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Strategies in Sustainable Supply Chain Management: An Empirical Investigation of Large German Companies

Companies which manage global supply chains face a high level of complexity with a large number of suppliers in diverse socio-economic contexts and growing expectations of customers and standardization schemes to control social and environmental aspects. In the context of sustainable development, the effective management of supplier relationships has therefore attracted particular attention in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM).

This paper investigates two SSCM strategic approaches in Germany’s largest stock companies with regard to supplier management. Supplier evaluation and selection adopts a risk-oriented strategic perspective whereas supplier development represents a business-opportunity-oriented approach to managing supplier chains for sustainable products. The survey-based analysis reveals that large German stock companies mainly implement risk-oriented SSCM strategies.

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