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Sustainability, Innovation and Competition: Emerging Actors and Challenges in Supply Chain Management

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (2 December 2022) | Viewed by 38488

Special Issue Editors

Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF10 3EU, UK
Interests: supply chain quality management; supply chain risk and resilience; big data analytics; social media data analytics; sustainable supply chain; food supply chain; OM simulation game

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Guest Editor
Department of Management & Marketing, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
Interests: technology adoption; information systems management; mobile/digital commerce technology; e-commerce innovation; yield management
Department of Supply Chain and Information Management, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Interests: industrial Internet of Things (IIoT); digital transformation and technology; enterprise information systems; healthcare service management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the growing environmental awareness of the public and the implementation of government regulation and laws, organisations are making more efforts to employ sustainable practices such as green innovation and sustainable supply chain management [1]. Sustainable supply chain management is concerned with integrating environmental, social, and economic goals across a focal firm’s supply chain process and is considered an appropriate approach to improve sustainable outcomes in their supply chain [2,3]. Currently, sustainable supply chain management has aroused the interest of scholars and practitioners, as it is deemed to significantly contribute to solving global sustainability challenges [4].

For executives at corporations, how to intergrade sustainable decision making into business with profit results is the essential question [5]. Some studies have stressed that sustainable practice could be adopted as a beneficial strategy for firms to achieve long-term success, as firms can address the customer concern about ecological protection through integrating environmental consciousness into product innovation. Meanwhile, other researchers believe that investing in sustainable practices could lead to a relatively higher cost of the product, which could affect firms’ short-term competitiveness and their decisions around innovation, production, supply chain, and logistics. Hence, more studies on how to balance resources and make good decisions on sustainable practices are needed [6].

Meanwhile, with the rapid development of disruptive innovation, technologies such as IoT, AI, and big data analytics have been widely adopted into sustainable practices [7], but few papers have reported the results of applications of those techniques in supply chains or logistics networks. Moreover, previous studies have pointed out that dynamic capabilities should be decomposed into identifiable and specific routines [8]. However, what is not yet clear is the impact of the ability to apply those techniques as a dynamic capability on firms’ operations management [9].

Articles are expected to focus on part of the supply chain but are expected to place their work using sustainability as the primary lens of assessment. The following topics are suggested:

  • The measurement and management of green innovation practice, as well as its impact on supply chain performance;
  • Corporate strategies/method to mitigate pollution risks in a supply chain;
  • Innovative green logistics and transportation;
  • The adoption of disruptive technologies (AI, IoT, big data analytics, blockchain, etc.) in sustainable supply chain management;
  • Data-driven modelling and/or optimisation with consideration of sustainability in supply chains;
  • Data and the applications on innovation and technologies improvement in supply chains;
  • A decision support system to boost organisational decision making and/or competitive advantage in managing a supply chain and/or a cold chain;
  • Solving sustainability challenges with green innovation practice in a supply chain and/or a cold chain.

This Special Issue welcomes full research articles and case studies (descriptive papers illustrating a particular practice or a solution to a managerial problem). Empirical-based methodologies comprising both rigorous qualitative (case study, ethnography, field study) and quantitative research (experiment, survey, archival data, simulations) are favoured.

Reference

  1. Seman, N.A.A.; Govindan, K.; Mardani, A.; Zakuan, N.; Saman, M.Z.M.; Hooker, R.E.; Ozkul, S. The mediating effect of green innovation on the relationship between green supply chain management and environmental performance. Clean. Prod. 2019, 229, 115–127.
  2. Carter, C.R.; Rogers, D.S. A framework of sustainable supply chain management: moving toward new theory. J. Phys. Distrib. Logist. Manag. 2008, 38, 360–387.
  3. Koberg, E. and Longoni, A. A systematic review of sustainable supply chain management in global supply chains. Clean. Prod. 2019, 207, 1084–1098
  4. Mariadoss, B.J.; Chi, T.; Tansuhaj, P.; Pomirleanu, N. Influences of firm orientations on sustainable supply chain management. Bus. Res. 2016, 69, 3406–3414.
  5. Dwyer, R.; Lamond, D.; Lee, K.H. Why and how to adopt green management into business organisations? Decis. 2009, 47, 1101–1121.
  6. Kusi-Sarpong, S.; Gupta, H.; Sarkis, J. A supply chain sustainability innovation framework and evaluation methodology. J. Prod. Res. 2019, 57, 1990–2008.
  7. Tsang, Y.P.; Wong, W.C.; Huang, G.Q.; Wu, C.H.; Kuo, Y.H.; Choy, K.L. A Fuzzy-Based Product Life Cycle Prediction for Sustainable Development in the Electric Vehicle Industry. Energies 2020, 13, 3918.
  8. Eisenhardt, K.M.; Martin, J.A. Dynamic capabilities: What are they? Manag. J. 2000, 21, 1105–1121.
  9. Mikalef, P.; Pateli, A. Information technology-enabled dynamic capabilities and their indirect effect on competitive performance: Findings from PLS-SEM and fsQCA. Bus. Res. 2017, 70, 1–16.

Dr. Mike Tse
Dr. C. H. Wu
Dr. Vincent Cho
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • green supply chain management
  • green innovation
  • data analytics
  • optimisation
  • modelling
  • decision support system
  • supply chain technologies

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 1136 KiB  
Article
Leveraging Digital Twins to Support Industrial Symbiosis Networks: A Case Study in the Norwegian Wood Supply Chain Collaboration
by Zhenyuan Liu, Daniel Wilhelm Hansen and Ziyue Chen
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2647; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032647 - 1 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2187
Abstract
Despite the powerful potentials of digital twins as regards achieving sustainable operations and supply chain management, there is currently very little research on using digital twins for industrial symbiosis, and even less research investigating user needs. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct sufficient [...] Read more.
Despite the powerful potentials of digital twins as regards achieving sustainable operations and supply chain management, there is currently very little research on using digital twins for industrial symbiosis, and even less research investigating user needs. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct sufficient research on the market and user needs before setting the framework of digital twins for industrial symbiosis. We interviewed six companies in the Norwegian wood industry that could potentially share one symbiosis network. Based on the interviews, we analyzed the needs of potential digital twins for industrial symbiosis, aiming to understand the user’s point of view on digital twins for industrial symbiosis. The research is expected to provide intellectual support for future digital twins’ design from the user perspective. This paper not only promotes the design of digital twins for industrial symbiosis from the user perspective, but also provides an analytical framework for the user perspective analysis before the development of digital twins-based supply chain collaboration in the industrial symbiosis network. Full article
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20 pages, 689 KiB  
Article
The Moderating Role of IT Capability on Green Innovation and Ambidexterity: Towards a Corporate Sustainable Development
by Xinwei Li, Wenjuan Zeng and Mao Xu
Sustainability 2022, 14(24), 16767; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416767 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2197
Abstract
Green innovation (GI) is widely regarded as a strategy for pursuing sustainable corporate development. Drawing from the organisational information processing theory, this study investigates the moderation effect of information technology (IT) capability in shaping the impacts of ambidexterity and two types of GI [...] Read more.
Green innovation (GI) is widely regarded as a strategy for pursuing sustainable corporate development. Drawing from the organisational information processing theory, this study investigates the moderation effect of information technology (IT) capability in shaping the impacts of ambidexterity and two types of GI practices, green product innovation (GPDI) and green process innovation (GPCI). Using a selective sampling of 368 firms in China, this study validates a 30-item measurement scale and approves the proposed theoretical model. The data obtained were then analysed using the structural equation modelling (SEM) executed by the AMOS 23 application. The results confirm the vital role of two sides of ambidexterity, namely, exploitation and exploration, in improving GI and the positive effects of GI on sustainable corporate development (i.e., environment, social, and financial sustainability). More importantly, IT capability only positively moderates the relationship between GI and one side of ambidexterity, i.e., exploitation. This study contributes to the strategies to better prepare companies in developing markets to achieve GPDI and GPCI as core competencies. Findings also provide evidence for practitioners to invest in GI to facilitate better corporate sustainability. Full article
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15 pages, 2926 KiB  
Article
Design of a Reverse Logistics System with Internet of Things for Service Parts Management
by Daniel Y. Mo, Chris Y. T. Ma, Danny C. K. Ho and Yue Wang
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12013; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912013 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2639
Abstract
Despite that reverse logistics of service parts enables the reuse of failed components to achieve greater environmental and economic benefits, the research and successful business cases are inadequate. This study designs a novel reverse logistics system that applies the Internet of Things (IoT) [...] Read more.
Despite that reverse logistics of service parts enables the reuse of failed components to achieve greater environmental and economic benefits, the research and successful business cases are inadequate. This study designs a novel reverse logistics system that applies the Internet of Things (IoT) and business intelligence to streamline the reverse logistics process by identifying the appropriate components for sustainable operations of component reuse. Furthermore, an inventory classification scheme and an analytical model are developed to identify the failed components for refurbishment by considering return quantity of the failed component, repair rate of the failed component in the repairing center, reusable rate of refurbished parts, corresponding costs, and the benefit of refurbished parts. Moreover, a mobile application powered by the IoT technology is developed to streamline the process flow and avoid collection of fake components. Lastly, a case study of an electronic product company is conducted, and it is concluded that the proposed approach enabled the company to facilitate the reuse of components and achieve the benefit of cost saving. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of a reverse logistics system for companies to sustain after-market service operations. Full article
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20 pages, 1595 KiB  
Article
Fourth-Party Logistics Environmental Compliance Management: Investment and Logistics Audit
by Hongyan Wang, Min Huang and Hongfeng Wang
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10106; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610106 - 15 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1811
Abstract
To manage the environmental impact of logistics, we considered a logistics service supply chain consisting of a fourth-party logistics company (4PL) and a third-party logistics company (3PL), where the 4PL deputed the 3PL with the logistics tasks of a client. We examined the [...] Read more.
To manage the environmental impact of logistics, we considered a logistics service supply chain consisting of a fourth-party logistics company (4PL) and a third-party logistics company (3PL), where the 4PL deputed the 3PL with the logistics tasks of a client. We examined the investment and pricing strategies adopted by the 4PL for the 3PL, and how factors such as logistics audits level and commitment to investment efforts affected the motivation of the 4PL’s strategy choice. The results showed that if the investment cost was low, the 4PL motivated the 3PL to make efforts by investment. Otherwise, the 4PL incentivized the 3PL by providing a high wholesale price or using a high investment level and medium wholesale price. In addition, when the rectification costs of the 3PL were sufficiently high, increasing the audit level could improve the probability of complying with environmental regulations. Full article
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22 pages, 3189 KiB  
Article
A Systematic Literature Review of Sustainable Packaging in Supply Chain Management
by Jonathan Asher Morashti, Youra An and Hyunmi Jang
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 4921; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14094921 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 16394
Abstract
This exploratory study utilises quantitative analysis to deliver a systematic literature review of published journal papers from 1993 to 2020 with the aim to identify research trends and present a comprehensive overview of research focus conducted in the sustainable packaging domain within the [...] Read more.
This exploratory study utilises quantitative analysis to deliver a systematic literature review of published journal papers from 1993 to 2020 with the aim to identify research trends and present a comprehensive overview of research focus conducted in the sustainable packaging domain within the scope of supply chain management. This research is conducted with the data mining software, NetMiner 4, utilising the three analytical tools of statistical analysis, keyword network analysis, and topic analysis. The research also utilises the qualitative method of in-depth interviews in order to investigate current trends and perspectives on the future of sustainable packaging and to validate the analysis results. The research findings reveal that research in the field of ‘sustainable packaging in supply chain management’ field has been extremely limited, and this study acts to address this research gap. The results confirm that the vast majority of research focus has been in the fields of engineering and science. Research on the topic has gained momentum and has significantly increased since 2013 with research trends becoming increasingly diversified and gradually aligned with the concept of circular economy, while the topic of operational management has been highlighted as an area requiring additional attention. The keyword frequency analysis reveals the following highest occurring keywords in TF: life cycle; environmental impact; consumer; transportation; and production. The highest occurring keywords in TF-IDF: production; transportation; consumer; food; and environmental impact. Topic modelling revealed the following six topics: consumer behaviour; environmental pollution; circular economy; waste management; resource conservation; and operational management. This study contributes to understanding past, present, and future research agendas, and can be utilised as foundation for research development, as it provides insight to current research status and trends provided by the keyword network analysis highlighting research focus and trends in ‘sustainable packaging in supply chain management’. Full article
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18 pages, 1248 KiB  
Article
Formulation and Prioritization of Sustainable New Product Design in Smart Glasses Development
by Carman-Ka-Man Lee, Lucas Lui and Yung-Po Tsang
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10323; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131810323 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2483
Abstract
Due to fierce competition in the global market, success in product innovation has always been challenging for most enterprises to be able to stand out in business values and product novelty. Typically, available technological features in the market are taken into consideration in [...] Read more.
Due to fierce competition in the global market, success in product innovation has always been challenging for most enterprises to be able to stand out in business values and product novelty. Typically, available technological features in the market are taken into consideration in the innovation process for differentiation from existing products. In order to enhance the likelihood of innovation success, project portfolio management (PPM) has recently been advocated to examine the supply chain performance of new product development (NPD) projects in terms of economic, social, and sustainable aspects. In this study, a two-stage methodology is proposed to formulate and select the most appropriate NPD project portfolio by means of multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) approaches in probabilistic and group decision-making processes. In stage one, the available product features on the market are searched for and ranked to indicate a number of potential NPD projects. In stage two, such projects are evaluated by the sustainable supply chain operation reference (SustainableSCOR) model to select the most sustainable NPD project for product development. Moreover, a case study of developing augmented reality (AR) smart glasses is conducted to demonstrate the above methodology, with the result indicating that the functions of voice commands, 3D visualization, and phone calls should be focused on for the next generation of smart glasses. Full article
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23 pages, 1180 KiB  
Article
Pricing and Return Policies in a Competitive Market: A Consumer-Valuation Based Analysis with Valuation Uncertainties
by Huifang Jiao, Xuan Wang, Chi To Ng and Lijun Ma
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031432 - 29 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1964
Abstract
In this study, we develop a series of consumer-valuation-based models to investigate the pricing and return policies of the sellers in a competitive e-commerce market. Differing from the competition models in literature, a novel two-dimensional valuation structure is built, which considers the valuations [...] Read more.
In this study, we develop a series of consumer-valuation-based models to investigate the pricing and return policies of the sellers in a competitive e-commerce market. Differing from the competition models in literature, a novel two-dimensional valuation structure is built, which considers the valuations of a consumer on two products and the valuation differentiation of all consumers on each product. We consider both monopoly and duopoly (competitive) markets. In each market, two models are respectively developed, one with and one without the return policies. We derive the solutions for the four models, and conduct some analytical and numerical investigations. The results show that return policy with a partial refund is always chosen by the sellers in both monopoly and duopoly markets. Return policy benefits the seller in a monopoly market, but may not benefit the sellers in a duopoly market. In the duopoly models, one seller can be considered as a monopoly seller who meets a new competitor. Our results show that the monopoly seller will reduce its price by no more than 20% when there comes a competitor, and, counter-intuitively, it will meanwhile adopt a severer return policy to the consumers. Full article
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Review

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28 pages, 2067 KiB  
Review
Impacts of Collaborative Partnership on the Performance of Cold Supply Chains of Agriculture and Foods: Literature Review
by Nguyen Thi Nha Trang, Thanh-Thuy Nguyen, Hong V. Pham, Thi Thu Anh Cao, Thu Huong Trinh Thi and Javad Shahreki
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6462; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116462 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4139
Abstract
Collaboration in a supply chain continuously proves its role in increasing the performance of supply chains, which attracts the attention of both academia and practitioners, specifically, how to generate higher impacts of collaborative partnership on the performance of supply chains and measure them. [...] Read more.
Collaboration in a supply chain continuously proves its role in increasing the performance of supply chains, which attracts the attention of both academia and practitioners, specifically, how to generate higher impacts of collaborative partnership on the performance of supply chains and measure them. In cold supply chains of agriculture and foods, the vital need for collaboration becomes even more significant to improve the performance. Therefore, this paper reviews relevant articles derived from the Web of Science and Scopus databases. Via the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), the research team classifies the types of collaborative partnership in cold agriculture and food supply chains, issues of the literature when analyzing collaboration impacts on the performance of CSCs of agriculture and foods, and finally, the opportunities for the future research to boost the collaboration practices in these cold chains. Following this sequence, 102 articles were eventually extracted for the systematic review to identify themes for not only addressing the review questions but also highlighting future research opportunities for both development of partnership integration and performance of the cold chains of agriculture and foods. Full article
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Other

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17 pages, 1414 KiB  
Hypothesis
An Empirical Study: The Impact of Collaborative Communications on New Product Creativity That Contributes to New Product Performance
by Henry M. H. Chan and Vincent W. S. Cho
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4626; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084626 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2453
Abstract
Creativity is vital and a key determinant for the success of many organizations in today’s competitive environment. Research in marketing has suggested that collaborative communication is important to sustain a competitive advantage. Leveraging a resource-based view, this research provides a comprehensive view examining [...] Read more.
Creativity is vital and a key determinant for the success of many organizations in today’s competitive environment. Research in marketing has suggested that collaborative communication is important to sustain a competitive advantage. Leveraging a resource-based view, this research provides a comprehensive view examining the different facets of collaborative communication—reciprocal feedback, rationality, formal communication, and informal communication, on the meaningfulness and novelty of new product creativity, and their impacts on new product performance. Based on 181 sets of responses, our findings indicate that rationality posits a significant positive effect on the meaningfulness of new product creativity, which in turn contributes to new product performance. As for the novelty of new product creativity, it is influenced by informal communication whilst the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) further strengthens the positive association between informal communications and the novelty of new product creativity. This study provides theoretical contributions to the new product development literature as well as practical insights for organizations on the importance of collaborative communication to new product creativity and improvements in new product performance. Full article
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