Social enterprise and market orientation: roles and relationships for the management of sustainable supply chains

  • Marina Gigliotti
  • Antonio Picciotti
  • Andrea Runfola
Keywords: sustainability; supply chain; distribution channels; social enterprise; nonprofit

Abstract

Purpose of the paper: This article explores the management of sustainable supply chains by social enterprises that sell ethical products in the mass market. This phenomenon is considered part of a growing openness to markets in some nonprofit organizations.

Methodology: The analysis considers case studies of two social enterprises, Altromercato and Libera Terra.

Results: Results indicate the main mechanisms in the management of supply chains by a social enterprise, highlighting the need for a hub in the management of profit-nonprofit relationships. This role is characterized by four main tasks: quality assurance, training and education, experimentation/coordination, harmonization of material and information flows.

Research limitations: This study addresses two cases, and future research in this area should extend the analysis to a higher number of nonprofit organizations.

Practical implications: This article describes the main dynamics of change for nonprofit organizations in the process of opening towards the mass market, concentrating on the ways in which it is possible to manage supply chains and downstream markets in line with their social mission.

Originality of the paper: This article shows the existence of a gap in the literature regarding the presence of nonprofit focal actors in the management of ethical product supply chain.

References

ADIVAR B., ATAN T., SEVILOFLAÇ B., ÖRTEN T. (2010), “Improving social welfare chain using optimal planning model”, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 15, n. 4, pp. 290-305.

AUSTIN M.J. (2003), “The changing relationship between nonprofit organizations and public social service agencies in the era of welfare reform”, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 32, n. 1, pp. 97-114.

BALCIK B., BEAMON B.M., KREJCI C.C., MURAMATSU K.M., RAMIREZ M. (2010), “Coordination in humanitarian relief chains: Practices, challenges and opportunities”, International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 126, n. 1, pp. 22-34.

BATTILANA J., LEE M. (2014), “Advancing research on hybrid organizing-Insights from the study of social enterprises”, The Academy of Management Annals, vol. 8, n. 1, pp. 397-441.

BEAMON B.M., BALCIK B. (2008), “Performance measurement in humanitarian relief chains”, International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 21, n. 1, pp. 4-25.

BEAMON B.M., KOTLEBA S.A. (2006), “Inventory modelling for complex emergencies in humanitarian relief operations”, International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications, vol. 9, n. 1, pp. 1-18.

BECKER-OLSEN K.L., CUDMORE B.A., HILL R.P. (2006), “The impact of perceived corporate social responsibility on consumer behavior”, Journal of Business Research, vol. 59, n. 1, pp. 46-53.

BERNARDONI A., PICCIOTTI A. (2017), Le imprese sociali tra mercato e comunità: percorsi di innovazione per lo sviluppo locale, Franco Angeli, Milano.

BESKE P., LAND A., SEURING S. (2014), “Sustainable supply chain management practices and dynamic capabilities in the food industry: A critical analysis of the literature”, International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 152, pp. 131-143.

BEZENÇON V., BLILI S. (2010), “Ethical products and consumer involvement: what’snew?”, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 44, n. 9/10, pp. 1305-1321.

BORZAGA C., FAZZI L. (2014), “Civil society, third sector, and healthcare: the case of social cooperatives in Italy”, Social Science and Medicine, vol. 123, pp. 234-241.

BORZAGA C., FAZZI L. (2011), “Processes of institutionalization and differentiation in the Italian third sector”, Voluntas, vol. 22, n. 3, pp. 409-427.

BRANDENBURG M., GOVINDAN K., SARKIS J., SEURING S. (2014), “Quantitative models for sustainable supply chain management: Developments and directions”, European Journal of Operational Research, vol. 233, n. 2, pp. 299-312.

CANIATO F., CARIDI M., CRIPPA L., MORETTO A. (2012), “Environmental sustainability in fashion supply chains: An exploratory case based research”, International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 135, n. 2, pp. 659-670.

CARTER C.R., EASTON P.L. (2011), “Sustainable supply chain management: evolution and future directions”, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, vol. 41, n. 1, pp. 46-62.

CARTER C.R., JENNINGS M.M. (2002), “Logistics social responsibility: an integrative framework”, Journal of Business Logistics, vol. 23, n. 1, pp. 145-180.

CLOSS D.J., SPEIER C., MEACHAM N. (2011), “Sustainability to support end-to-end value chains: the role of supply chain management”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 39, n. 1, pp. 101-116.

COZZOLINO A. (2014), “Agilità nella logistica delle emergenze. Le imprese apprendono dalle organizzazioni umanitarie”, Sinergie, n. 95, pp. 75-98.

CRANE A. (2001), “Unpacking the ethical product”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 30, n. 4, pp. 361-373.

CRAWFORD-SPENCER E., CANTATORE F. (2016), “Models of franchising for social enterprise”, Journal of Marketing Channels, vol. 23, n. 1-2, pp. 47-59.

DAVISTER C., DEFOURNY J., GRÉGOIRE O. (2004), “Work integration social enterprises in the European Union: an overview of existing models”, Revue Internationale de l'Économie Sociale: Recma, n. 293, pp. 24-50.

DEFOURNY J., NYSSENS M. (2010), “Social enterprise in Europe: At the crossroad of market, public policies and third sector”, Policy and Society, vol. 29, n. 3, pp. 231-242.

DEFOURNY J., NYSSENS M. (2006), “Defining social enterprise”, in Nyssens M., eds., Social Enterprise. At the crossroad of market, public policies and civil society, London, Routledge, pp. 3-26.

DOHERTY B., HAUGH H., LYON F. (2014), “Social enterprises as hybrid organizations: A review and research agenda”, International Journal of Management Reviews, vol. 16, n. 4, pp. 417-436.

DOLNICAR S., IRVINE H., LAZAREVSKI K. (2008), “Mission or Money? Competitive challenges facing public sector nonprofit organisations in an institutionalised environment”, International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, vol. 13, n. 2, pp. 107-117.

EIKENBERRY A.M., KLUVER J.D. (2004), “The Marketization of the Non-profit Sector: Civil Society at Risk?”, Public Administration Review, vol. 64, n. 2, pp. 132-140.

EISENHARDT K.M. (1989), “Building theories from case study research”, Academy of Management Review, vol. 14, n. 4, pp. 532-550.

EISENHARDT K.M., GRAEBNER M.E. (2007), “Theory building from cases: Opportunities and challenges”, Academy of Management Journal, vol. 50, n. 1, pp. 25-32.

ELKINGTON J. (1998), “Partnerships from cannibals with forks: The triple bottom line of 21st century business”, Environmental Quality Management, vol. 8, n. 1, pp. 37-51.

EVERS A. (2005). “Mixed welfare systems and hybrid organizations: Changes in the governance and provision of social services”, International Journal of Public Administration, vol. 28, n. 9-10, pp. 737-748.

GALERA G., BORZAGA C. (2009), “Social enterprise: An international overview of its conceptual evolution and legal implementation”, Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 5, n. 3, pp. 210-228.

GIBBERT M., RUIGROK W., WICKI B. (2008), “What passes as a rigorous case study?”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 29, n. 13, pp. 1465-1474.

GIOIA D.A., CORLEY K.G., HAMILTON A.L. (2013), “Seeking qualitative rigor in inductive research: Notes on the Gioia methodology”, Organizational Research Methods, vol. 16, n. 1, pp. 15-31.

GONZALEZ L.I.A., VIJANDE M.L.S., CASIELLES R.V. (2002), “The market orientation concept in the private nonprofit organisation domain”, International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, vol. 7, n. 1, pp. 55-67.

HOOD C. (1991), “A public management for all seasons?”, Public Administration, vol. 69, n. 1, pp. 3-19.

HUYBRECHTS B. (2012), Fair trade organizations and social enterprise: Social innovation through hybrid organization models, Routledge.

JAMALI D., KESHISHIAN T. (2009), “Uneasy alliances: Lessons learned from partnerships between businesses and NGOs in the context of CSR”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 84, n. 2, pp. 277-295.

KANNAN V.R., TAN K.C. (2005), “Just in time, total quality management, and supply chain management: understanding their linkages and impact on business performance”, Omega, vol. 33, n. 2, pp. 153-162.

KEIJZERS G. (2002), “The transition to the sustainable enterprise”, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 10, n. 4, pp. 349-359.

KERLIN J.A. (2013), “Defining Social Enterprise Across Different Contexts: A Conceptual Framework Based on Institutional Factors”, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 42, n. 1, pp. 84-108.

KIM N., SUNG Y., LEE M. (2012), “Consumer evaluations of social alliances: The effects of perceived fit between companies and non-profit organizations”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 109, n. 2, pp. 163-174.

KOVÁCS G., SPENS K. (2009), “Identifying challenges in humanitarian logistics”, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, vol. 39, n. 6, pp. 506-528.

LINTON J.D., KLASSEN R., JAYARAMAN V. (2007), “Sustainable supply chains: An introduction”, Journal of Operations Management, vol. 25, n. 6, pp. 1075-1082.

MAIER F., MEYER M., STEINBEREITHNER M. (2016), “Nonprofit organizations becoming business-like: A systematic review”, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 45, n. 1, pp. 64-86.

MCCRUDDEN C. (2004), “Using public procurement to achieve social outcomes”, Natural Resources Forum, vol. 28, n. 4, pp. 257-267.

MCLACHLIN R., LARSON P.D. (2011), “Building humanitarian supply chain relationships: lessons from leading practitioners”, Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 1, n. 1, pp. 32-49.

MALONI M.J., BROWN M.E. (2006), “Corporate social responsibility in the supply chain: an application in the food industry”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 68, n. 1, pp. 35-52.

MASSARONI E., COZZOLINO A., WANKOWICZ E. (2015), “Sustainability in supply chain management-a literature review”, Sinergie Italian Journal of Management, vol. 33, n. 98, pp. 331-355.

MIEMCZYK J., HOWARD M., JOHNSEN T.E. (2016), “Dynamic development and execution of closed-loop supply chains: a natural resource-based view”, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21, n. 4, pp. 453-469.

MILES M.B., HUBERMAN A.M. (1994), Qualitative data analysis: An expanded source book (2nd ed.), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

PAGELL M., WU Z. (2009), “Building a more complete theory of sustainable supply chain management using case studies of 10 exemplars”, Journal of Supply Chain Management, vol. 45, n. 2, pp. 37-56.

PADANYI P., GAINER B. (2004), “Market Orientation in the Nonprofit Sector: Taking Multiple Constituencies into Consideration”, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, vol. 12, n. 2, pp. 43-58.

PANWAR N.L., KAUSHIK S.C., KOTHARI S. (2011), “Role of renewable energy sources in environmental protection: a review”, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 15, n. 3, pp. 1513-1524.

PICCIOTTI A. (2017), “Towards sustainability: The innovation paths of social enterprise”, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, vol. 88, n. 2, pp. 233-256.

PLOETNER O., EHRET M. (2006), “From relationships to partnerships - new forms of cooperation between buyer and seller”, Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 35, n. 1, pp. 4-9.

SARGEANT A., FOREMAN S., LIAO M. (2002), “Operationalizing the Marketing Concept in the Nonprofit Sector”, Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, vol. 10, n. 2, pp. 41-65.

SEITANIDI M.M., CRANE A. (2009), “Implementing CSR through partnerships: Understanding the selection, design and institutionalisation of nonprofit-business partnerships”, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 85, n. 2, pp. 413-429.

SEURING S. (2004), “Integrated chain management and supply chain management comparative analysis and illustrative cases”, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 12, n. 8-10, pp. 1059-1071.

SEURING S., MÜLLER M. (2008), “From a literature review to a conceptual framework for sustainable supply chain management”, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 16, n. 15, pp. 1699-1710.

SEV A. (2009), “How can the construction industry contribute to sustainable development? A conceptual framework”, Sustainable Development, vol. 17, n. 3, pp. 161-173.

SMITH B.R., KNAPP J., BARR T.F., STEVENS C.E., CANNATELLI B.L. (2010), “Social enterprises and the timing of conception: Organizational identity tension, management, and marketing”, Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, vol. 22, n. 2, pp. 108-134.

SPEAR R., BIDET E. (2005), “Social enterprise for work integration in 12 European countries: a descriptive analysis”, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, vol. 76, n. 2, pp. 195-231.

SPENCE C. (2007), “Social and environmental reporting and hegemonic discourse”, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol. 20, n. 6, pp. 855-882.

STANK T.P., KELLER S.B., DAUGHERTY P.J. (2001), “Supply chain collaboration and logistical service performance”, Journal of Business logistics, vol. 22, n. 1, pp. 29-48.

STAKE R.E. (1995), The art of case study research, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

STAKE R.E. (2013), Multiple Case Study Analysis, GuilfordPress, New York, NY.

TASAVORI M., KWONG C., PRUTHI S. (2018), “Resource bricolage and growth of product and market scope in social enterprises”, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, vol. 30, n. 3-4, pp. 336-361.

TENCATI A., POGUTZ S. (2015), “Recognizing the limits: Sustainable development, corporate sustainability and the need for innovative business paradigms”, Sinergie Italian Journal of Management, vol. 33, n. 96, pp. 37-55.

VACHON S., KLASSEN R.D. (2008), “Environmental management and manufacturing performance: The role of collaboration in the supply chain”, International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 111, n. 2, pp. 299-315.

VAN SLYKE D.M. (2006), “Agents or stewards: Using theory to understand the government-nonprofit social service contracting relationship”, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, vol. 17, n. 2, pp. 157-187.

VAN WASSENHOVE L.N. (2006), “Humanitarian aid logistics: supply chain management in high gear”, Journal of the Operational Research Society, vol. 57, n. 5, pp. 475-489.

ZHU Z., CHU F., DOLGUI A., CHU C., ZHOU W., PIRAMUTHU S. (2018), “Recent advances and opportunities in sustainable food supply chain: a model-oriented review”, International Journal of Production Research, vol. 56, n. 17, pp. 1-23.

WORLD COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (1987), Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

YIN R.K. (1994), Case Study Research: Design and Methods, (2nd ed.), Sage Newbury Park, CA.

YIN R.K. (2003), Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.), Sage Thousand Oaks, CA.
Published
2019-08-30