Dynamic capabilities in sustainable supply chain management : a multiple case study of small and medium-sized enterprises in the apparel sector

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Economics

Abstract: This study provides a better understanding of how Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the apparel sector, manage their suppliers and what dynamic capabilities that might be of importance. The topic can be empirically relevant for policy makers and managers in the private and public sector in order to understand how companies manage their supply chain in a changing business environment in general and develop insights for SMEs’ Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) practices and dynamic capabilities in the apparel sector in particular. Concluding this study, it can be argued that SSCM practices and dynamic capabilities can be important for SMEs in the apparel sector. Dynamic capabilities play a central role in maintaining competitiveness and working successfully with SSCM in changing market environments. Although companies have started to implement more SSCM practices, it is not significant in SMEs. Despite the fact that SMEs in the apparel sector are facing the same dynamic market challenges of increased competition, stakeholder pressure and changing business environments as large companies, they have different capabilities to implement SSCM practices. The aim of this study is to identify SMEs’ practices in the apparel sector for sustainable supply chain management and analyze their relation to dynamic capabilities. By using a qualitative approach based on semi-structured interviews, a multiple case study was conducted on three Swedish SMEs in the apparel industry. By applying both within and cross-case analysis, the study provides a deeper contextual understanding of the phenomena of SSCM practices and its relationship to dynamic capabilities for SMEs in the apparel sector.

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