Leveraging supply chain networks for sustainability beyond corporate boundaries: Explorative structural network analysis

Sini Laari*, Philipp Wetzel, Juuso Töyli, Tomi Solakivi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

The ability of companies to achieve systemic sustainability goals is influenced by the structure of the larger supply chain network in which they reside. However, managing sustainability throughout multi-tiered global supply chain networks and complying with new supply chain law initiatives has proven to be a great challenge for many firms. This article investigates node- (firm) and network-level network structural characteristics and their implications for sustainability. The empirical study first explores structural patterns in a network of 5458 companies and then focuses on a sub-set of 604 companies associated with the automotive industry. The following four sustainability archetypes were identified: impassive networks, environmentally focused networks, socially focused networks, and orchestrated networks. The article further specifies strategy options for lead firms, suppliers, and regulators in enhancing sustainability in each archetype. The most sustainable firms are typically the most central, not necessarily the ones closest to the customers. Regulators should target central firms for a ripple effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134475
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume377
Early online date6 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Automotive industry
  • Network analysis
  • Structural analysis
  • Supply chain network
  • Sustainable performance
  • Sustainable supply chain management

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