Supply chain learning of sustainability in multi-tier supply chains


Speaker:Yu (Jack) Gong, University of Southampton
Date: Thursday 8 December 2016
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Building One Pearson Teaching Room

Further details


Sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) has become a hot topic since last two decades. The research interest in this topic has gradually shifted toward multi-tier supply chains along with focal companies’ sustainable efforts from compliance to proactive initiatives. Focal companies tend to be proactive and trying to engage multi levels of supply chain partners to make the whole chain sustainable. Collaborating with various stakeholders, applying existing knowledge and exploring new knowledge, the supply chain learning of sustainability is essential to make the change happen, yet it is an area lacks of research. The research question of how supply chain learn sustainability in multi-tier supply chains remains unanswered. In order to answer this research question, multi-tier supply chains of three MNCs were selected to investigate their proactive sustainability projects in China. Our research contribute to the SSCM studies in the following aspects: first, we proposed a four-stage learning steps for focal companies to implement proactive sustainable initiatives (supply chain mapping; awareness building; capacity building and capacity sustaining); second, we found that when learning content is complex, focal companies tend to use both their internal knowledge resources to directly work with suppliers and work with third parties (e.g., suppliers or other knowledge providers) to help their supply chains learn; third, we identified multi-tier supply chain structure over time along with the learning stages: the overall supply chain structure tend to remain closed whilst the sub triad supply chain structures tend to shift towards using less management resources.


Yu Gong is a lecturer at the University of Southampton Business School. He was a PhD candidate at University of Exeter Business School and passed his viva in October. His main research interests are supply chain leadership, supply chain learning, sustainable supply chain management and logistics innovation. His doctoral research focus on how MNCs assume leadership in how their supply chains learn and adopt proactive sustainability practices in China. He had a paper published on Journal of Cleaner Production and a number of papers under review with logistics and supply chain management journals. Prior to his PhD studies, he had years’ working experience in management consulting firms providing service to various large scale clients such as Nestle Malaysia, Zuellig Pharma, TCL, PCCC and BMW China.