Collaboration as a structural aspect of proactive social sustainability: the differential moderating role of distributive and procedural justice

Jia Jia Lim, Jing Dai, Antony Paulraj

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to adopt the strategy-structure-performance (SSP) framework to explore how proactive social strategy could motivate firms to collaborate with suppliers on social sustainability initiatives, and how such collaborative efforts could unlock a win-win opportunity for both noneconomic (social performance) and economic (operational performance) performance. Additionally, drawing on the tenets of the social exchange theory, the different moderating effects of distributive justice and procedural justice on the social collaboration-performance relationship are also examined. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses survey data collected from 215 manufacturing companies in China. The proposed hypotheses are tested using multiple linear regression models as well as the PROCESS macro within SPSS. Findings: The results suggest that (1) a proactive social strategy could motivate firms to collaborate with suppliers on joint social activities and (2) social collaboration with suppliers can have a significant positive effect on both social and operational performance. The moderation results suggest that distributive justice has a differential effect on the collaboration-performance link. Particularly, distributive justice strengthens the relationship between social collaboration and operational performance, while it weakens the relationship between social collaboration and social performance. Surprisingly, procedural justice did not have a significant moderating effect on the social collaboration-performance link. Originality/value: This paper extends the SSP framework to the social sustainability context by not only stressing the importance of proactivity in managing sustainability, but also revealing collaboration as a structural aspect that could achieve superior performance benefits. This study also contributes to sustainable supply chain literature by exploring the moderating roles of justice elements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1817-1852
Number of pages36
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Volume42
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Distributive justice
  • Procedural justice
  • Social exchange theory
  • Social sustainability
  • Strategy-structure-performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences (all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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