Sustainable procurement drivers for extended multi-tier context: A multi-theoretical perspective in the Danish supply chain

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In light of the rising global importance of sustainable procurement (SP) implementation for contributing to sustainable development goals (SDGs), the main aim of this study is to perform an abductive research to analyse the drivers of SP under a Danish extended multi-tier supply chain context. Initially, the expansion of the traditional multi-tier theory to a novel extended multi-tier theory is accomplished by considering three factors: any number of upstream SC entities, the direct customer on the downstream entity, and the focal firm. This study has been done with the intention of implementing SP for the focal firm. Following that, the study develops a research framework to analyse the drivers of SP in an extended multi-tier environment by considering both upstream (1st tier and 2nd tier suppliers) and downstream (direct customer) supply chain entities together with the focal company using multiple theories such as extended multi-tier, triple bottom line (TBL), dynamic capability, institutional theory, and decision theory. Firstly, the relevant SP drivers are categorised (i.e., 7 categories of main drivers and 24 sub-drivers) based on the TBL, dynamic capability, and institutional theory. Secondly, applying the Best Worst Method (BWM), SP drivers were prioritized, and a comparative analysis was performed across the extended multi-tier context. The result shows that the top three priorities of the sub-drivers are “personal values,” “active top management support,” and “government regulation and legislation,” respectively for the focal company. Comparative analysis points to the fact that the sub-driver “government regulation and legislation” is considered important for all the SC entities; however, no mandatory government regulation currently exists to implement SP in the private sector context. On the other hand, the sub-driver “customer pressure / demand” for the sustainable products has been a low priority for the focal company and 2nd tier suppliers and it has not been considered relevant for the 1st tier supplier and direct customer. Thirdly, applying the Decision-Making Trial And Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL), an interrelationship analysis was performed on the key SP drivers that exist from the focal company's perspective. Finally, relevant managerial implications and conclusions were drawn for the focal case company based on the results of the prioritization and interrelationship analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102092
JournalTransportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Abductive
  • Drivers
  • Dynamic capability
  • Extended Multi-tier theory
  • Institutional theory
  • Multiple case study, BWM, DEMATEL, Danish Context
  • Sustainable Procurement


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