Organizing Boots on the Ground: Proactively Managing Sustainability Risks in Global, Multi-tier Supply Chains

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Sustainability considerations increasingly become important in today’s business world and oblige multi-national corporations (MNCs) to expand their efforts of sustainable practices across the supply chain. This research examines how MNCs can leverage sensing capabilities and engagement practices on the ground to approach sustainability risks in their supply chain. Literature concerning organizational practices applied in MNCs and affiliated non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was considered to understand sustainable supply chain organization from a multi-actors perspective. Based on an explorative case study, this research highlights a pro-active, collaborative approach for MNCs including internal and external supply chain actors by considering their contextual conditions. The results add a relational perspective to the current literature on sustainable supply chain management and contribute to the larger discussion about various forms of responsible organizing. Translated to managerial practice, the results demonstrate the importance of a pro-active, collaborative approach for MNCs in multi-stakeholder initiatives to reach out to the lower tiers of their supply chain. The research offers a starting point for future research on the multi-actor perspective in collaboration initiatives and suggests future research to include even further boots on the ground perspectives.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen