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A wave of sustainability initiatives is affecting many traditional corporate functions. While many companies focus on their own internal sustainability initiatives, there is a small but growing number of initiatives focused on promoting sustainability across the supply chain. The resulting sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) is faced with the challenge of justifying its contribution to the performance of the focal company. This study attempts to gain insights into the perception professionals have of the impact of SSCM on corporate environmental, social, and economic performance. The study looks into the moderating effects of company size, industry collaboration, and regulatory framework on the relationship between SSCM and corporate performance. Using a mixed methods approach, this research collected and analyzed quantitative and qualitative data from 242 respondents. Simple and multiple linear regressions in Minitab 17 were used to analyze the quantitative data; qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis. In the end, triangulation was used to integrate the quantitative and qualitative analyses to gain a deeper understanding of the perceptions reported by survey respondents.

The results of this study show that SSCM is statistically significant to corporate environmental, social, and economic performance based on the independent variables analyzed. The results also show that the moderating effect of company size, industry collaboration, and regulatory framework on the relationship between SSCM and corporate performance made a difference for all three moderators based on factorial plot analysis. However, only the regulatory framework was found to be a statistically significant moderator based on regression analysis. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data showed that SSCM helps the focal company mitigate risks and improve, or preserve, its reputation. Another benefit of SSCM is its ability to help the focal company create a competitive edge with sustainability-conscious stakeholders. At the macro level, the benefits of SSCM are in the areas of long term availability of natural resources, respect for human rights, and better opportunities for persons from socially disadvantaged groups. The challenges of SSCM were reported to be in the areas of cost, difficult enforcement and implementation, and the lack of a common commitment to SSCM throughout the supply chain. These challenges could be overcome through leadership, collaboration, and consistent regulations at the corporate, industry, and country levels respectively. The triangulation (meta inference) showed alignment between the correlation between SSCM and economic performance, and the fact that solutions to most of the reported challenges to the implementation of SSCM in the thematic analysis had economic implications for the focal company. This study provides corporate leaders and governments with meaningful insights into how SSCM can be leveraged as an effective tool to enhance corporate performance and sustainability initiatives.


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29 Jul 2022
2.26 MB