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Sustainable supply chain management and decision theory: a qualitative exploration using planetary boundaries and social foundations

Alexander, Anthony Edward 2016. Sustainable supply chain management and decision theory: a qualitative exploration using planetary boundaries and social foundations. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

The research considers the use of sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) policies as a means to forge a bridge beween the micro scale of individual firm operations and the macro scale of ecological and societal impact(referred to as Kleindorfer's Challenge). Qualitative case study research is undertaken across different economic sectors identified with specific macro-scale challenges that are taken as a more precise and up-to-date definition for sustainability. This research assumes the plaentary boundaries (PB) framework, developed by environmental scientists led by Rockstrom & Steffen et al., and the social foundations (SF) framework, from international development, defined by Raworth & Leach et al. as the basis of the definition used. Eight firms grouped into five case studies are subjected to in-depth investigation into how they relate their own activities to sustainabiity outcomes via their SSCM policy and the barriers they face. To understand the nature of knowledge versus uncertainty within each firm, decision theory is adopted and elaborated in the context of sustainability. In particular, Snowden's Cynefin framework and Keeney's value-focussed decision analysis are adopted as aspects of the dominant logic for each firm. This shapes their decision making abilities when faced with complexities and ambiguities in delivery SSCM in the context of various external pressures (notably from legislative, investor and customer demands). The resulting evidence informs a model of substantive sustainability, whereby firms with substantive impacts are distinguished from those without substantive impacts, in terms of the PB+SF framemworks. This helps firms realise the extent to which they should be concerned about sustainability issues, with some firms having a disconnect between their stated goals and their actual influence, and other firms with substantial impacts receiving insufficient attention from academia and practice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 November 2016
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 19:08
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/96059

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