Management of Social Issues in Supply Chains: A Literature Review Exploring Social Issues, Actions and Performance Outcomes

Journal of Business Ethics 141 (3):621-643 (2017)

Abstract

The social dimension of sustainable development and its impact on supply chains have so far received less attention than the environmental dimension. The aim of the research is to explore the intersection between social issues, corporate social responsibility actions and performance outcomes. A structured literature review of social issues in supply chains is presented, analysing the research published so far in peer-reviewed publications. Linking CSR and supply chain management allows the exploration of strategies and performance outcomes with a focus on social issues. The corresponding responsible supply chain actions adopted by firms to address these issues are grouped into communication, compliance and supplier development strategies. Social and economic as well as buyer and supplier performance are identified as the key outcomes, but the interactions among these constructs would require further research. This paper contributes to the understanding of managing social issues in supply chains by linking social issues, responsible supply chain actions and performance outcomes. The paper consolidates related research by offering an overarching conceptual framework and points to future research directions and simultaneously provides insights into the management of social issues in supply chains.

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