Being green is being competitive
: manufacturing supply chain perspective

  • Augustine Kwame Bempong

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Lack of clarity and uniformity of the impact of GSCM implementation on performance and the competitiveness of the firm compromises attempts by manufacturing managers to optimise GSCM implementation. Although manufacturing practitioners have adopted green supply chain management implementation over the last three decades, there are concerns about whether these practices are being implemented because they lead to competitiveness and superior performance or by certain driving forces. Investigating the impact of green supply chain implementation on the competitiveness of the firm and achieving superior performance presents a relatively unexplored frontier in supply chain management. This research aims at investigating the key green supply chain management practices being implemented by manufacturing firms, e.g., green purchasing, eco-design, green marketing, investment recovery, customer cooperation, and reverse logistics.

    To achieve these objectives, the research questions were addressed by analysing firm-informed data from 375 UK manufacturing companies. To confirm the validity, reliability and fit of the data collected, a rigorous statistical analysis was employed. In order to test the hypotheses linking the four research frameworks, structural equation modelling (SEM) was adopted. The results from the empirical analysis indicated that both internal and external enablers successfully influence manufacturers to adopt and implement GSCM practices. In addition, the findings on the relationship between individual GSCM practices and the triple bottom line came with mixed results. That is, for instance, customer cooperation did not show positive relationship with social, environmental, and economic performance.

    This thesis contributes to GSCM knowledge by recognising that management commitment, information and knowledge sharing successfully influence manufacturers to adopt and implement GSCM practices. The research findings also showed that customer pressure successfully influence manufacturing firms to implement GSCM practices especially when the customers are conscious about the environmental impact of the product they buy.

    These findings provide useful insight to manufacturers to identify which green initiatives result in maximum performance and competitive advantage. The significance of this recommendation is that, not all GSCM practices result in improved performance and competitive advantage. These findings clearly set out the outcome of GSCM implementation on performance, since individual green practices were linked with individual performance outcomes. For example, green purchasing was found to have positive correlation with social, economic, and environmental performances. In contrast to customer cooperation, eco design was found to have positive relationship with social, economic, and environmental performances in this study. Lastly, these results provide significant information to the manufacturer regarding which green initiatives require more efforts to be implemented in order to ensure positive outcomes.

    One key recommendation of this thesis is that environmental collaboration with customers’ needs to be strengthened to improve performance, because the empirical results showed negative relationship between customer cooperation and performance outcomes. The reason for this closer collaboration is that suggestion by customers towards environmental protection could help manufacturers plan their production strategies including product packaging and delivery. On managerial level, this study has shown that collaboration between inter and intra firm players through information and knowledge sharing is crucial in enhancing GSCM implementation. For policy makers, this study has confirmed that not only stringent regulations promote green implementation, but also provision of incentives to firms could significantly serve as a motivational factor for GSCM adoption.
    Date of AwardSept 2021
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorDongmei Cao (Supervisor), Ming Lim (Supervisor), Jill Timms (Supervisor) & Jialun Hu (Supervisor)


    • Green supply chain management
    • sustainability performance
    • enablers
    • competitive advantage
    • structural equation modelling (SEM)
    • Manufacturing firm

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