Managing Knowledge in Supply Chains: A Catalyst to Triple Bottom Line Sustainability

Qile He, David Gallear, Abby Ghobadian, Ramakrishnan Ramanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


Sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) has attracted the attention of researchers in recent years. Arguably the interest in SSCM is stimulated by the triple bottom line (TBL) which itself has received significant attention. In addition, knowledge management (KM) and its positive role in improving facets of supply chain development and performance have been topics of interest to academics. Despite all this positive development there is a paucity of theoretical and empirical studies identifying the broad capabilities that affect a firm’s ability to simultaneously pursue economic, environmental and social success. In this paper we use the natural-resource-based view (NRBV) and the knowledge-based view (KBV) to develop a series of propositions linking KM capability to strategic and operational supply chain sustainability and competiveness. We further test the veracity of these propositions by ascertaining the perceptions of 275 practicing managers using a survey instrument. The paper offers a systematic analysis of KM’s role in the development of sustainable supply chain (SSC) strategies and operations respectively. The findings confirm the credibility of a set of theoretical propositions derived from the extant literature, and also identify how different KM processes specifically facilitate strategic or operational development of SSCs. The paper provides researchers with a framework and understanding to guide future research on KM as a catalyst to the TBL in supply chains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-463
Number of pages16
JournalProduction Planning & Control: The Management of Operations
Issue number5-6
Early online date10 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Production Planning and Control on 10/05/2019, available online:


  • Knowledge Management
  • sustainable supply chain management
  • operational improvement
  • natural-resource-based view
  • triple bottom line


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