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  • Ensuring Suppliers and Sub-Suppliers Compliance with Corporate Sustainability Standards in Supply Chains

    D I S S E R T A T I O N of the University of St.Gallen,

    School of Management, Economics, Law, Social Sciences

    and International Affairs to obtain the title of

    Doctor of Philosophy in Management

    submitted by

    Jrg Hubert Grimm

    from

    Germany

    Approved on the application of

    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Stlzle

    and

    Prof. Dr. Michael Eig

    Dissertation no. 4218

    Difo-Druck GmbH, Bamberg 2013

  • The University of St. Gallen, School of Management, Economics, Law, Social Sciences and International Affairs hereby consents to the printing of the present dissertation, without hereby expressing any opinion on the views herein expressed. St. Gallen, October 21, 2013

    The President: Prof. Dr. Thomas Bieger

  • Fr meine Eltern

  • Acknowledgements

    This dissertation results from research activities while serving as research associate within the Chair of Logistics Management at the University of St. Gallen and as a visiting scholar within Clark Universitys Graduate School of Management. The visiting scholar position was supported by a generous grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Although the dissertation is authored by a single individual, me, its completion would not have been possible without the support of others who significantly enabled its completion.

    I first wish to thank my supervisor Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Stlzle who provided an excellent working environment. His confidence in my capabilities, generous offer of his valuable time and supportive responsiveness, and his personal guidance were all valuable important to successful completion of this dissertation. My sincere appreciation also goes to Prof. Dr. Michael Eig for his capable co-supervision of my dissertation and his invaluable advice. Furthermore, many thanks to Assistant Prof. Dr. Joerg S. Hofstetter who gratefully supported my dissertation process as a coach and had unwavering confidence in my work. A heartfelt thank you to Prof. Dr. Joseph

    Sarkis for his outstanding cooperation in my research efforts and development it was an honor to work with him. Also, my sincerest appreciation and thanks to Maura Sweeney for her friendship and hospitality. Her hospitality allowed me to feel like Worcester was my second home.

    Special thanks to the many participating practitioners and business partners who greatly influenced and contributed to my research. These individuals (and organiztions) include Jrg von Niederhusern (Migros), Karl Daumller (Hewlett-Packard), Bruno Witschi and Roland Althaus (both of Obermeilen), Gnther Kscheschinski and Walter Bruderer (both of Maestrani), Max Schrer and Brigitte Stckli (both of Zuckermhle Rupperswil), Sandro Molteni and Yves Heer (both of Allfood), Philipp Steiner (Zuckerfabriken Aarberg + Frauenfeld) and Mohit Jain (Capricorn). Without their involvement, practical insights and many hours of fruitful discussion this research would not have been successfully completed.

    Warm and sincere thanks to all the people who made my dissertation process as well as the stay in St. Gallen such an enjoyable time. Special thanks to Patrick Beck, Jakob Ebeling, Joachim Ehrenthal, Konstantin Gebert, Erik Hofmann, Elmar Holschbach,

  • Ingrid Krol, Nicole Kudla, Daniel Maucher, Randi Oldach, Nils Peters, Felix Reiche, Anne Suphan, Alexander Vogedes, Thomas Walter and Steffen Wtz.

    Finally, no words could appropriately express my gratitude to Janett Hohmann and my parents Ingeborg and Hubert Grimm as well as my sisters Anke Grimm-Hh and Kirstin Kohler and their families. Thank you!

    Munich, January 2014 Jrg H. Grimm

  • I

    Content

    List of figures ............................................................................................................... VI

    List of tables ............................................................................................................... VII

    List of abbreviations ................................................................................................... IX

    Summary ...................................................................................................................... XI

    Zusammenfassung ..................................................................................................... XII

    1. Introduction ............................................................................................................. 1 1.1 Relevance of the research on ensuring compliance with corporate

    sustainability standards in supply chains ......................................................... 1

    1.2 Research questions .......................................................................................... 8

    1.3 Outline of the thesis ....................................................................................... 10

    2. Conceptual background of ensuring compliance with corporate sustainability standards in supply chains .................................................................................. 13 2.1 Corporate sustainability and the triple bottom line ....................................... 13

    2.2 Extending corporate sustainability to supply chains by the concept of

    sustainable supply chain management ........................................................... 16

    2.3 Corporate sustainability standards for supply chains .................................... 21

    2.4 Supplier management practices for ensuring compliance with corporate

    sustainability standards in supply chains ....................................................... 23

    2.5 Expanding the focus from direct suppliers to sub-suppliers compliance with

    corporate sustainability standards .................................................................. 28

    3. Theoretical positioning of the research on ensuring compliance with corporate sustainability standards in supply chains ......................................... 31 3.1 Applicability and selection of theories to the research context ..................... 31

    3.2 The theory of institutional entrepreneurship and its contribution ................. 33

    3.3 The resource-based view and its contribution ............................................... 37

    3.4 The theory of critical success factors and its contribution ............................ 38

  • II

    4. Exploratory studies on ensuring compliance with corporate sustainability standards in supply chains .................................................................................. 42 4.1 Overview of the research framework and methodology ............................... 42

    4.2 Capabilities for corporate sustainability standards institutionalization along

    the supply chain (study 1) .............................................................................. 47

    4.2.1 Research design .................................................................................. 47

    4.2.2 Key findings and contributions ........................................................... 48

    4.3 Exploring sustainability compliance of sub-suppliers (study 2) ................... 49

    4.3.1 Research design .................................................................................. 49

    4.3.2 Key findings and contributions ........................................................... 50

    4.4 Identifying critical success factors to sub-supplier management for

    sustainability compliance (study 3) ............................................................... 52

    4.4.1 Research design .................................................................................. 52

    4.4.2 Key findings and contributions ........................................................... 53

    4.5 Evaluating critical success factors to sub-supplier management for

    sustainability compliance (study 4) ............................................................... 55

    4.5.1 Research design .................................................................................. 55

    4.5.2 Key findings and contributions ........................................................... 56

    5. Conclusions ............................................................................................................ 58 5.1 Theoretical contributions ............................................................................... 58

    5.2 Managerial contributions ............................................................................... 59

    5.3 Limitations and future research ..................................................................... 61

    Appendix ...................................................................................................................... 63

    A. Capabilities for corporate sustainability standards institutionalization along the supply chain .................................................................................................... 64 A.1 Introduction ................................................................................................... 65

    A.1.1 Institutional theory and entrepreneurship ........................................... 67

    A.1.2 Institutional entrepreneurship within the supply chain ...................... 68

    A.1.3 Corporate sustainability standards as institutions in supply chains.... 71

  • III

    A.2 Methodology .................................................................................................. 73

    A.2.1 Case selection ..................................................................................... 73

    A.2.2 Data collection .................................................................................... 73

    A.2.3 Data analysis ....................................................................................... 74

    A.3 Implementing corporate sustainability standards in supply chains ............... 77

    A.3.1 Overview of cases ............................................................................... 77

    A.3.2 Capabilities for the implementation of sustainability standards in

    supply chains ...................................................................................... 79

    A.4 Summary of results ........................................................................................ 90

    A.5 Conclusion and discussion ............................................................................. 92

    A.6 Limitations and future research ..................................................................... 93

    A.7 Appendix........................................................................................................ 95

    B. Exploring sustainability compliance of sub-suppliers ....................................... 96 B.1 Introduction ................................................................................................... 97

    B.2 Background .................................................................................................... 99

    B.3 Literature review .......................................................................................... 100

    B.4 Methodology ................................................................................................ 103

    B.4.1 Case selection ................................................................................... 104

    B.4.2 Data collection .................................................................................. 105

    B.4.3 Data analysis ..................................................................................... 107

    B.5 Case studies ................................................................................................. 107

    B.5.1 Hewlett-Packard ............................................................................... 107

    B.5.2 Migros ............................................................................................... 112

    B.6 Cross case analysis and research propositions ............................................ 116

    B.7 Discussion and conclusions ......................................................................... 124

    B.7.1 Framework for sub-supplier management and differences from

    traditional supplier management ...................................................... 124

    B.7.2 Managerial implications ................................................................... 127

  • IV

    B.7.1 Limitations and future research ........................................................ 128

    B.8 Appendix...................................................................................................... 129

    C. Identifying critical success factors to sub-supplier management for sustainability compliance ................................................................................... 131 C.1 Introduction ................................................................................................. 132

    C.2 Literature review .......................................................................................... 134

    C.2.1 Sub-Suppliers in sustainable supply chain management .................. 134

    C.2.2 Critical factors to sustainable supply chain management ................. 136

    C.3 Theoretical positioning of the study ............................................................ 140

    C.4 Methodology ................................................................................................ 141

    C.4.1 Sample .............................................................................................. 141

    C.4.2 Data collection .................................................................................. 144

    C.4.3 Data analysis ..................................................................................... 145

    C.5 Results: Identification of critical success factors ........................................ 146

    C.6 Discussion and analysis ............................................................................... 160

    C.6.1 Theoretical implications ................................................................... 160

    C.6.2 Managerial implications ................................................................... 162

    C.7 Conclusions ................................................................................................. 163

    C.8 Appendix...................................................................................................... 164

    D. Evaluating critical success factors to sub-supplier management for sustainability compliance ................................................................................... 167 D.1 Introduction ................................................................................................. 168

    D.2 Background .................................................................................................. 169

    D.2.1 Sub-supplier management within sustainable supply chain

    management ...................................................................................... 169

    D.2.2 Critical success factors to the management of sub-supplier...

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