A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Sustainability Tensions in Supply Chains: A Case Study of Paradoxes and Their Management

Open Access publication

LUT Authors / Editors

Publication Details
Authors: Brix-Asala Carolin, Geisbüsch Anne-Kristin, Sauer Philipp, Schöpflin Patrick, Zehendner Axel
Publisher: MDPI
Publication year: 2018
Language: English
Related journal or series: Sustainability
Volume number: 10
Issue number: 2
eISSN: 2071-1050
JUFO level of this publication: 1
Permanent website address: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/2/424
Open Access: Open Access publication


The comprehensive coverage of sustainability issues in a supply chain
incurs goal conflicts—i.e., sustainability tensions—and is often limited
by market characteristics, such as the availability of sustainable
materials and services. While the mainstream business is prioritizing
economic goals, a number of entrepreneurs are trying to move forward to
more sustainable business practices for their own company and their
supply chain. Fairphone represents such a case in the electronics
industry, which is openly communicating its sustainability efforts and
shortcomings. This communication is content-analyzed in this study by
applying the theoretical lenses of paradox sustainability tensions and
sustainable supply chain management. Findings of this analysis reveal
the limitation of sustainability efforts by supply side characteristics,
while Fairphone is innovatively using the demand side of its supply
chain to drive sustainability. The resulting tensions among both sides
are addressed via pro-active and direct supplier and stakeholder
engagement by Fairphone at their suppliers’ mines and factories. The
systematic identification of tensions and practices by which they are
addressed is adding to our understanding of sustainability practices and
goal conflicts in supply chains.

Last updated on 2020-20-04 at 08:21