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Could lean practices and process innovation enhance supply chain sustainability of small and medium-sized enterprises?

Dey, Prasanta Kumar and Malesios, Chrisovalantis and De, Debashree and Chowdhury, Soumyadeb and Abdelaziz, Fouad Ben (2019) 'Could lean practices and process innovation enhance supply chain sustainability of small and medium-sized enterprises?' Business Strategy and the Environment, 28 (4). 582 - 598. ISSN 0964-4733

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Abstract

Small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt lean practices (LP) to reduce waste across their organisational value chain, which helps achieve sustainability. Process innovation (PI) has also been applied through cleaner production, environmental management system, ecodesign, and so on to address both customers' needs and legislations by policymakers. Although prior studies reveal the effect of sustainable practices, LP, and PI on sustainable performance separately, less is known on the integrated effect of them on sustainability performance. Moreover, studies on mediating effect of LP and PI on sustainability performance are scant. This is significant as LP and PI are considered to be the enablers for achieving sustainability performance. This research addresses this knowledge gap. The research first theorises a model integrating these four major constructs (sustainability practices, LP, PI, and sustainability performance) through hypotheses development. Subsequently, using structural equation modelling, it is tested whether each of sustainability practices, LP, and PI effect sustainability performances. Additionally, mediating effect of LP and PI between sustainability practices and performances is derived. The study uses data from 119 SMEs within manufacturing industries in the Midlands, United Kingdom. Further, a few case studies have been undertaken to validate the findings from quantitative analysis. The overall results show that although sustainability practices, LP, and PI help achieve sustainability performance of SMEs supply chain through efficiency and responsiveness respectively, the mediating effect LP is more compared with PI. Moreover, SMEs adopt LP when they are economy focused and implement PI when they are pressurised by customers and/or policymakers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: lean practices,process innovation,small and medium-sized enterprises,structural equation modelling,sustainability performance,sustainability practices,Business and International Management,Geography, Planning and Development,Strategy and Management,Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 13:15
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2021 13:16
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28107

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