Enhancing supply chain performance through supplier social sustainability: An emerging economy perspective

Venkatesh Mani, Angappa Gunasekaran, Catarina Delgado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

277 Scopus citations


Sustainability is gaining interest among academics and practitioners due to increased stakeholder awareness of environmental and social issues. However, relatively little research has been conducted on the extent to which firms have integrated social sustainability aspects into the management of their supply chains in emerging economies. The purpose of this article is to explore the social issues pertinent to suppliers and to identify measures and dimensions related to social sustainability in emerging economies. Further, it explores the benefits suppliers and buyers gain by effectively managing such social issues. For this purpose, first, in-depth interviews were conducted with 27 supply chain managers. Further, a survey was conducted in Indian manufacturing industries and co-variance-based structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model. The findings reveal that there are 18 validated supplier social sustainability measures underlying five social dimensions: labor rights, safety and health, societal responsibility, diversity, and product responsibility. The results also suggest a positive relationship between supplier social sustainability practices and supply chain performance mediated by supplier performance. In addition, the role of the buyer's commitment and investment moderates both suppliers and supply chain performance. These results are relevant because they not only identify the social issues plaguing supply chains in emerging economies, but also have practical implications for organizations trying to build socially sustainable supply chains for competitive advantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
StatePublished - Jan 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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