Power and Diffusion of Sustainability in Supply Networks: Findings from Four In-Depth Case Studies

  • Osama A. Meqdadi
  • Thomas E. Johnsen
  • Rhona E. Johnsen
Original Paper

Abstract

This paper investigates how coercive and non-coercive power impacts on the successful diffusion of sustainability within supply networks. The paper reports on four in-depth case studies of the development of sustainability initiatives, each case based on data collection from focal companies and suppliers. The four case studies are based on 38 semi-structured interviews in total and supported by secondary data. The case studies indicate that both coercive and non-coercive power impact suppliers’ engagement in sustainability initiatives and its wider diffusion in supply networks. However, where the use of coercive power facilitates diffusion to immediate suppliers, the use of non-coercive (reward and expert) power leads to sustainability diffusion beyond the dyadic level into wider supply networks. The study provides rich insights into understanding sustainability diffusion in supply networks and the perceptions of multiple supply network actors on the role of different types of power on the diffusion process. We elaborate existing theory and formulate propositions to guide future research into the role and coexistence of different types of power in diffusing sustainability in supply networks.

Keywords

Diffusion Power Supply network Sustainability 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Osama A. Meqdadi
    • 1
  • Thomas E. Johnsen
    • 2
  • Rhona E. Johnsen
    • 3
  1. 1.ESC-Rennes School of BusinessRennesFrance
  2. 2.Gianluca Spina Chair of Supply Chain ManagementSchool of Management, Politecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  3. 3.Business and SocietyAudencia Nantes School of ManagementNantesFrance

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