Innovation in sustainable supply chains – A reflection on resources and SME collaboration with supply chain stakeholders

Activity: Talk or presentationConference PresentationsResearch

Dorli Harms - Speaker

Supply chain management is increasingly challenged to integrate environmental (e.g. recyclability of products) and social issues (e.g. sound working conditions), that is, establish sustainable supply chains. If small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) view these sustainability issues as an opportunity to develop sustainability-oriented innovations and engage in supply chain innovation they can realize competitive advantages (e.g. new stakeholder networks to exchange resources). Besides the development of a new product design and/or improved service, SMEs are challenged to consider hazards and opportunities along the supply chain. To innovate in collaboration with supply chain stakeholders (e.g. customers, NGOs) SMEs gain access to additional resources such as material, capital, and information. This conceptual paper contributes to still preliminary research on an SME’s role as a focal company in sustainable supply chains by developing a framework informed by the resource based view. It reflects upon the role of collaboration with primary and secondary stakeholders in and related to an SME’s supply chain and illuminates the exchangeable resources. From the literature study propositions for future research are put forward.


12th Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management - EURAM 2012: Social Innovation for Competitiveness, Organisational Performance and Human Excellence


Rotterdam, Netherlands

Event: Conference