Exploring Sustainability Management by following an item through the supply chain

Rabih Aridi

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Most multinational organizations face serious challenges in managing Sustainability in their supply chain. These challenges are accentuated by factors such as geographical distances, differences in cultures, lack of internal controls, subjectivity in social and environmental evaluation and non-standardized performance measures, lack of CSR prioritization, cost cutting, non-questioning business culture, poor regulatory criteria, and lack of government controls. Other challenges include poorly supported organizational structure, difficulty in establishing participation, lack of serious interest by managers, financial constraints, customer pressure for lower prices, inadequate knowledge, inadequate support by customer, lack of learning or transfer of knowledge, lack of strategic sustainability planning and leadership, distance challenges, and lack of influence over secondary suppliers. Despite such challenges, some organizations have been more successful than others in managing social and environmental challenges in their supply chain. The purpose of the research presented in this dissertation is to understand the measures taken throughout the supply chain by a multinational organization considered to be more efficient in its sustainability management than its competitors. My research was conducted by following an item through the supply chain starting with concept and inception to procurement and flow of material through multi levels of suppliers and sub-suppliers, through the manufacturing and packaging processes, and finally through shipping of finished product to Company warehouses. Data was collected by conducting a total of 35 semi-structured interviews across the supply chain spectrum, engaging in observations whilst at number of sites, and from public and internal documents. Methodology was based on a case study approach using an abductive process.
I examined my findings against current literature, emphasizing where the findings agree with current literature and where they differ. The theoretical framework was modified after integrating my research findings. I discussed the significance of my research findings and how they contribute to effective Sustainability management. Finally, I discuss the limitations of my research and how future research could further contribute to our understanding of effective Sustainability management in the supply chain.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Zeyen, Anica, Supervisor
  • Anastasiadis, Stephanos, Advisor
Award date1 Oct 2023
Publication statusUnpublished - 20 Sept 2023

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