Douglas, Matthew A., Diane A. Mollenkopf, Vincent E. Castillo, John E. Bell and Emily C. Dickey (2021): Journeys, not Destinations: Theorizing a Process View of Supply Chain Integrity, Journal of Business Ethics.
Abstract: Integrity is considered an important corporate value. Yet recent global events have highlighted the challenges firms face at living up to their stated values, especially when extended supply chain partners are involved. The concept of Supply Chain Integrity (SCI) can help firms shift focus beyond internal corporate integrity, toward supply chain integrity. Researchers and managers will benefit from an understanding of the SCI concept toward implementing SCI to better align supply chain partners with stated corporate values. This research fully develops and empirically grounds the firm-level, inter-firm-oriented SCI concept. The thematic analysis of six firms’ archival and website content elaborated empirical descriptions of SCI themes and enabled the development of a process model for SCI, presenting a novel view of the underlying process by which firms can assess, develop, and maintain SCI across their supply chains. We propose the SCI model as an evolutionary process to improve a firm’s supply chain sustainability, rather than a dichotomous end state where firms either “have” integrity or they don’t. The SCI model could be used as a tool to help leaders create necessary change to better align values and supporting statements with culture, while influencing and affecting stakeholders across the supply chain. This is particularly important in today’s world, where business leaders must consider all stakeholders and address important stakeholder-driven issues such as supply chain sustainability, resilience, and security, which are now at the forefront in the ever-changing environment.