CONTRIBUTION OF PURCHASING AND SUPPLY MANAGEMENT TO ECOLOGICAL INNOVATION
This paper explores the contribution of the purchasing function to ecological innovation in the upstream supply chains of manufacturing companies. In terms of innovation type, purchasing managers reported much more activity on ecological process innovation than on product or organisational innovation. Few purchasing managers initiate ecological innovation in supply themselves, although they can play a range of supporting roles, not least lobbying for internal acceptance of supplier innovations. Among the motives for undertaking such initiatives, cost advantages, corporate reputation, supply chain pressure and legal requirements dominate. While making a significant contribution, the role of purchasing managers in ecological innovation is thus, at the same time, somewhat limited. To an extent, these limitations can be explained by a lag between the technological innovations purchasing managers can induce in their supply chains and a lack in organisational innovation in the rules and practices that govern their own work.
Purchasing, supply management, ecological innovation, greening, organisational lag
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