Purpose To better understand the supplier's role in promoting supply chain sustainability (SCS), the authors investigated the learning process as it relates to sustainability knowledge. Through the lens of the knowledge-based view, they understand the shift of sustainability knowledge from rhetoric to common knowledge existent between suppliers and buyers. Design/methodology/approach A case study method was employed to study sustainability knowledge learning between a key global coffee supplier and its geographically dispersed buyers. The research was developed with data collected from 2019 through 2021. Interviews and secondary data were analyzed using both deductive and inductive approaches. Findings Results were organized to demonstrate how the supplier developed and transferred its own sustainability knowledge within supplier-buyer dyads. The authors uncovered that buyer selection was a vital strategy used to appropriate the value created to ensure SCS learning. Four learning stages were analyzed, and while the results indicated that all buyers acquired knowledge, they also showed that only four distributed it. Moreover, different levels of interpretation were identified, two of which were associated with a low level of understanding of the meaning of sustainability knowledge. In addition, the data provided little evidence of organizational memory. All links were guided by common sustainability knowledge learned through multiple learning loops between the supplier's knowledge management and buyers' SCS learning, thus boosting sustainability in the coffee supply chain. Practical implications A greater understanding of how sustainability knowledge is learned in supply chains helps managers develop better SCS strategies. Originality/value Unlike previous research, this paper illustrates that common sustainability knowledge is key to SCS implementation, which is made possible by carefully selecting buyers and by facilitating sustainability knowledge learning through two-way interactions.

(2023). Bridging sustainability knowledge management and supply chain learning: evidence through buyer selection [journal article - articolo]. In INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OPERATIONS & PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/262074

Bridging sustainability knowledge management and supply chain learning: evidence through buyer selection

Boffelli, Albachiara
2023-01-01

Abstract

Purpose To better understand the supplier's role in promoting supply chain sustainability (SCS), the authors investigated the learning process as it relates to sustainability knowledge. Through the lens of the knowledge-based view, they understand the shift of sustainability knowledge from rhetoric to common knowledge existent between suppliers and buyers. Design/methodology/approach A case study method was employed to study sustainability knowledge learning between a key global coffee supplier and its geographically dispersed buyers. The research was developed with data collected from 2019 through 2021. Interviews and secondary data were analyzed using both deductive and inductive approaches. Findings Results were organized to demonstrate how the supplier developed and transferred its own sustainability knowledge within supplier-buyer dyads. The authors uncovered that buyer selection was a vital strategy used to appropriate the value created to ensure SCS learning. Four learning stages were analyzed, and while the results indicated that all buyers acquired knowledge, they also showed that only four distributed it. Moreover, different levels of interpretation were identified, two of which were associated with a low level of understanding of the meaning of sustainability knowledge. In addition, the data provided little evidence of organizational memory. All links were guided by common sustainability knowledge learned through multiple learning loops between the supplier's knowledge management and buyers' SCS learning, thus boosting sustainability in the coffee supply chain. Practical implications A greater understanding of how sustainability knowledge is learned in supply chains helps managers develop better SCS strategies. Originality/value Unlike previous research, this paper illustrates that common sustainability knowledge is key to SCS implementation, which is made possible by carefully selecting buyers and by facilitating sustainability knowledge learning through two-way interactions.
articolo
2023
Silva, Minelle E.; Pereira, Michele M. O.; Boffelli, Albachiara
(2023). Bridging sustainability knowledge management and supply chain learning: evidence through buyer selection [journal article - articolo]. In INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OPERATIONS & PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/262074
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