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Achieving supply chain sustainability : the role of relationship management, culture and procurement form

By Steve Rowlinson, Yan Ki Fiona Cheung and Anita M.M. Liu


In this research we examined, by means of case studies, the mechanisms by which relationships can be managed and by which communication and cooperation can be enhanced in developing sustainable supply chains. The research was predicated on the contention that the development of a sustainable supply chain depends, in part, on the transfer of knowledge and capabilities from the larger players in the supply chain. A sustainable supply chain requires proactive relationship management and the development of an appropriate organisational culture, and trust. By legitimising individuals’ expectations of the type of culture which is appropriate to their company and empowering employees to address mismatches that may occur, a situation can be created whereby the collaborating organisations develop their competences symbiotically and so facilitate a sustainable supply chain.\ud \ud Effective supply chain management enhances organisation performance and competitiveness through the management of operations across organisational boundaries. Relational contracting approaches facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge and build capacity in the supply chain, thus enhancing its sustainability. Relationship management also provides the conditions necessary for the development of collaborative and cooperative relationships However, often subcontractors and suppliers are not empowered to attend project meetings or to have direct communication with project based staff. With this being a common phenomenon in the construction industry, one might ask: what are the barriers to implementation of relationship management through the supply chain? In other words, the problem addressed in this research is the engagement of the supply chain through relationship management

Topics: 120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning, Supply Chain Sustainability, Relationship Management, Culture, Convergence
Publisher: The Engineering Project Organization Society (EPOS)
Year: 2011
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