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Supply chain transparency as a key prerequisite for sustainable agri-food supply chain management

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This paper discusses the antecedences and consequences of supply chain transparency (SCT) in sustainable agrarian supply chain management using partial least squares regression in an empirical sample with 131 supply chains with lead firms in German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). We investigated the effect of such structural antecedences as disintermediation, as well as the effect of governance tools similar to intensive communication, the integration of third parties in supply chain governance or the use of formal specifications on SCT. We found that all these antecedences are helpful in increasing SCT, while low developed countries of origin significantly reduced SCT. Then, the effects of SCT on the four main performance dimensions in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM), i.e. social, ecological, and operational performance and long-term relationship success, were verified. Higher SCT improves all four dimensions significantly, while the effect on operational performance is lowest. Supply chain transparency turns out to be a prerequisite or a basic indicator of good management in SSCM in agri-food supply chains.

Keywords: supply chain performance; supply chain transparency; sustainable supply chain management

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute for Commerce & International Marketing (H.I.MA.), Saarland University, Gebaeude A5.4, D-66123, Saarbruecken, Germany

Publication date: 2013-12-01

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