Cooperative initiatives with NGOs in socially sustainable supply chains: How is inter-organizational fit achieved?

Jorge A. Rodríguez, Cristina Giménez, Daniel Arenas

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research studies how firms and NGOs achieve inter-organizational fit for implementing practices that create value in socially sustainable supply chains. This paper presents a theoretical model that identifies the factors that drive and enable firm-NGO inter-organizational fit. Previous research has adopted an institutional perspective in which secondary stakeholders put pressure on the firm to implement sustainable practices. However, anecdotal evidence and latest industry practices suggest that a cooperative perspective could be more appropriate to understand how value can be created in socially sustainable supply chains. The proposed theoretical model depicts the achievement of inter-organizational fit as a process that entails several alignments along the way: a value logic alignment, the alignment of an NGO's mission with the profit-oriented behavior of firms, the alignment of an NGO's objectives with firms’ strategies, and the adjustment of firms’ organizational structures and organizational routines to an NGO's activities. We use a qualitative nested case study, which involved an NGO-led project that undertook supplier development programs for poor suppliers in cooperation with several firms. Recommendations for practitioners and areas of future research are also provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-526
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume137
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Firm-NGO cooperation
  • Inter-organizational fit
  • Inter-organizational relationships
  • Socially sustainable supply chains

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