Plurality in environmental supply chain mechanisms: Differential effects on triple bottom line outcomes

Antony Paulraj, Constantin Blome

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The environmental management of supply chains has become increasingly relevant in the recent era. Extant research proposes two main forms of mechanisms – collaboration and evaluation – for environmental supply chain management. Despite the wide use of these mechanisms and the empirical insight into the fact that they could be adopted simultaneously, it is unknown if, and, at which levels, environmental collaboration (EC) and environmental evaluation (EE) could be complementary or substitutionary in nature. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to gain a clear understanding into the plural forms of these mechanisms. Design/methodology/approach: The transaction cost economics and relational exchange theory are used to ground the research hypotheses. The results are based on survey data collected from 145 US manufacturing firms. The authors employ polynomial regression as well as the response surface methodology to test the proposed hypotheses. Findings: The results suggest that EC and EE can have an intriguing effect depending on the outcome measure. Specifically, the authors find the effects in the economic and the environmental/social domains to be significantly different. Originality/value: While scholars acknowledge that collaboration and evaluation could act as complements, extant research does not propose and test models that specifically capture complementary and substitutionary nature of these mechanisms. Accordingly, the study makes the first attempt to empirically test for the effects of the simultaneous pursuit of EC and EE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1030
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Environmental sustainability
  • Supplier environmental collaboration
  • Supplier environmental evaluation
  • Survey methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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