What Drives a Firm’s Sustainability Management?: Developing a Holistic Model

Nur Fatin Binti Abd Hamid, Ming Lim, Devon Barrow, Dong-Wook Kwak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


Purpose: Several factors affect the implementation of sustainable management practices within reverse logistics. How they are related, and how they influence the choice of, and implementation of sustainable management practices, however remains a grey area. This paper develops a structural model of the key relationship, interactions and hierarchies among key drivers of sustainable management within reverse logistics in the automobile sector. A better understanding of the influence of these drivers, should assist organisations in better selecting among appropriate sustainability practice choices, and driving organisational change.
Research Approach: Sustainability drivers were identified by literature review and validated by a survey with practitioners in the automobile sector. Focus group discussions among practitioners and academics were conducted to explore the interrelationships among these drivers in implementing sustainable management. Next, Interpretive Structured Modelling (ISM) was applied to transform these contextual relationships into a graphical model revealing interactions and hierarchies.
Findings and Originality: The graphical structure of the model gives a holistic view as to how sustainability drivers influence the implementation of a sustainability management practices. The model is discussed by triangulating extant literature and practitioners’ interpretation in the context of reverse logistics in the UK automobile sector.
Research Impact: This research seeks to develop the first structural model of sustainability drivers using an ISM approach. This empirical study demonstrates the importance of understanding the linked drivers, their relationships and impacts on the implementation of sustainable management.
Practical Implications: This paper demonstrates a sustainability driver model and applies it to the reverse logistics of the UK automobile sector. It will encourage practitioners to understand the importance of each driver, and to evaluate how core drivers influence their organisations’ sustainability practices. Organisations can then develop specific response strategies in relation to these drivers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual Logistics Research Network Conference 2018
PublisherChartered Institute Of Logistics And Transport
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAnnual Logistics Research Network Conference 2018 - Plymouth University, Plymouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sept 20187 Sept 2018
Conference number: 23


ConferenceAnnual Logistics Research Network Conference 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Sustainability
  • sustainability drivers
  • interpretive structural modelling
  • Interaction
  • focus group


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