Scientific Papers

JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES


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ISSN: 2306-3483 (Online), 2071-8330 (Print)

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Quantitative indicators for social sustainability assessment of society and product responsibility aspects in supply chains

Vol. 10, No 4, 2017

 

Tamara Popovic

 

Industrial Engineering and Management, School of Business and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology,

Finland

tamara.popovic@lut.fi

Quantitative indicators for social sustainability assessment of society and product responsibility aspects in supply chains

Andrzej Kraslawski

 

Industrial Engineering and Management, School of Business and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology

Finland 

Faculty of Process and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Lodz,

Poland

andrzej.kraslawski@lut.fi


Ana Barbosa-Póvoa

 

CEG-IST, Instituto Superior Tecnico, University of Lisbon

Portugal

apovoa@tecnico.ulisboa.pt


Ana Carvalho

 

CEG-IST, Instituto Superior Tecnico, University of Lisbon

Portugal

anacarvalho@tecnico.ulisboa.pt

 

 


 


Abstract. Increased pressures from stakeholders have been forcing companies to integrate social sustainability into their businesses. However, lack of information leads to gaps in social sustainability, some of them being also related to difficulties in social sustainability assessment of supply chains often caused by lack of appropriate quantitative indicators to be used. The aim of this paper is, thus, to fill this gap by proposing a set of quantitative social sustainability indicators applicable to various types of supply chains. The indicators proposed here address the most frequently encountered issues of social sustainability. The research resulted in the identification of 24 generic quantitative indicators suitable for the assessment of a supply chain, particularly related to society and product responsibility issues. The indicators are validated through content analysis of 141 sustainability reports from all echelons (upstream, midstream, downstream) of a supply chain. Beyond that, one-way statistical analysis (ANOVA) is performed in order to analyse how echelon levels affect the relevance of these indicators. Content analysis results confirm that issues covered by the indicators are addressed by the companies in their sustainability reports, while ANOVA analysis shows that supply chain echelon level does not influence the relevance of the indicators, making this set of indicators generic and applicable to any supply chain. Therefore, these indicators can be considered as generic and used for the holistic assessment of supply chains.

 

Received: August, 2017

1st Revision: September, 2017

Accepted: November, 2017

 

DOI: 10.14254/2071-

8330.2017/10-4/1

JEL Classification: M14, Q01, Q56

Keywordssocial sustainability, quantitative indicators, supply chain management, performance measurement