Research Article
MECHANISMS INFLUENCING NIGERIA TOURISM INDUSTRY FOR ADOPTING SUSTAINABLE (GREEN) SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
Nathaniel C Ozigbo*
Corresponding Author: Nathaniel C. Ozigbo, Department of Business Administration, University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria
Received: October 06, 2020; Revised: January 11, 2021; Accepted: January 09, 2021 Available Online: March 16, 2021
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This study examined the mechanisms influencing Nigeria Tourism Industry for adopting sustainable (Green) Supply Chain Management Practices. The study found a link between Green Supply Chain practices and noted that the industry that pursue low-cost strategy are less likely to implement the Green practices that lead to positive association with the dimensions of performance. The study reviewed a number of literatures which sought to introduce environmental Green supply chain management. The studies indicated that companies that include Green in their supply chains have the ability of creating win-win relationship with their partners. This study also noted that the consumers have become aware of the environmental issues and global warming and have started asking questions about the products they are purchasing. In Nigeria context, the managers of the Tourism Industry are not fully aware that improved environmental performance means fewer environmental impact and often reduce material costs. It is important to state that the Green issues and environmental concerns have become important due to the faltering economic conditions. This study further emphasizes that designing and implementing a Greener supply chain is truly a win-win-win scenario for the Tourism Industry could benefit from the study by gaining knowledge about which types of GSCM practices could provide the much-needed benefits in terms of different performance dimensions. The study concluded that successful implementation of GSCM practices depended on the capability of the industry’s information systems to capture data related to the environmental sustainability efforts and industry’s logistics processes. In essence, to succeed the managers of Tourism Industry in Nigeria should learn to align their supply chains with the demands of the markets they serve.

Keywords: Sustainability of Tourism Industry, Green Supply Chain Management Practices, Nigeria, Supply chains.
INTRODUCTION

The history of supply chain management evolved from initial focus on improving relationship simple but very labor-intensive processes to the present-day engineering and managing of extra-ordinarily complex global networks. It is well known that supply chain management is an integral part of most businesses and is essential to company’s success and customer satisfaction. Consumers today are focusing on products that are manufactured using sustainable (Green) environmentally friendly methods, with governments all over the world have introduced stricker regulations for companies to comply with items like pollution, hazardous content, labour exploitation and others. In the present scenario, there is a growing need for integrating environmentally sound choices into supply chain management practices among the organizations.

In recent years, designing sustainable (Green) supply chains have become more important than ever due to global warnings. Environmental threats like devastating impacts of climate change and scarcity of resources require companies to operate in a eco-friendlier way and to take the necessary precautions to preserve the environment. Srivastava (2007) defined green supply chain management as integrating environmental thinking into supply chain management, including product design, sourcing and selection, manufacturing and delivery of the final product to the consumers.

To face these challenges, companies are increasingly focusing on environmentally component of supply chain called “Green Supply Chain”. Green supply chain management goes beyond shifting consumer attitudes. It actually saves companies money by simplifying and streamlining operations and improving service levels and also could influence company’s future growth. In addition, consumers have become aware of the environmental issues, global warning and have started asking questions about the products they are purchasing. At the same time, companies expect questions about how green their manufacturing practices and how they recycle. Many companies have shown that there is proof of the link between improved environmental performance and financial gains, where improvements can produce profits. By re-evaluating the company’s supply chain from purchasing, planning and distribution of final products, saving is identified as a benefit of adopting green policies. In Nigeria context, the Tourism Industry are still unaware that improved environmental performance means lower waste disposal, training costs, fewer environmental permitting fees. It is important to note that the interest in green issues and environmental concern have become more important at the present time.

This study emphases that designing and adopting a greener supply chain is truly a win-win-win scenario for Nigeria Tourism Industry. In this sense, when a supply chain becomes greener, waste is driven from it and when waste is driven from the supply chain, the cost of that process is reduced, everybody is happy. This study is aimed to introduce the green supply chain initiatives as a cost savings initiative.

Green supply chain management has begun to gain popularity in emerging economy. Eltayeb, Zailani, & Ramayah (2011) studied the outcomes of green supply chain initiatives among ISO 14001 certified firms in Malaysia whereas (Zailani, Eltayeb, Hsu & Tan, 2012) carried out a study on green supply chain management research. This study examines the deployment of green supply chain practices in the Nigeria Tourism Industry and evaluate associated outcomes. Studies by (Zhu, Sarkis & Geng, 2005; Green, Zelbst, Meacham & Bhadauria, 2012) examined the outcomes of GSCM within the context of tangible measures such as environmental performance. This study also intended to make a significant contribution to research that relate green practices to performance outcome in the Nigeria Tourism Industry. There are several studies that have been carried out in developed countries that show how Tourism Industry has driven by institutional norms to enhance competitive advantage by adopting environmental practices, such studies like (Zhu & Sarkis, 2007; Sarkis, Zhu & Lai, 2011).

The main objective of this study is to identify how to integrate Nigeria Tourism Industry to society such that the economic benefits are equitably shared without significantly damaging the environment. Other specific objectives include;
  • The examine the extent and nature of green supply chain management in the Tourism Industry and the factors that may influence their activities.
  • How to improve the environmental performance of the supply chain and the industry as a whole.
  • To assess the coercive mechanisms that influence the Tourism Industry for adopting green supply chain management initiatives which include government legislations, regulation and customer pressures.
In this study, we reviewed the environmental and economic performance measures that impacts on green supply chain initiatives in the Nigeria Tourism Industry such as compliance with environmental standard, reduction of air emissions, and lower consumption of hazardous materials. On the economic performance measures, we looked at the general improvement in profitability and reduction in production and material costs.
           
REVIEW OF LITERATURE AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

            The practice of Green supply chain management is guided by some basic underlying concepts that have not changed much over the past years. The term supply chain management arose in the late 1980s and came into widespread use in the 1990s. Prior to that time, business enterprises used the terms such as logistics and operations management. Logistics typically refers to activities that occur within the boundaries of a single organization while supply chains refer to networks of companies that work together and co-ordinate their actions to deliver a product to market.

            Traditional logistics focuses its attention on activities such as procurement, distribution, maintenance and inventory management, while supply chain management acknowledges all of traditional logistics and include activities such as marketing, new product development, finances and customer services. In essence, effective supply chain management requires simultaneous improvements in both customer service levels and internal operating efficiencies of the companies in the supply chain. The goal of supply chain management is to increase sales of goods and services to the final end user customer while at the same time reducing both inventory and operating expenses.

            A supply chain is composed of all the companies involved in the design, production and delivery of product to market. In essence, supply chain encompasses all activities associated with the flow and transformation of goods from raw materials (extracted) through the end user as well as associated information flow (Mentzer, DeWitt, Keebler, Min & Nix, 2001). Curkovic, Melynk, Handfield & Calantone (2000) noted that the growth in the adoption of Green practices is in part due to the effect of institutional pressures driven by market and regulatory demands. This study examined the intricate relationship between Green practices within the context of the business strategy. The context has not been given much attention even though a few studies have alluded to the importance of understanding the role of business strategy.

            Buyukozkan & Cifci (2012) suggested that Green Supply Chain evaluation needs to make sense from a business perspective, and they identified cost, quality, delivery and flexibility as key dimensions that could be considered. Testa & Iraldo (2010) also noted that the importance of using environmental practices that reflect on organization’s business strategy while (Wu & Pagell, 2011) wrote that Tourism Industry need to balance their business model and environmental issues. According to (Kumar, Teichman & Timpernagel, 2012) Green supply chain management practices provide the potential for cost savings, improved efficiency and attracting new suppliers and customers. They explained that specific reasons for adopting Green supply chain management practices include improved brand reputation, compensating for global warming and increasing energy and commodity prices as well as improved supply chain integration. Large & Gimenez (2011) noted that adopting Green supply chain management practices involve financial resources. The implication is that the industry with low-cost focused strategy find it difficult to adopt Green supply chain management practices and this impact on the outcomes achieved.

            Most industries have started to go green in their business as concern to environmental sustainability and have realized the greater benefits of the green technology adoption in business operations, which also affected suppliers and customers. As a result, Green supply chain management emerges as a new systematic environmental approach in supply chain management and has been increasingly accepted practices by forward thinking operations. Rao & Holt (2005) noted the importance of integrating environmental management practices into the whole supply chain management in order to achieve greener supply chain and maintain competitive advantage and at the same time increase business profit and market share objectives.

            Srivastava (2007) defined Green supply chain management as integrating environmental thinking into supply chain management and identified five potential drivers of Green supply chain which include capabilities, strategic level of purchasing, level of environmental commitment, degree of green supplier assessment and the degree of green collaboration with suppliers. Azeredo, Carvalho & Machado (2011) examined the links between Green practices of supply chain management and supply chain performance to the context of the Portuguese automotive supply chain. The study obtained the conceptual model from data analysis that provided evidence as to which Green practices have positive effects on quality, customer satisfaction and efficiency.

            In the study done by (Chiou, Chan, Letice & Chung, 2011) in Taiwan explored the correlation between greening the supplier and green innovation in Taiwan Industry by using structural equation modeling. The study concluded that greening the supplier through green innovation led to significant benefits to the environmental performance and competitive advantage of the company. Study by Zhu, Geng, Fujita & Hashimoto (2010) sought to introduce environmental green supply chain management experience of large Japanese manufacturing companies. The study showed that the large companies adopted Green supply chain by creating win-win relationships. With their partners and hence realize the need for sustainable growth for the entire supply chains. Holt & Ghobadian (2009) investigated the level and nature of greening the supply chain in the United Kingdom manufacturing company. The study explored the driving forces behind environmental, the specific management practices that result and the relationship between them. The study by Nawrocka, Brorson & Lindhquist (2009) in Sweden concentrated on the role of ISO 14001 in environmental supplymanagement practices. The study described the existing and potential role of ISO 14001 for potential role of ISO 14001 for three key operating tasks of environmental supply chain management to communicate the requirements to the supplier to motivate and enable the supplier to verify that the supplier follows the requirements.

            Study from South Korea carried out by (Lee, 2008) identified the drivers of participation in Green supply chain initiatives by considering small and medium sized suppliers and their most important stakeholder including buyers and the government. Cote, Lopez, Marche, Perron & Wright (2008) examined the relationship between supply chains and environmental performance of SMEs in Canada. The study provided that time and financial resources to deal with solid wastes and energy issues were the limiting factor.

            The Green supply chain management has been studied in the developed and developing countries, however, little information about the adoption of GSCM practices in Nigeria Tourism Industry. This study attempted to present the importance of adopting GSCM in the industry. The study was based on extent literature and surveys from the industry because the state of adoption practices is still in its infancy and the awareness of environmental sustainability still quite low among consumers and the regulatory framework is lacking in promoting environmental sustainability. The study strives to provide managerial implications for the government and to the Tourism Industry.

            Environmental pressures have caused Green supply chain management to emerge as an important corporate environmental strategy. For Tourism Industry to fully realize the performance potentials of GSCM, the industry needs to integrate internal GSCM practices on functional co-ordination with external practices such as cooperation with suppliers and customers in the implementation. In essence, the coordinating of internal and external GSCM practices to seek performance improvement is an important aspect of the Tourism Industry’s operation strategy. The implementation of GSCM practices is expected to result in improved environmental performance. Handfield, Walton, Seegers & Melnyk (1997) suggested that the implementation of environmental sustainability efforts be integrated throughout the value chain while Linton, Klassen & Jayaraman (2007) asserted that the focus of environmental management moved from the organization level to the supply chain level.

            In this study, we proposed that Tourism Industry in Nigeria should adopt environmental sustainability as a strategic imperative and expand existing enterprise information system capabilities and to monitor environmental sustainability activities for the purpose of implementing GSCM practices. We also noted that successful implementation of GSCM practices such as eco-design, co-operation with customers and investment recovery techniques might assist in improving environmental and economic performance for the Tourism Industry in Nigeria in terms of improving operational and organizational performance. From the literature review, (Murray, 2000) noted that the incorporation of the imperative into the overall strategy is a necessary percussion to successful implementation and that top management support is a key driver for the successful adoption and implementation. On the other hand, Zhu, Sarkis, Cordeiro & Lai (2008) found that organizational learning and management support positively affect the implementation of GSCM practices.

            Diabat & Govindan (2011) studied various drivers that affect the implementation of Green supply chains and found that Green design positively influence the performance of Green supply chains. The authors noted that the aim of eco-design is based on the reduction of environmental impact. Vachon (2007) asserted that most Tourism Industries in developed countries have begun to implement comprehensive programs to control environmental practices through their supply chain. Also opined that specific activities that support environmental collaboration, monitoring and control include the following;
  • Sharing technique and knowledge related to environmental management with supply chain partners.
  • Working to centralize the environmental risk associated with suppliers’ operations.
  • Working to assure proper product use. (Vachon, 2007).
From our study, the concept of supply chain management is based on two core ideas. The first is that every product that reaches an end user represents the cumulative effort of multiple organizations. These organizations are referred to collectively as the supply chain. The supply chain management them is the active management of supply chain activities to maximize customer values and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. The activities cover everything from product development, sourcing, production and logistics as well as the information systems needed to co-ordinate these activities. The second driver is the organizations that make up the supply chain which are linked together through physical flows and information flows. Physical flows involve the transformation, movement and storage of goods and materials. They are the most visible piece of the supply chain information flow allow various supply chain partners to coordinate their long-term plans and to control the day-to-day flow of goods and materials up and down the supply chain. In essence, supply chain management spans all movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. According to the council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), asserted that supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing, procurement, conversion and logistics management, and includes the crucial components of coordination and collaboration with channel partners such as suppliers, intermediaries, third party service providers and customers. In this study, we asserted that supply chain management is the process of planning, implementing and controlling the operations of the supply chain as efficiently as possible. It spans all movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption, with the primary objective of fulfilling customer’s demands through the most efficient use of resources.

Potential Outlook of the Tourism Industry in Nigeria

            Tourism Industry in Nigeria centers largely on events due to the country’s ample amount of ethnic groups with the inclusion of rain forests, savannah, waterfalls and other natural attractions. The industry is regulated by the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation Agency of Nigeria. The Tourism Industry in Nigeria has the potential of not only contributing to foreign exchange earnings but also aid in the reduction of the concentration of foreign exchange services. Nigeria is a potential tourist paradise which boosts of good tropical weather, variety of wide life, inspiring waterfalls, historical relies, captivating beaches and rolling hills coupled with the warm hearted and culturally active populace. The weather, vegetation and climate render Nigeria a tourism destination of variety and contrast.

            The country’s vegetation ranges from the light shrubs of the arid north to the thick mangrove swamps of the south. There are at least one hundred and one tourist attractions in Nigeria spread across the six geopolitical zones (Appiah, &Gates, 2010). The most important success factor for Tourism demand is a unique tourist product that is maintained qualitatively over-time. The Tourism Industry in Nigeria is among the sectors contributing to GDP of the country and is driven by steady economic growth. The travel services and hotel segments are expected to drive growth of the industry. A key tourism offering that attract tourism, cultural tourism, eco-tourism and rural tourism with the development of sustainable supply chain management practices, the government plans to develop tourism infrastructure across the country to provide better tourism experience for tourists. This is expected to create growth opportunities for different stakeholders such as hotels, restaurants, tour operations and others.

            The tourism product comprises combination of goods and services supplied by the tourism industry as well as non-priced features that motivate tourism such as natural sites such as beached, historic sites and cultural features. Notwithstanding, the Tourism Industry in Nigeria is currently facing many challenges, ranging from environmental concerns, increasing competition and structural changes and to think about sustainable tourism. Tourism in general is a sensitive industry with respect to changes in economic, social and political conditions and its activities are at times hampered by political unrest and climate changes. As attempted to integrate tourism into Nigeria society such that the economic benefits are equitably shared without significantly damaging the environment.

Implementing Green Supply Chain Management Practices in the Tourism Industry

            Most organizations have begun to implement green supply chain management practices in response to customer’s demand for products and services that are environmentally sustainable and that are created through sustainable practices to response to government regulations (Murray, 2000). These practices require that management work in concert with suppliers and customers to enhance environmental sustainability. The implementation of GSCM is expected to result in improved environmental performance. Ultimately, the tourism managers are responsible for the performance of the industry for which they work and how best they can improve the industry’s performance within the context of their supply chains. They should make decisions that support the supply chain. Chapro & Meindl (2004) noted that success at the supply chain level leads to success at the organizational level. It is important that the tourism managers identify and implement environmental sustainability practices that extend throughout the supply chain. We propose that successful implementation of Green supply chain management practices which might lead to improve environmental and economic performance in the Tourism Industry. In essence, once environmental sustainability practices have been adopted as a strategic imperative and the imperative receives the commitment and support from top and mid-level management, the Tourism Industry could proceed with the implementation of the GSCM practices. The incorporation of the imperatives into the overall strategy of the industry is a necessary precursor to successful implementation as noted by (Murray, 2000). Top management support is a key driver of the successful implementation as asserted by (Hamel & Prahalad, 1989). Rice (2003) emphasizes that to ensure environmental excellence that top management should be totally committed. From various studies, we found that successful implementation of GSCM practices depend on the capability of the industry’s information systems to capture data related to the environmental sustainability efforts and outcomes of the industry’s logistics processes.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO KNOWLEDGE

            This study adds value to the existing literature on the effects of Green supply chain management practices on industry’s performance.
  1. It provides support for the idea that there is a positive relationship between GSCM practices and industry performance.
  2. It enhances the understanding of how different types of GSCM practices are related to financial, operational and environmental performance.
  • Management from the Nigeria Tourism Industry could benefit from the study by gaining knowledge about the types of GSCM practices could provide the benefits in terms of different performance dimensions.
Sarkis (2012) noted that the integration of environmental issues and supply chain management have thriving sub field over the past two decades if implemented successfully, Green supply chain management could be an avenue of achieving competitive advantage while enhancing the environmental sustainability of the industry. Furthermore, customer’s requirements for environmental sustainability are found to be an important driver in the implementation of GSCM practices. The author noted that supply chain management requires the integration and co-ordination of business processes and strategy alignment for the purpose of satisfying the final customers of the supply chain and the business processes that are integrated and coordinated include the following; purchasing, manufacturing, marketing, logistics and information systems, while strategic imperatives that are aligned include customer’s focus, efficiency quality and responsiveness (Large & Gimenez, 2011). Notwithstanding, the benefits of implementing Green supply chain is that it could improve the profitability of the industry (Tourism) and help the environment, since it is the right thing to do.
 
CONCLUSION

            This study attempted to examine the need to utilize sustainable (Green) supply chain management implementation by considering various business strategy and institutional drivers in the Nigeria Tourism Industry. The study suggested that Tourism Industry need to be aware that pursuing low-cost strategy might impact negatively on its ability to innovate Green supply chain management practices. From the study, we noted that Green supply chain management in the Tourism Industry involves the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the operations of the supply chain as efficiently as possible. In most developed countries, studies have shown how Tourism Industry has been driven by institutional norms to enhance competitive advantage by adopting environmental practices. The studies have shown that the implementation of GSCM practices and their potential impacts on the Tourism Industry might be influenced by the business strategy adopted. The studies noted that adopting GSCM practices involve set-up costs that allow the industry to operate very effectively. Other studies found that Tourism Industry that pursue low-cost strategy are less likely to implement the Green practices that might lead to a positive association with the dimensions of performance.

            This study has significant managerial implications for Tourism Industry managers to understand the potential positive impact that Green supply chain practices could have on dimensions of performance. The study noted that pursuing low-cost strategy might impact on the ability to invest on Green supply chain practices.
 
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