: the potential of action research

Touboulic, Anne and Walker, Helen Lisbeth 2016. A relational, transformative and engaged approach to sustainable supply chain management: the potential of action research. Human Relations 69 (2) , pp. 301-343. 10.1177/0018726715583364

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Abstract

This paper describes how action research (AR) can advance sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) research. Most SSCM research is empirical and little attention has been paid to reflecting upon how research is conducted in the field. Current research fails to make links with ideas of relationality, change and engagement proposed in broader sustainability research. We propose to address this gap by discussing how AR could help address current challenges in SSCM. The paper explores the proponents and application of AR as a relevant methodology for knowledge development in the field, based upon a critical analysis of SSCM and AR, including a review of previous AR studies and insights from a research project in which AR was applied. Particular emphasis is put on exploring the links between the sustainability dimension of SSCM and the foundations and practice of AR. The paper does not reject other methodological approaches, but it shows that the pragmatic orientation of AR is particularly suitable for an applied field such as SSCM where problems are often messy, cross-disciplinary and essentially concerned with the flourishing of individuals and organisations. Our paper has broader implications for inter- organisational research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0018-7267
Funders: ESRC CASE
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 13 March 2015
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2019 19:34
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/71534

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