Sustainability and the false sense of legitimacy : how institutional distance augments risk in global supply chains

Busse, Christian ; Kach, Andrew ; Bode, Christoph

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2016
The title of a journal, publication series: Journal of Business Logistics : JBL
Volume: 37
Issue number: 4
Page range: 312-328
Place of publication: New York, NY
Publishing house: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0735-3766 , 2158-1592
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Stiftungslehrstuhl für Procurement (Bode 2014-)
Subject: 650 Management
Keywords (English): institutional distance ; legitimacy context ; stakeholder ; supply chain risk ; sustainability
Abstract: Supply chain scholars have begun to recognize the institutional influences on supply chains, yet scarce attention has been directed toward the fact that global supply chains often comprise different institutions. This omission represents a severe shortcoming because the understanding of what constitutes legitimate behavior may vary substantially between contexts. This conceptual study employs the institutional distance concept to the case of supply chain sustainability risks. It focuses initially on paradoxical situations in which both the buyer and the supplier fully comply with stakeholder expectations within their own legitimacy contexts, yet the buyer's stakeholders still withdraw legitimacy from and harm the buyer. The study analyzes the causal microfoundations of how and why such paradoxical risks manifest, drawing on stakeholder theory and institutional theory. The analysis shows that accounting for the differing legitimacy contexts is necessary for explaining these risks, thereby substantiating our initial claim that institutional distance matters to global supply chains. The study yields important implications for corporate practice in that it highlights an inherent trade-off in many global supply chains.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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