Traceability for sustainability – literature review and conceptual framework
Garcia-Torres, Sofia; Albareda, Laura; Rey-Garcia, Marta; Seuring, Stefan (2019-01-14)
Post-print / Final draft
Supply Chain Management
School of Business and Management
© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited
This paper aims to examine how companies enact traceability in their global supply chains (SCs) to achieve sustainability goals and how this so-called traceability for sustainability (TfS) can contribute to (sustainable) supply chain management ([S]SCM). For this, the paper focuses on the paramount example of the apparel industry.
This study presents an integrative and systematic literature review of 89 peer-reviewed journal articles on the confluence of traceability and sustainability in global apparel SCs. It comprises content analysis and abductive category-building based on previous literature.
A conceptual framework emerges to describe TfS as an evolving cycle, comprising three dimensions: governance, collaboration and tracking and tracing. Resources and capabilities literature set the foundations for conceiving TfS as a distinctive meta-capability construct. Hence, besides being associated to increased performance, risk management and SC process transformation, TfS ultimately blurs boundaries and integrates non-traditional SC actors into the same ecosystem with important implications for sustainability and (S)SCM. This study refers to the industrial upgrading potential of global SCs to explain how leveraging enabling technologies for TfS may help to improve the triple-bottom-line (TBL) performance of the actors in the broad ecosystem while reducing the risks associated to those technologies. Thus, TfS can contribute to (S)SCM and to TBL sustainability within and beyond SC boundaries.
This study conceptually frames (S)SCM exploring TfS as a meta-capability and contributes to the underexplored question of how to achieve sustainability in global SCs.
Garcia-Torres S., Albareda L., Rey-Garcia M., Seuring S. (2019). Traceability for sustainability – literature review and conceptual framework. Supply Chain Management, Vol 24, Issue 1. p. 85-106. DOI: 10.1108/SCM-04-2018-0152
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