This article addresses certain gaps highlighted in the literature relating to the investigation of supplier selection through a theoretical lens, based on contextual factors, institutional pressure, and industrial features. Consequently, this article sheds light on how a government’s strategic plans can drive organisations to incorporate elements of social sustainability into their supply chains. A successful case from Oman which demonstrates the social dimension of sustainability in selecting suppliers in the oil and gas sector is presented, along with the government’s role and the mechanisms it has applied. A survey of purchasing, procurement and supply chain managers in Oman’s major oil and gas organisations was conducted, along with interviews. The results of this research were further analysed through the lens of institutional theory, addressing a genuine research gap. It was found that: (a) coercive governmental pressure is not sufficient to truly develop socially sustainable practices in organisations if the organisations themselves do not show initiative, as this leads to compliant rather than innovative practice; and (b) policy makers need to be aware that coercive pressure alone does not lead to continuous improvement of social sustainability performance, due to the ceiling effect, i.e. organisations meeting only the minimum governmental requirements.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Adebanjo, D., Teh, P. L., & Ahmed, P. (2016). The impact of external pressure and sustainable management practices on manufacturing performance and environmental outcomes. International Journal of Operations and Production Management,36(9), 995–1013.
Aktin, T., & Gergin, Z. (2016). Mathematical modelling of sustainable procurement strategies: Three case studies. Journal of Cleaner Production,113, 767–780.
Amindoust, A., Ahmed, S., Saghafinia, A., & Bahreininejad, A. (2012). Sustainable supplier selection: A ranking model based on fuzzy inference system. Applied Soft Computing,12, 1668–1677.
Amos, N., & Sullivan, R. (2015). Managing social standards in global supply chains: Risk identification and mapping. https://blogs.thomsonreuters.com/answerson/global-supply-chain-risk-identification-mapping/. Accessed August 11, 2017.
APICS. (2015). APICS supply chain council. http://www.apics.org/sites/apics-supply-chain-council. Accessed April 16, 2016.
Appolloni, A., Sun, H., Jia, F., & Li, X. (2014). Green procurement in the private sector: A state of the art review between 1996 and 2013. Journal of Cleaner Production,85, 122–133.
Aydin Keskin, G., Ilhan, S., & Özkan, C. (2010). The fuzzy ART algorithm: A categorization method for supplier evaluation and selection. Expert Systems with Applications,37, 1235–1240.
Azadi, M., Jafarian, M., Farzipoor Saen, R., & Mirhedayatian, S. M. (2015). A new fuzzy DEA model for evaluation of efficiency and effectiveness of suppliers in sustainable supply chain management context. Computers and Operations Research,54, 274–285.
Azadnia, A. H., Saman, M. Z. M., & Wong, K. Y. (2015). Sustainable supplier selection and order lot-sizing: An integrated multi-objective decision-making process. International Journal of Production Research,53, 383–408.
Baden, D. A., Harwood, I. A., & Woodward, D. G. (2009). The effect of buyer pressure on suppliers in SMEs to demonstrate CSR practices: An added incentive or counter productive? European Management Journal,27(6), 429–441.
Bai, C., & Sarkis, J. (2010). Integrating sustainability into supplier selection with grey system and rough set methodologies. International Journal of Production Economics,124(1), 252–264.
Banaeian, N., Mobli, H., Fahimnia, B., Nielsen, I. E., & Omid, M. (2018). Green supplier selection using fuzzy group decision making methods: A case study from the agri-food industry. Computers and Operations Research,89, 337–347.
Beske, P., & Seuring, S. (2014). Putting sustainability into supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal,19(3), 322–331.
Brandenburg, M., & Rebs, T. (2015). Sustainable supply chain management: A modeling perspective. Annals of Operations Research,229(1), 213–252.
British Standards Institution. (2015). BSI Global Supply Chain Intelligence report reveals global business impact of security, human rights and environmental violations. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bsi-global-supply-chain-intelligence-report-reveals-global-business-impact-of-security-human-rights-and-environmental-violations-300068965.html. Accessed August 11, 2017.
Campbell, J. L. (2007). Why would corporations behave in socially responsible ways? An institutional theory of corporate social responsibility. Academy of Management Review,32(3), 946–967.
Carter, C. R., & Jennings, M. M. (2004). The role of purchasing in corporate social responsibility: A structural equation analysis. Journal of Business Logistics,25(1), 145–186.
CIPS. (2015). CIPS sustainability index. https://www.cips.org/en-GB/cips-for-business/supply-assurance/cips-sustainability-index/. Accessed June 2017
Dai, J., & Blackhurst, J. (2012). A four-phase AHP–QFD approach for supplier assessment: A sustainability perspective. International Journal of Production Research,50, 5474–5490.
DiMaggio, P., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Collective rationality and institutional isomorphism in organizational fields. American Sociological Review,48(2), 147–160.
Dou, Y., & Sarkis, J. (2010). A joint location and outsourcing sustainability analysis for a strategic offshoring decision. International Journal of Production Research,48, 567–592.
Dou, Y., Sarkis, J., & Bai, C. (2014). Government green procurement: A Fuzzy-DEMATEL analysis of barriers. Supply chain management under fuzziness (pp. 567–589). Berlin: Springer.
Dubey, R., Gunasekaran, A., & Ali, S. S. (2015). Exploring the relationship between leadership, operational practices, institutional pressures and environmental performance: A framework for green supply chain. International Journal of Production Economics,160, 120–132.
Dubey, R., Gunasekaran, A., Childe, S. J., Papadopoulos, T., Hazen, B., Giannakis, M., et al. (2017). Examining the effect of external pressures and organizational culture on shaping performance measurement systems (PMS) for sustainability benchmarking: Some empirical findings. International Journal of Production Economics,193, 63–76.
Ehrgott, M., Reimann, F., Kaufmann, L., & Carter, C. R. (2011). Social sustainability in selecting emerging economy suppliers. Journal of Business Ethics,98(1), 99–119.
Eriksson, D., & Svensson, G. (2015). Elements affecting social responsibility in supply chains. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal,20(5), 561–566.
Feng, Y., Zhu, Q., & Lai, K. H. (2017). Corporate social responsibility for supply chain management: A literature review and bibliometric analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production,158, 296–307.
Foerstl, K., Reuter, C., Hartmann, E., & Blome, C. (2010). Managing supplier sustainability risks in a dynamically changing environment—Sustainable supplier management in the chemical industry. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management,16, 118–130.
Gerbens-Leenes, P. W., Moll, H. C., & Schoot Uiterkamp, J. M. (2003). Design and development of a measuring method for environmental sustainability in food production systems. Ecological Economics,46, 231–248.
Gimenez, C., & Tachizawa, E. M. (2012). Extending sustainability to suppliers: A systematic literature review. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal,17, 531–543.
Govindan, K., Khodaverdi, R., & Jafarian, A. (2013). A fuzzy multi criteria approach for measuring sustainability performance of a supplier based on triple bottom line approach. Journal of Cleaner Production,47, 345–354.
GRI. (2017). Official website. https://www.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed June 2017.
Griffis, S. E., Autry, C. W., Thornton, L. M., & Brik, A. B. (2014). Assessing antecedents of socially responsible supplier selection in three global supply chain contexts. Decision Sciences,45(6), 1187–1215.
Grob, S., & Benn, S. (2014). Conceptualising the adoption of sustainable procurement: An institutional theory perspective. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management,21(1), 11–21.
Hoejmose, S. U., & Adrien-Kirby, A. J. (2012). Socially and environmentally responsible procurement: A literature review and future research agenda of a managerial issue in the 21st century. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management,18(4), 232–242.
Hsu, P. F., Hu, P. J. H., Wei, C. P., & Huang, J. W. (2014). Green purchasing by MNC subsidiaries: The role of local tailoring in the presence of institutional duality. Decision Sciences,45(4), 647–682.
Hutchins, M. J., & Sutherland, J. W. (2008). An exploration of measures of social sustainability and their application to supply chain decisions. Journal of Cleaner Production,16, 1688–1698.
Igarashi, M., de Boer, L., & Michelsen, O. (2015). Investigating the anatomy of supplier selection in green public procurement. Journal of Cleaner Production,108, 442–450.
ISO. (2016). First International Standard for sustainable procurement nears publication. http://www.iso.org/iso/home/news_index/news_archive/news.htm?refid=Ref2105. Accessed November 10, 2016.
Jindal, A., & Sangwan, K. S. (2016). Multi-objective fuzzy mathematical modelling of closed-loop supply chain considering economical and environmental factors. Annals of Operations Research,257, 95–120.
Johnsen, T. E., Miemczyk, J., & Howard, M. (2017). A systematic literature review of sustainable purchasing and supply research: Theoretical perspectives and opportunities for IMP-based research. Industrial Marketing Management,61, 130–143.
Kalyuzhnova, Y., Nygaard, C. A., Omarov, Y., & Saparbayev, A. (2016). Local content policies in resource-rich countries. Euro-Asian studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kannan, D., Govindan, K., & Rajendran, S. (2015). Fuzzy axiomatic design approach based green supplier selection: A case study from Singapore. Journal of Cleaner Production,96, 194–208.
Kaur, H., & Singh, S. P. (2016). Sustainable procurement and logistics for disaster resilient supply chain. Annals of Operations Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-016-2374-2.
Khor, K. S., Udin, Z. M., Ramayah, T., & Hazen, B. T. (2016). Reverse logistics in Malaysia: The contingent role of institutional pressure. International Journal of Production Economics,175, 96–108.
Kondra, A. Z., & Hinings, C. R. (1998). Organizational diversity and change in institutional theory. Organization Studies,19(5), 743–767.
Kuo, R. J., Wang, Y. C., & Tien, F. C. (2010). Integration of artificial neural network and MADA methods for green supplier selection. Journal of Cleaner Production,18, 1161–1170.
Lee, A. H., Kang, H. Y., Hsu, C. F., & Hung, H. C. (2009). A green supplier selection model for high-tech industry. Expert Systems with Applications,36(4), 7917–7927.
Mani, V., Gunasekaran, A., Papadopoulos, T., Hazen, B., & Dubey, R. (2016). Supply chain social sustainability for developing nations: Evidence from India. Resources, Conservation and Recycling,111, 42–52.
Marshall, D., McCarthy, L., McGrath, P., & Claudy, M. (2015). Going above and beyond: how sustainability culture and entrepreneurial orientation drive social sustainability supply chain practice adoption. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal,20(4), 434–454.
Matten, D., & Moon, J. (2008). “Implicit” and “explicit” CSR: A conceptual framework for a comparative understanding of corporate social responsibility. Academy of Management Review,33(2), 404–424.
McKinsey. (2014). Sustainability’s strategic worth: McKinsey Global Survey results. http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability-and-resource-productivity/our-insights/sustainabilitys-strategic-worth-mckinsey-global-survey-results. Accessed December 1, 2016.
Miemczyk, J., Johnsen, T. E., & Macquet, M. (2012). Sustainable purchasing and supply management: A structured literature review of definitions and measures at the dyad, chain and network levels. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal,17, 478–496.
MOG—Ministry of Oil and Gas. (2013). Standardisation of ICV requirements in contracting and procurement Oman oil and gas sector suppliers engagement session. http://www.incountryvalueoman.net/getattachment/201de0ad-a3a8-4c06-bfbb-82209858a056/Standardisation-of-ICV-Requirements-in-C-P. Accessed 1 July 2017.
Oxford Business Group. (2014). The Report: Oman.
Oxford Business Group. (2016). The Report: Oman.
Quarshie, A. M., Salmi, A., & Leuschner, R. (2016). Sustainability and corporate social responsibility in supply chains: The state of research in supply chain management and business ethics journals. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management,22(2), 82–97.
Rezaei, J., Kadziński, M., Vana, C., & Tavasszy, L. (2017). Embedding carbon impact assessment in multi-criteria supplier segmentation using ELECTRE TRI-rC. Annals of Operations Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-017-2454-y.
Sancha, C., Longoni, A., & Giménez, C. (2015). Sustainable supplier development practices: Drivers and enablers in a global context. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management,21(2), 95–102.
Sarkis, J., & Dhavale, D. G. (2015). Supplier selection for sustainable operations: A triple-bottom-line approach using a Bayesian framework. International Journal of Production Economics,166, 177–191.
Sarkis, J., Zhu, Q., & Lai, K. H. (2011). An organizational theoretic review of green supply chain management literature. International Journal of Production Economics,130(1), 1–15.
Seles, B. M. R. P., de Sousa Jabbour, A. B. L., Jabbour, C. J. C., & Dangelico, R. M. (2016). The green bullwhip effect, the diffusion of green supply chain practices, and institutional pressures: Evidence from the automotive sector. International Journal of Production Economics,182, 342–355.
Shen, L., Zhang, Z., & Zhang, X. (2016). Key factors affecting green procurement in real estate development: A China study. Journal of Cleaner Production,153, 372–383.
Shibin, K. T., Dubey, R., Gunasekaran, A., Hazen, B., Roubaud, D., Gupta, S., et al. (2017). Examining sustainable supply chain management of SMEs using resource based view and institutional theory. Annals of Operations Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-017-2706-x.
Thornton, L. M., Autry, C. W., Gligor, D. M., & Brik, A. B. (2013). Does socially responsible supplier selection pay off for customer firms? A cross-cultural comparison. Journal of Supply Chain Management,49(3), 66–89.
Tseng, M.-L., Tan, K.-H., Lim, M., Lin, R.-J., & Geng, Y. (2013). Benchmarking eco-efficiency in green supply chain practices in uncertainty. Production Planning and Control,7287, 1–12.
Tsireme, A. I., Nikolaou, E. I., Georgantzis, N., & Tsagarakis, K. P. (2012). The influence of environmental policy on the decisions of managers to adopt G-SCM practices. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy,14(5), 953–964.
Vachon, S., & Mao, Z. (2008). Linking supply chain strength to sustainable development: A country-level analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production,16, 1552–1560.
Wetzstein, A., Hartmann, E., Benton, W. C., Jr., & Hohenstein, N. O. (2016). A systematic assessment of supplier selection literature—State-of-the-art and future scope. International Journal of Production Economics,182, 304–323.
Winter, S., & Lasch, R. (2016). Environmental and social criteria in supplier evaluation—Lessons from the fashion and apparel industry. Journal of Cleaner Production,139, 175–190.
Wong, J. K. W., San Chan, J. K., & Wadu, M. J. (2016). Facilitating effective green procurement in construction projects: An empirical study of the enablers. Journal of Cleaner Production,135, 859–871.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and World Resources Institute (WRI) (2009). The Greenhouse gas protocol initiative: Scope 3 Accounting and Reporting Standard. Geneva, Switzerland.
Wu, Z., & Pullman, M. E. (2015). Cultural embeddedness in supply networks. Journal of Operations Management,37, 45–58.
Yawar, S. A., & Seuring, S. (2017). Management of social issues in supply chains: A literature review exploring social issues, actions and performance outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics,141(3), 621–643.
Zhu, Q. (2016). Institutional pressures and support from industrial zones for motivating sustainable production among Chinese manufacturers. International Journal of Production Economics,181, 402–409.
Zimmer, K., Fröhling, M., & Schultmann, F. (2016). Sustainable supplier management—A review of models supporting sustainable supplier selection, monitoring and development. International Journal of Production Research,54(5), 1412–1442.
Zorzini, M., Hendry, L. C., Huq, F. A., & Stevenson, M. (2015). Socially responsible sourcing: Reviewing the literature and its use of theory. International Journal of Operations & Production Management,35(1), 60–109.
About this article
Cite this article
Rentizelas, A., de Sousa Jabbour, A.B.L., Al Balushi, A.D. et al. Social sustainability in the oil and gas industry: institutional pressure and the management of sustainable supply chains. Ann Oper Res 290, 279–300 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-018-2821-3
- Sustainable operations
- Supply chain
- Social responsibility
- Coercive pressure