Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Toward environmentally sustainable supply chains: How contract management can help companies along their transformation journey

List of AuthorsHirvonen-Ere Suvi, Bask Anu


Publication year2023

JournalJournal of strategic contracting and negotiation

Journal acronymJSCAN




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With the European Union having set ambitious environmental policy targets, company executives face mounting pressure to reach their sustainability goals. While expanding the contract-management process's utilization may hold promise for accelerating sustainable development throughout the contract lifecycle (from the pre-award through the post-award phase), the literature has afforded it little attention. Building on contingency theory and a qualitative multiple-case-study method, the paper examines how the contract-management process could proactively enhance the necessary shift to environmentally sustainable supply chains. Further, the authors explore whether contract management as a contingency variable could exert a positive influence on the sustainability practices followed in supply-chain relationships and, thereby, on sustainability performance. The preliminary findings indicate that, while expanded utilization of contract management remains modest, it already shows potential as a future success factor for companies on their journey of transformation in pursuit of sustainable supply-chain relationships. As a contingency factor, contract management might be able to make an impact by embedding sustainability in the contract process from the supplier-selection phase onward while also contributing to the final contract's solid inclusion of sustainability-related duties for the parties, whether in the main contract or via appendices. Accordingly, the authors suggest multiple, parallel avenues for future development.

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Last updated on 2023-25-09 at 08:34