The role of supply management capabilities in green supply

Frances E. Bowen, Paul D. Cousins, Richard C. Lamming, Adam C. Farukt

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703 Citations (Scopus)


Managers realize that they should avoid complex green supply initiatives when they do not have the capabilities to implement them. However, they have little guidance on how these capabilities can be developed. This paper provides an initial analysis of the role of supply management capabilities in green supply. We argue that the implementation of green supply is better explained by focusing on the development and deployment of an organization's specialized internal resources, rather than by the more usual focus on external environmental pressures on a firm. Further, we argue that capabilities appropriate for green supply are developed by a proactive corporate environmental stance and by a more strategic purchasing and supply management approach.

We test our model using data from a two-phase survey of 70 operating units within UK public limited companies. Our results indicate support for our conjecture that supply management capabilities are jointly developed by a proactive corporate environmental approach and a strategic purchasing and supply process. Our study results should be useful to business strategists, regulators, and researchers interested in the predictors of corporate green behavior. They should also assist future researchers in many branches of environmental management who are seeking to explore the role of the internal capabilities of firms in supporting environmental management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-189
Number of pages16
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2001

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