Keywords: supply chain management, SCM, sustainability, case studies, content analysis, sustainable supply chains, supplier performance, performance standards, supply chain strategies, supply chain communication, supply chain integration
The constructs of sustainable supply chain management - a content analysis based on published case studies
The intersection of supply chain management and sustainability is still a rather young research field emerging as growing topic only recently. This paper outlines findings of a content analysis assessing systematically all case studies in the field of sustainable supply chain management, published from 1994 to 2007 in English-speaking peer-reviewed journals, and thus, mapping and evaluating the scope of current SCM topics reflected in these case papers. The analysis confirms previous research that highlights pressures from governments, customers and stakeholders as triggers of sustainable supply chain management and the neglect of the social dimension of sustainability within supply chain management. Improving supplier performance or, at least, assuring minimum performance standards can be generally regarded important objectives of supply chain strategies. Communication is an outstanding characteristic both for traditional and sustainable supply chain management; though far-reaching supply chain integration is still rather limited.