CSR for Retailers' Led Channel Relationships: Evidence from Italian SME Manufacturers

CSR for Retailers' Led Channel Relationships: Evidence from Italian SME Manufacturers

Fabio Musso (University of Urbino, Italy) and Mario Risso (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6433-3.ch043
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Abstract

This paper analyses the adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies by small and medium manufacturers which are involved in supplying relationships with large retailers. The purpose of the paper is to examine CSR drivers within large retailers' supply chains. A quantitative empirical research was conducted focusing on the food sector, as a sector in which traceability, supplier's coordination and control are critical to the supply chain. Data collection was performed through a questionnaire addressed to 89 Italian SME manufacturers to explore the main factors influencing the adoption of CSR and the level of formalization of the related policies. Findings revealed the key role of large retailers for the establishment of a sustainable/ethical supply chain. An attenuation of the hierarchic/conflictual perspective in buyer-seller relationships emerged, with a reduction of margin-compression effects for smaller suppliers as a consequence of power imbalances. A relevant consequence of CSR is a relationship development model in which all the involved subjects can benefit, including smaller partners inside the supply chains.
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Csr And Retailers' Led International Supply Chains

Nowadays, CSR increasingly receives attention from managers and researchers as an emerging field of competition among companies. According to Lee et al. (2009) “CSR involves the integration of environmental, social and economic considerations into an organization’s corporate culture and strategy formulation” (p. 141). For companies, this means responsibility to consumers, versus that of its shareholders, with the latter also related to the maximization of profit and assets.

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