Green supply chain management in manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises: Perspectives from Chang Chiang Delta

Huang, Xiangmeng
Green supply chain management in manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises: Perspectives from Chang Chiang Delta. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This research started from an interest in how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing industry within the geographical area of Chang Chiang Delta in China operate with respect to sustainability by developing green supply chain management (GSCM). Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate what the pressures are for SME manufacturers to implement GSCM practices, and to examine the relationship between those practices and corresponding performance at a regional level in the context of Chang Chiang Delta in China. To accomplish this task, a range of literature is evaluated, focusing on GSCM theories and adoptions. This review reveals a research gap regarding SMEs’ implementation of GSCM, to which this study responds. The research is underpinned by an interpretive epistemology and a multi-method design. It is an exploratory and empirical study with two rounds of primary data collection gathered from SME manufacturers in the Chang Chiang Delta region of China, which contains the triangular-shaped territory of Shanghai, southern Jiangsu Province and northern Zhejiang Province, including the urban cores of five cities – Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Ningbo. In addition, a qualitative case study is employed in this research to provide more detailed information of GSCM implementation in SMEs. The results derived from both the questionnaire survey and the case study provide strong evidence that Chinese manufacturing SMEs have been under pressures relating to regulatory, customer, supplier, public and internal aspects from different stakeholder parties in terms of GSCM. In response to these pressures, SMEs have tried some GSCM practices, including green purchasing, eco-design, investment recovery, cooperation with customers and internal environmental management, and these practices are specific to the industrial sector considered in this study. But these practices do contribute to improving performance economically, environmentally and operationally. From the literature review and the empirical findings, this research provides contributions to knowledge, as well as managerial implications. It contributes to knowledge by providing conceptual and empirical insights into how GSCM is viewed and developed among SME manufacturers, clarifying the conceptions relating to sustainability, and incorporating stakeholder theory and the theory of industrial ecology in examining GSCM development. This study also provides practical implications by providing suggestions and guidance to governments, the public, suppliers and customers across the chain, as well as the managers of SMEs, and proposing an optimised model for the selected case for improved GSCM performance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2013-02 (completed)
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2015 11:13
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 01:16
DOI: 10.17638/02017459