Understanding supplier sustainability performance: The role of dependence and relational capital

Melek Akın Ateş, Atakan Güleryüz, İrem Güleryüz, Ataberk Arslan


With increasing stakeholder pressure to improve sustainability performance, firms focus on understanding how buyer-supplier relationship characteristics play a role in encouraging or jeopardizing supplier sustainability efforts. In this study, we examine how buyer-supplier dependence and relational capital affect the environmental and social performance of suppliers. We adopt an embedded, multiple-case study design, and examine five large buying firms in Turkey and their multiple suppliers at the dyadic level. Our findings suggest that there is a complex interplay between dependence and relational capital, illustrating both complementary and conflicting roles on supplier sustainability performance. We develop propositions to be tested in future studies.


Dependence, relational capital, supplier sustainability performance

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