Operationalising sustainability in supply chains: a case of the Australian food industry
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 02:20 authored by Tayyab Waqas Amjed
Sustainability has opened up new growth avenues for the corporate sector, even during the times of global recession. Firms are now aiming to incorporate the concept of sustainability in their supply chains. However, lack of practical measures, which could address all three dimensions of sustainability - social, environmental and economic - is the main obstacle in achieving this objective. Thus, it is imperative to develop a reliable and valid scale for sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) which can further theory construction. This PhD study treated SSCM as a broader phenomenon and developed valid and reliable scales for sustainable planning, procurement, manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing. Qualitative data analysis (QDA) techniques and methodologies were used to review SSCM material consisting of 349 academic articles, books, industry publications and company reports. Various dimensions and measures were developed for SSCM sub-constructs and translated in the form of a questionnaire. Data was collected from 215 firms in the Australian food industry, and subjected to rigorous quantitative analysis using structural equation modelling (SEM) to ensure validity and reliability of each SSCM scale. The study has made five major contributions: (1) it has developed a valid and reliable sustainability scale for each process of a focal firm's supply chain; (2) it presents a set of best practices for each stage of the food supply chain; (3) it has developed an inventive framework for construct conceptualisation and measures identification; (4) it has conducted a thorough review of SSCM literature through the lens of the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) process model; (5) it also shows that the use of qualitative data analysis (QDA) software makes it possible to organise and analyse voluminous data in a strategic manner.