Environmental and social responsibility in supply chains: the practice of choice and/or inter-organisational management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The general concern for the state of the environment sets requirements on strategies developed by companies to curb environmental and social impacts of their activities. One of the most notable changes in the way companies work with sustainability issues is the shift of the focus from own operations to improving the performance of supply chains. This paper aims to analyse the practise of corporate responsibility in the supply chain through the lens of two distinct but related fields of research: Global Value Chain analysis and Supply Chain Management. Using data from two empirical studies that were designed to study the practise of Swedish buyers in addressing social and environmental issues in their respective supply chains, we demonstrate that both fields offer vital insights about how companies can and do exercise environmental and social responsibility in their respective supply chains. We suggest that one can better integrate these two perspectives on governance in the supply chain by acknowledging that responsibility in the supply chain can both be exercised through choice and through inter-organisational management. We discuss role of certification schemes in this context and provide recommendations for future research


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Supply chain management, Global value chain analysis, Environmental management, Corporate responsibility
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-163
JournalEcological Economics
Issue numberNovember
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch