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Title: Sustainable logistics and supply chain management: a holistic view through the lens of the wicked problem

Authors: Dawn M. Russell; David Swanson; Magnus Blinge

Addresses: Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA ' Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA ' Department of Technology Management, Chalmers University of Technology, 41296 Göteborg, Sweden

Abstract: This study takes a holistic perspective of sustainable logistics and supply chain management (SLSCM), exploring the interdependencies among sustainability, financial strength and customer performance in logistics and supply chain management. Firms often struggle to understand when sustainable performance is improving and most importantly, what it costs them in terms of financial and customer performance. The theoretical lens of the wicked problem provides a framework to understand why sustainability performance shows mixed results. Hypotheses that investigate aggregate-level links between sustainable practices of global companies are tested with regression analysis and firm-level data from three widely used databases. Efforts to improve SLSCM can have a positive impact on performance; however, it comes at a price. For example, we find that firms that achieve the highest sustainability recognition have a lower return on assets (ROA) and that a leadership position in sustainability performance requires resources and a long-term view of return on investment.

Keywords: supply chain management; sustainability; wicked problem; Dow Jones; green brands; return on assets; ROA; stakeholders; logistics.

DOI: 10.1504/WRITR.2018.089517

World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research, 2018 Vol.7 No.1, pp.36 - 56

Available online: 23 Jan 2018 *

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